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1996: The masks went on, and the Slipknot phenomenon was born

When a masked band of misfits released a demo album named Mate. Kill. Feed. Repeat. back in ’96, few could have predicted the oncoming storm

Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan can remember the point when he knew that all the blood, sweat and pain that he’d invested into Slipknot had paid off.

It was the end of May 1999 and the band were playing that year’s Ozzfest, sandwiched between industrial-metal heroes Static-X and rap-rock B-listers (hed)p.e. on the second stage. Their self-titled album was a month away from release, but the buzz surrounding this masked-and-boiler-suited nine-piece from the Midwestern backwater of Des Moines, Iowa was growing louder by the day.

“We used to watch people running from watching a main-stage band to come see this new thing called Slipknot on the second stage,” says Shawn today. “I remember them sprinting to get there. I knew it was the punch in the face the whole fucking world was waiting for.”

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