Under The Influence #82: Wyrmhaven on “Iowa” by Slipknot!

The 20th Anniversary of the sophomore album from Slipknot seems a highly appropriate time to talk about the record that takes its name from the bands home state of “Iowa“. Produced by Slipknot and Ross Robinson (Limp Bizkit, KoRn, Sepultura) and widely considered to be heavier, darker and more technical than their major label debut for Roadrunner Records, while losing some of the raw energy of its predecessor. Largely written by the dearly departed bassist Paul Gray and drummer Joey Jordison in 2008, percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan said “When we did Iowa, we hated each other. We hated the world; the world hated us“. A record we love and from our perspective the bands most consistent, it’s one that can do no wrong, which goes to prove that adversity can bring out the best in musicians.

Wyrmhaven vocalist Alex Parra comments: “Its a pretty obvious, almost cliché choice by now for any metal vocalist that Iowa has been on the frontlines of my writing for most of life. The album always provided an escape and voice for me when I was growing up when I didn’t have one and I never had one. I revisit the album constantly for not just lyrical inspiration but for some mental therapy. The inspiration mainly being Corey Taylor. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a kid and always loved the way he wrote. Very articulate and ferocious. His voice on that album is probably some of the most intense vocals I’ve ever heard. I listen to a lot of death metal too. Anybody who listens to that album knows its raw, natural and very real. To me, a lot of respect goes into that because a lot of people don’t have that voice or courage to say what they want to say or what needs to be said. That’s what I try to project with my writing as well. I want people and kids to still know that through out the smog you’re not alone. I hope one day to create an album, or even just a song, that can be worthy of the decades like Iowa.

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