What goes ‘Ha ha, bonk’? A man laughing his head off. And what goes ‘Ha ha, you’re utterly bonkers’? That’ll be Alix Fox, speaking to Shawn Crahan – also known as Clown or #6, and one of Slipknot’s two percussionists – while he was on the road in St Louis, Missouri. He’s a funny guy…
Do you collect anything weird?
Yes, medical tools. I’ve got tons of vaginal speculums, and piles of needles I’ve stolen after stays in hospital. I haven’t scored anything like that for a while though, because I’ve been healthy. I collect thrown-away trash too; little metal objects I find on the highway, flattened bottle caps, and bits of crap that catch my eye as I walk past.
Have you built some kind of Mexican shrine out of your found treasures?
At the moment they’re in boxes, waiting for the day when I have my own studio and can incorporate them into my art. I like to paint with acrylic and oils, on big canvases – at least 4ft by 4ft.
That’s a midget squared.
Pretty much. I need large canvases to express my emotions, as I often paint when I’m in pain. After my wife Chantal went into hospital with Crohn’s disease and we had to cancel my daughter’s birthday party, for example, I painted a 4ft by 10ft piece and cried the whole time. Sometimes when I look at my pictures later, I see images of things that didn’t happen until afterwards – it’s almost like I foresee events through my art. I don’t start with an idea of what I want to paint, just a feeling – though it’s frequently a pretty damned sexual feeling.
You feel sexual while you’re creating something 10ft tall? What, are you wanking up a ladder?
I nail it to a wall.
The canvas, or your penis?
The canvas. I’ve already done the hammer bit with my cock, and the drill thing, and setting my prick on fire;I got that out of my system when I was younger. These days I focus my pain beyond being a guy who has staples and big spikes rammed in his ass for kicks.
Have you ever seen an odd vagina?
I saw one the other day that looked like it had a bat in it. The opening of the girl’s vagina looked like it was made to beam a Bat-Signal into the sky over Gotham City. Fuck knows what kind of superhero would actually turn up if she spread her legs and did that, though.
What superpower would you choose?
Whatever would make me live forever. I’d like to see what would happen to my brain after hundreds of years, and how smart I could get.
Would you like to be cryogenically frozen?
Definitely, if I could afford it. I’d love to wake up in 3,000 years and see what the hell’s going down. But I’d only want my head to be transplanted onto someone else’s body if it was a woman’s. Then I’d take a shower and, because I’d be a man inside, I’d touch my new body to see how it would feel and think, “Wow, maybe I was pushing too hard after all.”
Do you fantasise about being a woman?
I always feel robbed that I’m not female. I don’t get the chance to nurture a living being inside of me. Alix, I strongly suggest that you procreate as soon as possible. You’re wasting the most fertile years of your life. Your only purpose on this earth is to help further humanity. It’s not to write articles, then take a piss and eat some cheese for dinner.
Cheese is supposed to give you weird dreams…
I dream about nothingness. When I sleep, my head goes to a place where there’s absolutely nothing – past God, past space, past the sun, past black, past me, past you… boom! Can you imagine that?
I think you need to stop eating cheese before bed, Clown.
Actually, I recently dined on a lobster that was still alive on the plate – not because it hadn’t been cooked properly, but because that’s how I was supposed to eat it. I was totally comfortable with that. I happen to love being the animal at the top of the food chain.
Speaking of animals, if you had to sleep with one, what would you choose?
I’ve always thought the way turtles mate is awesome, because they’re so slow, yet so intense. And koala bears intrigue me because they’re really violent; so soft, so cute, but so vicious when they’re fucking. I’d like to understand why that is.
Do you believe in aliens?
No, because if you examine evolution, the development of intelligent life has been down to so many tiny chances – I just don’t think that’d happen again on another planet. They say that diamonds rain on Neptune, that there are mountains of jewels… the conditions are too different for animals to evolve. Minuscule things, maybe. Micro-organisms – I can believe that. So is there life out there? Hell yeah. But is it likely to show up with laser beams and Lightsabers? Hell no!
What about ghosts?
Man, I’d love to see a ghost. I’m bored with looking at traffic signs, buses, Coca-Cola ads… I’d love to run from T.rexes. I’d love you to say, “Clown, I gotta quit talking right now because raptors are fucking invading the building.” It’d be so refreshing if you were just chilling out, having a beer, and bang! Dracula busts in and demands to suck your blood.
If he bit you, then your dream of living forever would come true. Have you ever met a vampire?
There are quite a few around. But I’m not naming any names.
Slipknot’s new album All Hope Is Gone is out on Roadrunner