Why Are Slipknot Fans Called Maggots?

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Beliebers are to Justin (Bieber) as Swifties are to Taylor (Swift), just as maggots are to Slipknot.

Maggots are devotees to the death metal deities, but how did they get that name? Some have speculated it comes from the size of the crowds the band draws in. The mass of fanatics looks like writhing larvae from the band’s vantage point on stage. Slipknot’s percussionist, Shawn “Clown” Crahan, recently revealed the truth about the moniker in an interview with The Independent.

Crahan reportedly came up with the affectionate pet name decades ago, saying “I used to take photos of dead deers. Their stomachs were full of maggots. Slipknot as a band, we deal with a lot of stuff, and I figured maggots deal with the worst stuff of all. They deal with all the death and shit and then, at the end of it, they grow wings and turn into flies, then that fly will come back and lay an egg.”

Fans are compared to maggots as a metaphor, of course, in reference to those who use the band’s music as a coping mechanism. They feed on the pain depicted in Slipknot songs in the hopes that they will someday transform and move past whatever hard times they’re going through. The music helps them to sprout wings, fly away from the hurt, and then use those wings to come back to the songs when they’re needed most.

“You’re 14 and you feel that rebellion in you. The world is telling you no; you listen to us, and we help you find the confidence to say yes,” Clown continued. “Then there comes a day when you might get married, have a kid, get a job, whatever. Slipknot’s not your everyday life anymore, but you still hear it. I call fans maggots because they grow wings and they come back. If we’re lucky, they come back with their offspring. I’ve got two, three generations of maggots. It’s cool.”

Their seventh studio album, The End, So Far, was just released with plenty of new music for their hungry maggots. The band recently wrapped their tour with end-of-year festival dates in Mexico and South America on the schedule.

Slipknot recently re-issued many of their classic music videos in high-definition. Until you can see them live, enjoy the next best thing below.

Photo by Alexander Gay / Elektra

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