Jim Root nearly didn’t join Slipknot: “My buddy was like, ‘What are you, f***ing stupid?’”

The guitarist made a promise to his band at the time, Deadfront, that he would turn down an invitation to join Slipknot if it came.

Jim Root of Slipknot

Image: Michael Campanella / Getty Images

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A member for well over two decades, Jim Root has solidified his position as a central pillar of the Slipknot name. But his life almost turned out very differently, as he reveals in a new interview.

Chatting to Prism Supply, Root reveals that he passed up the chance to be a part of the masked metal outfit at first, until a good friend supposedly knocked some sense into him.

“After Corey [Taylor] had joined Slipknot, I was in a band called Deadfront, and in Des Moines we had a lot of success,” Root says. “And I had been called by Clown [Shawn Crahan] and Joey [Jordison, then-Slipknot drummer] and [producer] Ross Robinson to join Slipknot.”

“And I told guys in my band that I wouldn’t do it, if they ever called me that I would say no. And I think I said that because I didn’t think they would ever call me.”

“But I also didn’t wanna feel like anything was ever handed to me; I wanted to feel like I did it on my own, that I did the legwork. I was, like, ‘Yeah, you know, they called me to ask me to join Slipknot.'”

Recalling the way his friend had chewed him out for making the wrong choice, Root says, “My buddy Zack’s funny – he was, like, ‘What are you, fucking stupid? What’d say ‘no’ for? Dude, you’ve been working your ass off since you were 16 playing in bands in clubs and you played with these guys in bands in clubs.’ He was, like, ‘Very few times in life do you get a chance to take a huge leap forward. That doesn’t come sometimes ever to anybody.’

“So I immediately got up from the table and got on an actual pay phone and called Clown. ‘Did you guys find a guitar player yet?’ He was, like, ‘Nope.’ And it was a Saturday night.

He continues: “I decided, ‘Fuck it,’ so I literally quit my job that Monday and then rehearsed with that band Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and then Sunday I got in a car with Mick [Thomson, Slipknot guitarist] and we drove to LA to work on the rest of the first self-titled release record.”

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