James Donald Root (born October 2, 1971) also known by his number #4, is an American musician known for being the rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band Slipknot, and the former lead guitarist for alternative metal band Stone Sour.
Life and career
James Root began performing with the thrash metal band Atomic Opera from Iowa in the early 90s, not to be confused with the hard rock band Atomic Opera from Houston, Texas. Soon after they split up he went on to perform in bands such as DeadFront and Stone Sour; the latter which he joined in 1995, and returned to along with vocalist Corey Taylor, during its revival in 2002, and left in 2014. Prior to joining Slipknot, he worked as a screen printer, waiter, and busboy.
Root joined Slipknot in January 1999, replacing their original guitarist, Josh Brainard, who left the band during the recording of their self-titled album, reportedly after having fulfilled his recording duties. In fact, the only two songs Root recorded during the album's sessions were "Purity" and "Me Inside", the former being featured on the short-lived first pressing of Slipknot as well as the 10th Anniversary Edition, and the latter being its replacement. Despite this, the song has become a staple for most of the band's live performances. Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor invited Root to join the band based on Taylor's past experiences working with him in Stone Sour.
Although filling in the spot of rhythm guitar in 1999, Root is considered to be one of the band's main songwriters and has written lead guitar parts for Slipknot's later albums particularly on All Hope is Gone. Root typically performed lead guitar in Stone Sour, although he sometimes played rhythm. He has spoken of both bands' guitar style as being twin guitar: "In both bands, I fulfill both roles. In Slipknot, Mick [Thomson] has some solos, and in Stone Sour, Josh [Rand] has some solos." During the recording of Stone Sour's Audio Secrecy, he and Rand recorded their parts simultaneously.
Outside Slipknot and Stone Sour, Root has appeared on Slipknot turntablist Sid Wilson's DJ Starscream album The New Leader and John 5's The Devil Knows My Name, for the song "Black Widow of La Porte", and also appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing the solo and harmony guitars on "Tired 'N Lonely" from the project's album The All-Star Sessions. He also appeared on Jonathan Davis and the SFA´s cover of Lil Wayne´s "Got Money".
Root has been in a relationship with Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia since 2004. This is seen on both their social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. He currently owns a home in Atlantic Beach, Florida.
On 17th May 2014, Stone Sour released an official statement saying that Root was no longer a member of the band.
Root has rarely been seen singing backup vocals. He sang in "Get Inside", "Inhale" and "Last of the Real".
When James first joined Slipknot, he adopted ex-guitarist Josh Brainard 's mask. It was a black bondage mask that covered most of his head. He had purple hair at the time and used to pull parts of it up through a hole in the top of the mask. After a couple of shows and one photoshoot, he decided to change masks, as the bondage mask was too uncomfortable to allow him to concentrate on playing. He adopted a jester's mask, said to represent that side of his personality. His All Hope Is Gone mask is a variation of his Vol.3 mask. It is still a jester's mask, but this one has a black diamond detailing around the eyes instead of red and a zipper in between the lips. His .5 mask has much bigger dark red diamondlike scars and an open space for his beard. His WANYK mask is similar, but the paint around the eyes has changed.
In July 2007, Fender released the Jim Root Telecaster. Prior to his endorsement deal with Fender, Root had been seen using PRS, Jackson, Charvel, and Maverick electric guitars, and Guild and Martin acoustic guitars as well as a wide range of effect pedals and amplifiers. In a 2009 performance for Eurockeennes, Jim used a Gibson Flying V.
In January 2010, a Jim Root Signature Fender Stratocaster was unveiled on the Fender website, similar to the one he has been seen using on stage, as of March 2009. In 2012, Orange announced a new signature Tiny Terror amp based on their Rockerverb 100, Root's main amp, called the #4. Then, the Squier Telecaster signature model was released, similar to the first Fender Telecaster Jim Root signature. The white model comes with a black pickguard and the black model comes with a white pickguard. Both Squier's have a maple neck and rosewood fretboard (22 frets). Jim's signature Squier's do not contain EMG 81 and EMG 60, instead containing Covered Passive Humbucking Pickups (Neck and Bridge).
The Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster was unveiled at NAMM 2014. It has the same specs as the Jim Root Stratocaster. It only comes in flat black with an ebony fretboard.
- Root is 6'6" feet tall.
- His natural hair color is sandy blonde.
- Previous to Slipknot, Root was in the bands Dead Front and Atomic Opera.
- He is a smoker.
- When Jim joined the band, he had an "∀" on his jumpsuit, before officially receiving the #4.
|Current Members:|| #6 Shawn "Clown" Crahan • #5 Craig "133" Jones • #7 Mick Thomson • #8 Corey Taylor • #0 Sid Wilson • #4 Jim Root • Alessandro Venturella • Jay Weinberg|
Live only: New Guy
|Former Members:|| Donnie Steele • Anders Colsefni • #3 Greg "Cuddles" Welts • #4 Josh "Gnar" Brainard • #2 Paul Gray • #1 Joey Jordison • #3 Chris Fehn|
Live only: #3 Brandon Darner