Slipknot Wiki

Michael Shawn Crahan (born September 24, 1969) is a percussionist in Slipknot. He uses a set of deeply tuned toms (drums). He has a height of 5'7". According to Slipknot, he was one of the first band members to wear a mask (he had an old clown mask). He found his mask sitting lonely in a shop one day and he decided "it was right" afterwards, the rest of the band's members started wearing masks.


Films career

In July 2013 Crahan made his directing debut with a graphic novel Officer Downe, written by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham. Casey wrote the script and Skip Williamson and Mark Neveldine produced the film.


In 1993, Crahan formed a metal band known as "The Pale Ones" with fellow musician Paul Gray, which featured himself as the band's drummer. Wanting to expand the band's percussion section, Crahan brought in Joey Jordison to fill in as drummer while Crahan's efforts were focused on custom percussion, giving the band a distinct sound. In 1996, they released a song known as Slipknot, and through Joey's suggestion, the band changed their name to Slipknot and released their first official album. This album would later become known to the band as their demo. Crahan felt that the original vocalist for Slipknot was too guttural, and was the primary reason for Slipknot's inability to get a record deal. He brought in Corey Taylor from another local band called Stone Sour, whose vocals were more melodic. Slipknot got a record deal a couple years later and released their first official album in 1999. Slipknot gained major notability the same year by touring with Ozzfest. In Slipknot's early years, Crahan brought several dead pig heads on stage.

As well as lending his percussion talents to the band, Crahan has also sung backing vocals on a number of songs Slipknot has both recorded and performed live. He also wrote the original draft of "Tattered & Torn", which originally appeared on the band's first album, Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. which featured the original singer of Slipknot before Corey Taylor was brought in as a replacement. This album has since been considered a demo by the band, and their 1999 self-titled album is now considered their first actual album. A second version of Tattered & Torn was released on their self-titled album, and is the version that most people know.

Outside Slipknot, Crahan has founded Big Orange Clown Records, a vanity label within Sanctuary Records, which has so far signed the metalcore band Gizmachi. He also acted as director for, and assembled Slipknot's 2005 DVD, Voliminal: Inside the Nine, while the band engaged a brief hiatus.

He also performed with To My Surprise, recording guitar and vocals for the band's self-titled debut album. The band received little interest due to their album being released amidst the success of Slipknot members Corey Taylor, James Root and Joey Jordison's side projects, Stone Sour and the Murderdolls, respectively. To My Surprise was later dropped by Roadrunner Records. In 2007, Crahan began performing as drummer for Dirty Little Rabbits. The band was a supporting act for Stone Sour during their North American tour in Summer 2007, and have released one EP, titled Breeding. They have since signed a deal with The End Records as of November, 2008.

In 2009 he contributed to Bring Me the Horizon's remix album, Suicide Season: Cut Up!, by remixing the track "Sleep With One Eye Open". Also in 2009 Shawn remixed a Suicide Silence track on their Wake Up EP entitled "Wake Up (Clown of Slipknot Remix)". In 2010, he contributed to Escape the Fate's This War Is Ours deluxe edition, by remixing the track "This War Is Ours (The Guillotine Part II)" and in 2011 he remixed "Angels of Clarity" for Dead by April on their compilation album "Stronger". Crahan has confirmed the formation of a brand new side project called The Black Dots of Death who released their debut studio album Ever Since We Were Children on March 28, 2011. He is the director of many of Slipknot's music videos, DVDs and other artistic projects. He also directed the 'We Are' videoclip from the band Hollywood Undead.

Crahan generally wears clown-style masks while performing with Slipknot, however on occasion, when performing the band's song "Vermilion", all band members will wear their own death masks instead.

He also features as the carny "Tamer" in The Devil's Carnival, a short film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman to be screened on tour beginning in April, 2012.

Influence on Slipknot

Crahan has been credited with several things that Slipknot is known for, such as their masks. Crahan began wearing a clown mask to rehearsals as a joke when the band was still fairly unknown, spawning the mask theme that the band is known for today. He is also credited with coining the term "maggots" to describe Slipknot's fans, stating that as maggots feed off of dead flesh, the youth that make up the majority of Slipknot's fan-base feed off of the dead flesh of society.

Crahan has had several masks throughout his career with Slipknot, all of which are clown themed except for his "death mask", which was used in the video for the song "Vermillion". Crahan's earliest known mask and perhaps his most referenced one is one that he used during Slipknot's earliest self-titled album which is a happy looking clown mask, balding with long orange hair.


Shawn was an executive producer for the Mudvayne album L.D. 50 as well as the 40 Below Summer album Invitation to the Dance. He has also made a brief appearance in the American Head Charge music video for "Just So You Know" and remixed one of their tracks for the Just So You Know single release.


Recently, Crahan has announced that he will be working on a documentary which tackles eating disorders. He has since recruited volunteer interviewees by announcing his intentions for the documentary on Facebook.

Personal life

Crahan was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1969, Crahan mentioned in an interview at a college that he attended private schools as a child and "never learned to share" because he never had any siblings. He majored in Creative Writing. Crahan's first band was "Modifidius", which he was a member with former Slipknot member Joey Jordison. He also once performed in bands such as "Heads on the Wall" & "One Cup of Fat" before forming "The Pale Ones", which would later become known as Slipknot. Crahan married his wife Chantel in June 1992, in Des Moines, Iowa. They now have four children; Alexandria, Gage, Gabrielle, and Simon. Crahan is also a filmographer and photographer, having published a Slipknot photo album "The Apocalyptic Nightmare" in 2012. In 2012, he also made his debut acting appearance in the film "The Devil's Carnival".

Crahan has stated that he likes animals and owns three cats. However, in an interview at the 2013 Download Festival, he stated that he is afraid of koalas.

Crahan says he had a happy youth. His parents financed Slipknot in the early days and he professes nothing but the utmost respect for them. In the early '90s, he had a drinking problem, exacerbated when he bought a Des Moines bar, "The Safari". Frustrated by the lack of success, he says he would have killed himself if he hadn't met his wife Chantal. "My savior, my hero," he says. "She saved my life." - Q Magazine.

Because Shawn has a background in welding, his drum set, which was made by Dunnet Classic Drums, is made of titanium, with an empty beer keg thrown in for variety in the percussion. He is also one of the co-founders of Slipknot with Paul Gray #2 and Anders Coselfini. Shawn does most of the interviews and also ran which no longer exists. In 2003, Shawn changed his mask along with the rest of the band. He has fought Sid Wilson in some live concerts, as seen in the "Spit it Out" video. They are not enemies but have been described as having a brother-like relationship - only play fighting in order to get the adrenaline needed for shows. In a current Revolver interview where Shawn talks about Voliminal: Inside the Nine, it shows a picture where he is sitting at an oranged shell Ludwig 5 piece drumset.


Quote - "I've wanted to be a clown because there's something nice about me, and something pretty twisted as well. If someone stares at me on my way to the stage, I don't get up until they look away first."

"I am on a world-domination mission. Slipknot isn't just an average band. It's not just music. It's a way of life and it's the real way of life. When I go on-stage, the rock'n'roll cliché can go die. There's no place for that anymore. My whole deal is, when we've reached everyone and everyone understands, I'm gone. I'm out. I've done it." - Shawn Crahan (Clown masked Percussionist and founding father (#6). Shawn had a clown's mask that he found around 15 years ago. MEANING: "I'm going to fucking kill every motherfucker here! What was the question? The mask? IT represents my death."




Replica Masks



  • At Grammy Awards 2006, Slipknot was being reported and the reporter makes fun of him because of his mask and relevance to Ronald McDonald, but when the reporter asked: "If there was a heavy metal song about me, what will it be called?" Shawn Crahan strikes back by saying: "Jackass." The reporter then asked: "What will be the lyrics?" Shawn Crahan responded: "You're a jackass." Which embarrassed the reporter.
  • Shawn once rented a Barney the Dinosaur costume, and wore it during a show back in '96 (or '97)
Current Members: #6 Shawn "Clown" Crahan • #5 Craig "133" Jones • #7 Mick Thomson • #8 Corey Taylor • #0 Sid Wilson • #4 Jim Root • (V) Alex Venturella • (J) Jay WeinbergMichael Pfaff
Former Members: Donnie SteeleAnders Colsefni • #3 Greg "Cuddles" Welts • #4 Josh "Gnar" Brainard • #2 Paul Gray • #1 Joey Jordison • #3 Chris FehnKun Nong
Live only: The Mystery Guy • #3 Brandon Darner