Before Slipknot made its third CD, Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, singer Corey Taylor was making no promises about the band's future.
In fact, he openly speculated that Slipknot might only make one more album, and that its nine members would hang up their scary masks and call it a career. Taylor worried that, if Slipknot stayed around too long, it would only become a weaker version of itself. He repeated that outlook in an MTV interview that preceded the making of All Hope is Gone, the studio CD Slipknot released last year.
But at least one member of the group has a whole different outlook on Slipknot and its future.
"I think we're going to overtake Metallica," percussionist Chris Fehn declares. "We're going to overtake any band that sells out soccer arenas in Europe. We're going to do it. We're the last chance, as far as the world goes."
Fehn doesn't offer any deep analysis about why he thinks Slipknot will become the biggest band in the world, but he pointed to his feeling that it's never been more popular.
All Hope is Gone was, in fact, the band's first No. 1 album, grabbing the top spot two weeks after its Aug. 26 release. That said, the group has yet to have a No. 1 single on any radio format, although the current single, "Dead Memories," has reached No. 6 on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock chart.
Musically, Fehn believes Slipknot has yet to peak.
"We haven't even made our Black record yet," Fehn says, referring to the 1991 Metallica CD that made Lars Ulrich and company the kings of the heavy metal scene. "Wait until we do that. It's over, dude."
Some will certainly strain to imagine Slipknot as the next Metallica, Bruce Springsteen or U2. But then again, Slipknot has already come further than many would have predicted.
The beginnings of the band stretch back to the mid '90s in Des Moines, Iowa, where drummer Joey Jordison, bassist Paul Gray and percussionist Shawn Crahan began working together. Eventually they were joined by Taylor, Fehn, guitarist Mick Thomson, guitarist Jim Root, sampler Craig Jones and DJ Sid Wilson. They made a 1999 self-titled release and 2001's Iowa before going on hiatus to pursue various projects. That outside activity raised questions about Slipknot's future, as did Taylor's one-more-album talk. But the band bounced back with the strong and popular Vol. 3.
Now All Hope is Gone may end up becoming its biggest album yet. Though still heavy, the melodic side of the band is more pronounced than ever. In particular, Taylor stretches out as a singer, delivering stirring vocal melodies on songs such as "Sulfur," "Vendetta" and "Dead Memories."
When they play Denver, they'll be less than a month into their headlining tour. Fehn promises fans can expect a typically all-out performance.
"We're going to play some really original, like, different kind of stuff," he insists. "We've got a great set put together. We've got four records now, so we've got a lot to choose from."