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Social Distancing With Clown From Slipknot: Poison Ivy, Blue Jays and Grief

“Instead of being in a house and in an office, on a plane, on a stage in a bus, blah, blah, blah, blah, right now I’m watching a blue jay get into some peanut butter”

Slipknot's Clown is currently self-isolating at his home in Iowa.

Amy Harris/Invision/AP/Shutterst

As the world fights a pandemic, we reached out to some of our favorite artists with a few quarantine questions about these unprecedented times. Slipknot’s Clown is currently self-isolating at his home in Iowa as the band promotes their new whiskey, Slipknot No. 9 Iowa Whiskey Reserve, and takes a break from the road. Here’s what he had to say in between cutting brush and building bird feeders.

What are you doing with your unexpected time at home?
I think I’m going inward more than anything. I have several pet peeves: one of them is wasting food and another one is litter. I spend a lot of time thinking about the humans who are cold, hungry and have nowhere to live. We see it all the time, but now it’s on another level. Yeah. So, I’m spending a lot of time trying to go inward, trying to remember how blessed I am. I have a great family. You couldn’t ask for more than that.

I’m trying to feel the heartbeat and pay attention. … So I’m trying to be manual. I’m doing nothing but manual work. … I’ve been reflecting on my daughter’s [Gabrielle Crahan’s] death… I’ve had a lot of deaths in a short amount of time and my therapist and I agree that I’ve never really had any time to really grieve these people that mean so much to me.

I lost my daughter less than a year ago. It’s coming up on a year anniversary. Sorry to bring it up, but it’s real. And the only way that I can get through it is to speak about it now. I haven’t been, but the anniversary of it is next month. And quite honestly, I’m preparing myself. I’m out here with survival gear. I think everybody would laugh at the Clown — be like, ‘Look at this guy.’ You know, I FaceTimed my manager one day and he was like, ‘What the hell?’

You know, I saw Castaway about right when it came out and it changed my whole life. I worry about stuff like that. It doesn’t necessarily have to be an island, man. You could be stuck in Queens for a night or some weird obscure town in Iowa. You just would freak out. I made fire five days ago for the first time in my life [with a knife and kindling]. It was a challenge. It was not easy. … It’s like the beginning steps of survival, which I’m very interested in. Not because of what we’re going through, but more of a personal journey of understanding.

Instead of being in a house and in an office, on a plane, on a stage in a bus, blah, blah, blah, blah, right now I’m watching a blue jay get into some peanut butter. [I put together a bird feeder the other day.] For me, it’s all about opening the box and reading the directions, following through and actually succeeding. And right now I’m watching a bird. I hauled the merchandise, I put it together, I hung it, I read it, and now there is a bird and I’m just like, ‘Oh, my God.’ It’s pretty cool, you know? Hopefully everyone’s got stuff like that.

What music do you turn to in times of crisis for solace and comfort, and why?
I have always explained to people that music is the only God that I’ve really experienced. It’s the only thing that’s always been there. Never asked questions, never denied me. I don’t even need to hear it to have it. It’s in my head. I hear it in birds, insects.

So since this all started, I have spent half a day outside with no music and I listened to the Earth’s music — because there’s a lot of it. And then it gets interrupted with sirens and a bunch of bullshit and you know, then, well, it’s time for some music. So I’ve been starting at the beginning of an artist’s catalog. So the other day, I went to the Who, which is a band that I’ve loved since I was a young man.

I’m trying to learn more about classical; it finally hit me about five years ago. So I’m really trying to understand the movements and trying to educate myself more on jazz as well. I’ve been playing jazz personally since college, so I’m having more of a grip on that. I’m not like some profound jazz player or anything like that, but I dabble because I love it and it’s a good time. And then John Carpenter — I’ve been going through his scores while cutting down honeysuckle because it’s trying to choke out my maple.

Anything else you want to say to your fans right now?
Hey, everybody; I love you. You know, I love each and every one of you as I’m sure you love me. … Obviously it’s being said, we have to be safe. So knowledge is a gift. It’s something you give, and that’s something that’s being given to us. So you must take it seriously.

But we also must remember that there are plenty of crazy things from influenza to malaria to random acts of circumstantial events that take people’s lives every day. So with that said, it just means we use those skills that hopefully our parents and the people around us gave us when we were young. You know, wash your hands, don’t wipe your nose, blow your nose, take out the trash, wash your hands again. Don’t make out with this girl — she’s got a cold.

There are the tragedies, you know, and, I guess I want to spend more time talking about the positive potential in our world. And that’s why I say: I just love everyone. Hope everyone’s cool. We’re going to get through this.