It is the band’s first new tune since 2019
Slipknot are back with a brand new single. On Friday the band unleashed “The Chapletown Rag,” their first new piece of music since their 2019 album We Are Not Your Kind. Stream the official visualizer below.
“‘The Chapeltown Rag,” if it existed as a newspaper, would be full of the gnarliest things going on in the world, and the nastiest things people were saying,” frontman Corey Taylor told Knotfest.com’s Dan Franklin.
Chapeltown is a suburb of the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. In the mid to late 1970s, it was the stalking ground of Peter Sutcliffe, the Yorkshire Ripper. Chapeltown was a picture of inner-city dereliction and decay. As Gordon Burn writes in his extraordinary book about the Ripper, ‘Somebody’s Husband, Somebody’s Son’, its places of worship had been converted into dens of iniquity, ‘where drugs, jewellery and sexual favours were indiscriminately bartered, wrangled over, sometimes even bought and sold.’
Sutcliffe’s first murder victim was Wilma McCann. A milkman found her body on the Prince Philip playing fields in Chapeltown at 7.41am on the morning of 30th October 1975. Corey learned about the area and its dark past in a documentary about the Yorkshire Ripper on Netflix. After he completed it, the algorithm recommended him another serial killer documentary, and then another. He was being led down a pathway, and it got him thinking.
“At that moment, everything was just kind of steering towards violence, or a history of violence,” says Corey. “And it was just such a weird echo of social media. And the fact that social media tries to steer you towards violence or steer you towards the most toxic thing – the most toxic moment. So I looked at it from that standpoint.”
The lead detective in the Yorkshire Ripper investigation, George Oldfield, pursued a mistaken hypothesis that the Ripper was only targeting prostitutes and “fallen” women. The media ran with it: the Ripper investigation soon became about the moral behaviour and lives of the victims, rather than the criminality of the murderer. Tragically, that is a song as old as time. There was also the intransigence of the investigators themselves when they started mistakenly pursuing someone who called in pretending to be the killer.
“They wasted all this time,” Taylor stated. “All this money, all these resources – all because they refused to be wrong. Now what does that sound like in this day and age?”
The song documents what happens when the distortions of mass media circulate within the echo chambers of social media. It’s frightening, it’s disheartening, and no-one seems to be able to stop what’s happening. ‘You can only recognize I’m afraid,’ Corey screams. This is the vulnerability at the heart of the song, which is otherwise full of righteous admonishment.
“It’s classic Slipknot,” Corey says of the track. “And it’s frenetic. But lyrically, it’s coming from a point of talking about the various manipulations that can happen when social media meets media itself. And the different ways that these manipulations can try to pull us in different directions, in the fact that we’re all becoming addicts to it, which is very, very dangerous.”
Corey stopped personally using all his social media two years ago because it had become so damaging and addictive to him. Now, he doesn’t even know the passwords.
“It’s such a different animal, social media – because there’s really nothing social about it.”
The band recently wrapped up their Knotfest Roadshow Tour with Killswitch Engage, FEVER 333, and Code Orange. Slipknot’s last album We Are Not Your Kind served as another landmark outing for the band. The LP peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. It also took the top spot in Australia, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, and the UK.
Slipknot will bring their Knotfest Roadshow to Banc of California Stadium tonight for a special performance with Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, FEVER 333, Code Orange, Vended, and The Cherry Bombs.