0.) When did you start playing guitar and what were your musical influences growing up?
I started around age 12-13. Biggest influences are Kiss, Slayer.
0.1) Was school a time you enjoyed? What sort of student were you?
I was kind of a loner in school. I never really got to know anybody that well in school. I was in Vexx with Anders and Paul at this point, and those were the only people I really hung out with. I did what I had to to get by, not straight A’s by any means.
1.) Explain how you got involved with Slipknot, and what were the band’s initial aims?
Joey had been playing with them for about a month before he called me. We had already played together in Modifidious for about three years, and he thought it would be a good move to bring me in. The band’s initial aims (and what it still is) were to create something that the world has never seen, and probably will never again. We really sensed that people were ready for a show, not just guys playing some music.
2.) How did the masks come about and did it take long for it to catch on with the rest of the band?
One of the fist questions they asked me was whether I was willing to wear a mask or not. My favorite band being Kiss, of course I said ‘FUCK YEAH!!!’. We actually had a bunch of different masks around our rehearsal place, we would often trade and wear different masks. I think mine started when I wore a ski mask stocking cap to practice one night. We were playing and I just pulled it down.
3.) Each member brings a distinct sound and background to Slipknot. What style did Josh Brainard bring to the mix?
My role shifted a bit in the band from the time I first came. Initially, I was sort of icing on the cake. I could sing foremost, and I think I definitely added a touch of melody to the earlier tunes. my guitar work in the early days was mostly noise and wah pedal stuff over the top of what was already there. Later on, Mick really took on the noise and effects aspect. I began to take on more of a rhythm guitar role. Most of my stuff you would only notice if it WASN’T there.
4.) What was the recording process like with Slipknot and did you have much previous experience recording?
To tell you the truth, it wasn’t that weird. We had all played together and recorded things together before. We had all done demos on four tracks, things of that nature previous to MFKR, but I don’t think any of us had ever been in an elaborate studio like that before.
5.) Where’s the story behind the “SHIT VIDEO”, and “CROWS”?
Which one do you mean? I think the crows thing as something that a friend of the band had recorded on a spoken word tape. He said the word and we just started saying it. I don’t know.
6.) After working with Vanilla Ice and seeing how he was exploited by the record industry, can you see Roadrunner doing the same thing – in reference to the second digi-pack release?
I can’t really speak to that intelligently at this point. I can say that Roadrunner has never had a band like this before, so who knows. I did hear a pretty watered-down version of “Wait and Bleed” on the radio the other day.
7.) What is in store for Josh Brainard in the future? Will you stick straight to the guitar or vocals as well?
I haven’t sung much (since modifidious) until lately, and I am really digging it. (although my style now is much harder; more flow) We (Undone) always said that if it didn’t work out with me singing and playing that we would find someone, but I think it is going rather well.
8.) Do you feel that the old bondage mask is still a part of you with respects to your perceived image?
Yes, I think it is, and that’s a big reason why it didn’t work for Jim. That just wasn’t his personality. That’s why the mask always made him sick. It was similar to a body rejecting an organ transplant.
9.) Not many people know (but they will) that you recorded 18 tracks of “Slipknot”. Is this disappointing after the work you put in to the album?
Not at all. Some of the best times of my life were recording that record. Those guys are all my best friends, and they always will be, because we shared that experience. The coolest thing was walking into a show about a year ago, and seeing 5000 kids with my picture on their T-shirt (the album cover photo is me, the rest of the photos in the sleeve are not). THAT was a trip. I am honored to be a part of it all.
10.) As we all know the rumor why Josh left Slipknot is bullshit. How supportive are family and friends in your career?
They’ve all been very supportive. I was always encouraged to play, even from a young age. Thank god they saw that I had the gift. As for the rumor, yeah it sucks. Like I said before, that was an easy way for somebody to explain it away when they didn’t have the answer. But some of it could probably be attributed to the media as well. Anders told me about something he read that said he was gay, and that’s why he left the band. Come on, man.
I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W – part2
11.) How did you get hooked up with Vanilla ice and was it strange seeing how much he has changed musically since his “Ice , Ice baby” days – and also your involvement with the project.
It was actually Slipknot’s producer, Ross Robinson who got me hooked up with Ice. He and I have stayed in touched since I worked on the record; he also called on me in the summer of 99′ to do a little two song thing with Sticky Fingaz of ONYX, which Corey(#8) did guest vocals on strangely enough. Anyhoo, the musical change didn’t weird me out as much as him personally. I expected the guy I saw on MTV; cocky, full of himself, whatever….. couldn’t be farther from the truth. He is one of the coolest people I have ever had the pleasure of associating with. Jsin(former Undone bass player) Roy (former Soulfly drummer) wrote and recorded three songs for the new ‘Skabs’ record.
12.) Looking back at your days with slipknot there is an extreme change in paths immediatley after Andy left, it was almost like a re birth in some respects , how and why did this come about and do you miss the old days?
Anders leaving kind of lit a fire under Slipknot in some ways. New Singer, new percussionist, new look, all in a matter of about a month. (It was shortly after Andy left that we adopted the coveralls) As I recall, we did not want Andy to leave the band; he was a talented percussionist as well as a growler my favorite of all time in that style by the way), but Anders doesn’t take a backseat to anyone or anything. He is a front man. Period. I do miss the old days sometimes. I did have fun being in Slipknot for three and a half years, though it was hard work. Having to work for a living made it hard keeping up with those in the band that didn’t I loved the shows and the fans…. that’s what made it pay off for me.
13.) To all those that don’t know about your new band “Undone” can you tell us a little bit about the band and your plans for 2001.
Undone is a trio…. guitar and vocals for me, a very talented and sexy drummer named Chuck, and our newbie bass man, Scott. (Every time I say his name, I put my pinky up to my lip, and do the Dr. Evil voice). We also trigger synth and samples with a computer. Not to categorize or label, but our sound could be described as Machine Head meets Nine Inch Nails. Heavy guitar and vocals with elements of electronica. I know that there are bands out there similar, but they aren’t going quite where we are headed. Besides, we’re better than all of them. (that was a joke) Plans for 2001???? Uhhhh……. world domination. We want to play as much as possible. We have a new bass player, the website is up; it’s a new campaign. We plan to do some recording towards the end of March, but we’ll see how everything goes. If I have learned anything about the industry it is this: It doesn’t adhere to deadlines or timeframes- However long you think something is going to take….. multiply that by three.
14.) What was the craziest thing that went down in the band and what was it like recording self titled when compared to MFKR?
Craziest thing that went down in the band……. I don’t think that’s appropriate to talk about. Recording the two records was like night and day. SR was very sterile and clean, just had no vibe to it at all. I was always afraid of breaking stuff, or that I smelled to bad too be there or something. Just wasn’t how I got my game on. Indigo was insanely cool. Old school recording equipment and techniques, in the middle of nowhere, with Ross producing, just leads to evil. Ross has a way of pulling the best out of anyone he works with; ask around. He would throw shit, slam into you in the middle of a take, just to get you into it. He actually is right there breathing down your neck when you track…. the first producer I have ever seen to do it that way.
15.) Your position in the band shifted a lot from the time that you entered the band to the time when slipknot reached 9 members , given this does a member have a greater say in what goes on given length of time in a band or were decisions based on majority rules. On this point were you involved greater in song writing later in your time in the band?
I think senority has its merits in any situation. Any time a person has vested so much time into achieving a goal with you, you are more likely to side with that person. Yes, in most bands majority rules, but I am hard pressed to think of a time that it came to that. Common sense rules.