Slipknot has long had a signature look (guys who got a great package deal at Spirit Halloween Superstore) and a signature sound (freshman year of high school), and now it’s developing a complementary signature smell. As Rolling Stone reports, the masked metal group’s annual Knotfest will be the first rock festival to have its own official odor: the smell of burning shit.
As visitors to Knotfest spend three days rocking out to Danzig, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death, Fear Factory, Prong, and the like—while also taking in a goat petting zoo, a drum circle on junked cars, and “a Mad Max-style Thunderdome with nightly fights”—that experience will be both enhanced and mirrored by oil drums “filled with camel shit… set aflame to last the entire festival,” according to the press release. “Personally picked by Slipknot themselves,” that release guarantees, “the smell of Knotfest will permeate the festival grounds,” while it also promises it will “infest your brain, body, and clothes for days after the festival is over,” and everyone back at Subway will just have to deal with it.
Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan tells Rolling Stone that the smell of shit actually has a long association with the nu-metal band, saying it first discovered the sensual properties of camel dung at its original Knotfest. “You can’t huff it, but it’s got this smell. And it’s not necessarily the most comfortable thing, but it’s not necessarily the worst thing, it’s just remembering thoughts,” Crahan said, his words a sort of camel dung for the eyes.
Crahan hopes this sort of olfactory sense memory, so evocatively captured in Marcel Proust’s Just Remembering Thoughts, will linger for years to come. “I figure, since we’re not a band anymore—we’re a culture, everybody needs to get used to that real quick—that the culture has to have a smell,” Crahan says of the necessities demanded by the humanities. “You have to be able to be somewhere in the world, maybe be in a little pain, and then all of a sudden smell that and feel good again.” And now anyone who’s been shot in a desert next to a shitting camel will instantly be transported back to Knotfest, and things won’t seem so bad.