About a month ago, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor unveiled to the world the new mask he'd be rocking from now on - which was met with mixed reactions from fans.
Some love it, some hate it, and many have taken the piss out of it - this being the most viral example:
Which we get, it's pretty funny.
But one Slipknot reddit poster has explained the meaning behind the mask, what it represents, and also their huge emotional connection to it - and after reading it, it's pretty bloody incredible.
The complete post can be read here or below, but the tl;dr version is: Corey's new mask is very similar to a mask that people who suffer third degree face burns have to wear to assist in the healing, by reducing swelling and preventing further injury to the scar tissue.
But moreso than the physical comparisons to the mask, it's the symbolic meaning behind it.
Which makes it fucking awesome, actually.
Here's the full post:
I dont know if this has been pointed out yet, my apologies if so. Ive been seeing the back and forth on his new mask, some love it, some dont. I get it. its not catchy or scary enough. Its Slipknot, its supposed to be next level visually unpleasant to the average person and what not. I personally love it for reasons i have not noticed pointed out by others yet. Coreys mask is a REALLY close comparason to a mask i had to wear for almost 2 years called a TFO, a transparent facial orthosis.
when i was 5 i was in a house fire. i suffered 3rd degree burns to my head and face that required substantial skin grafts. well when you suffer massive burns to the face, you might be fitted with a transparent facial mask that is ment to compress the graft to prevent swelling and minimize scar tissue. that coupled together that my mom would coat the inside with aloe vera to prevent sticking and promote healing. Needless to say, i was not a pleasant thing to look at and boy did it make me all sorts of "popular" at school at that age.
the straps would dig into my head, it was uncomfortable around my nose, and it just generally hurt most of the time along with the compression shirts i had to wear for my shoulders, back and chest that was burned as well. i had 4 of the shirts. each one with the face of a ninja turtle badge on the front. it made it hurt less.
but i had to deal with it all if i hoped to be less ugly by the time i healed than without it, all the while having to deal with the massive amounts of shit i got for looking how i did with it on to the kids around the neighborhood. When the unsainted video came out and i saw coreys new mask. It wasnt terrifying but it was a massive "right in the feels" moment for me.
all of it. the shirt i was wearing melted to my body. all my hair gone. looking down at my pink and black skin peeling arms. the cold compression of the towels the EMS guys put on me. wanting to sleep but they wouldnt let me. the debriding, ooof the debriding. the surgery. the first night home. the shirts. the mask. the teasing, rock throwing, the exclusion. the freddy kruger references. the healing. the normalization. the self pity. the realization. the acceptance. the determination. the "not give a fuck". the friends. the self reliance.
Coreys mask may not be what some wanted, but to me its a massive image of character change and reformation. the breaking of a person and the steps required to be better. Its not scary but that mask, my mask, made me into a stronger self sovern bulletproof person than what i may have turned out to be before i had to put it on.
probably more than what one person should say on the subject, or more than one would want to read. But hell, i felt like someone should point that out.
After the post was made to reddit, it was sent to Corey Taylor who then confirmed via Twitter that the bloke was 100% on the money:
Pretty cool, huh.
Slipknot will be performing in NZ for two shows this October, in support of Metallica. Get your tickets now.