The Negative One

Album: .5: The Gray Chapter (2014)
Charted: 71

Songfacts®:

  • The first song to be released by Slipknot, following the death of bassist Paul Gray in 2010 and the departure of drummer Joey Jordison in 2013, this finds Corey Taylor shouting/screaming:

    The Lord of Lies
    You had to be set free
    Opposing sides
    Your choices are the negative one and me
    .

    It has been speculated that the lyrics are about Jordison, who was assigned "1" as his numbered alias shortly after Slipknot's formation. Speaking to Metal Hammer, Corey Taylor put the argument to rest, denying Jordison was the singer's muse for the song. "'The Negative One' was about me, not about Joey, and that's why the song says, 'Your choices are the negative one and me,' which is the two kind of colliding together," he said. "'The Devil In I' is the same, which you'd think would be f---ing apparent."

    "We all have so many different sides to ourselves, but especially with this band," Taylor added. "When we get together, there's something about the music we make that really unleashes the crazy, dark s--t inside of us. And that song in particular is about, basically, embracing it again, giving into it and letting it have its say. Because if you don't, then you sit on it and you repress and it blows up in really negative ways. So, that song is about freeing it."
  • The song's music video was directed by percussionist Shawn Crahan with Darren Craig (Rihanna's "What Now"). Crahan has helmed most of Slipknot's music videos and concert documentaries.
  • Taylor told Rolling Stone says the song is about himself coming to terms with the loss of Paul Gray, which left him with a feeling of powerlessness. "It's about, 'Why didn't I think of something?'" he said. "'Why didn't I do something? Why didn't I try to be a better friend, to be a better brother?' You'll keep yourself awake nights thinking that s--t. You have to turn on yourself and go, 'You can mourn this person. You can keep this person in your heart, but life is life. It's just something that you can't control.'"

Comments: 3

  • Anonymous from Vancouver WaThis is my fave Slipknot song honestly, I understand that conflict with yourself so much, I live it day to day (unfortunatly). Its so hard to forget that stupid s*** you do or the things you should have done and it haunts you like another person staring you down with their hand around your throat... Slipknot ROCKS!
  • Omega-man from U.s.This is just my own opinion about the song. After reading the lyrics, and watching the video, about a million times since I first heard the song. I personally think that its a song to someone Slipknot is pissed off at. The word Svengali means enemy, the morning star, and the lord of lies is referred to as the devil in many text. ".....and when you die, you see my face?" that does not even make sense to the meaning of what Corey Taylor. Who cares really? I just look at it as a very hateful song towards someone. I love it!
  • Dillon from Bloomington, Indiana Wow, no comments on this song? :/
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