XIX

Album: .5: The Gray Chapter (2014)

Songfacts®:

  • The title of .5: The Gray Chapter and many of its songs concern Slipknot's founder bassist Paul Gray, who accidentally overdosed in 2010. This is the album's opening track, which was constructed by percussionist Shawn Crahan as an eulogy for their fallen friend. The drummer admitted to Rolling Stone that when he first heard the lyrics that frontman Corey Taylor wrote to accompany his instrumentation, they drove him to tears. "I don't usually let people see me cry," he said. "It's too hard. But when I heard what Corey Taylor sang on the song 'XIX,' I cried and cried and cried. It hurt so bad."
  • Corey Taylor explained the song's title to Kerrang!: "It's pronounced 'XX,' but it's supposed to represent a couple of different things," he said. "It's the 19th year of the band's existence, and it's also a metaphor for stage two, because track one on the Iowa album was '515,' and this is XIX, So in Roman numerals it's almost like a double of that. So it represents a new start, and seeing where the road leads to."

    Taylor added: "Lyrically, it's really about getting back up on your feet after getting smashed in the mouth, basically. It's just kind of the start of, you know, what would become to me the second stage of the band's career."
  • Corey Taylor told Kerrang!: "What you hear on the record is what we did on the very first demo. It's all me, all raw, in one take, the first time we recorded it."
  • The voice at the beginning of this song isn't Corey Taylor, it's Shawn Crahan.
  • The bagpipe-like noise at the beginning of this song is actually an old synth. It's a piece of music that Shawn Crahan wrote.

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