A roaring riff tears through the speakers, the bass pounds the amp and the percussion draws out a tempo to set a trashing rhythm. Meanwhile, the screaming from a masked man entices the visage of a roaring crowd, his words dark yet powerful. Only the dulling of the synthetic ambience calms the crowd. With their fists in the air, the bridge for the next song proceeds and the torrential onslaught of a musical endeavor begins yet again.
In terms of appearance and appeal, two musical bands in particular share the same cake: Mushroomhead and Slipknot. Their methods of destroying a stage or amusing their audience are the ideas that widely destine them to be many worlds apart. Despite their profoundly analogous looks and their defiantly heavy music, they each create a scale of intensity unmatched by any other.
Mushroomhead and Slipknot once had a fan-defined “feud” that entailed Mushroomhead copying Slipknot and vice versa. The feud gave them more motivation to be different, and carve their names amongst the wreckage they created. The arguments that arose about which band was “better” had divided their similarities. This lengthened the gap in their fan base, and truly defined the differences between them.
First of all, Mushroomhead and Slipknot use fairly different instrumentation. Mushroomhead has three forms of percussion; one standard drum set, and two sets of water drums. Not all of their songs utilize the additional drums, but when they are used the effect is quite strong. In addition, Mushroomhead uses dual vocalists. With two different voices raging, they can master a variety of sounds. To add a touch of synthetic ambience or playful tones, Mushroomhead uses a keyboard. With it, they make sounds that vary from monstrous sawing noises to upbeat 1900’s saloon pianism. Slipknot, however, takes a different approach. Slipknot, instead of multiple water drums, employs the use of kegs and snare drums to match their brutal sound; those instruments provide a dense sound that compliments their lyrical assult. Their vocals also have more consistency throughout their songs than Mushroomhead does. With only one singer, the brutality commonly heard in their songs remains alive. Unlike Mushroomhead, Slipknot uses a DJ to acquire their astounding synthetic sounds. This works best for their fast-paced and brutal songs.
Secondly, Mushroomhead and Slipknot have much different looking costumes. Mushroomhead, like Slipknot, uses masks. Their masks, however, are more centralized around one theme with more consistency. Mushroomhead’s masks follow a deranged appearance, mostly based around their logo, “X-Face.” In terms of clothing, they typically wear black formal clothing with ties and such. Despite what they wear, it looks frightening and dark. In the beginning of their protracted trek, Mushroomhead used to have dancers. Over time, though, they’ve limited their use of dancers while performing. Slipknot also uses masks. Their masks are spread out in creativity; rather than using similar or consistent masks, they are diverse based off of each member’s character and preference. Slipknot also wears similar clothing in their acts, but in a different form. Without formal-looking apparel, Slipknot struts around the stage with the same jumpsuits, with a pentagram patch and their band “number” plastered on their sleeves. They match their dominating visage with a scheme of nightmarish manifestation.
In addition to their costumes, Mushroomhead and Slipknot have dissimilar aliases in their bands respectively. Mushroomhead’s members tend to have “nicknames” that branch off of their legal name, or not have one at all. They simply found derivatives of their names, and thusly they are known. Their names also seem to have different connotations from their interests or personalities and even in relation to their costume. For example, Jack Kilcoyne, Mushroomhead’s eccentric bassist who wears a pig mask, goes by the name “Pig Benis.” Despite the crude play on spelling, his nickname fits his costume. Slipknot’s members take a simpler approach to on-stage aliases. Each member has one single-digit number ranging from zero to eight. Through the years as of late, however, they have tended to go by their first names while still wearing their number like a badge. Instead of going by a number, they are putting their names out in the world, unlike Mushroomhead who desire to be famous by the mask and not the face underneath.
Through it all, the simple and minor differences between Mushroomhead and Slipknot are what truly draw their fans’ attention. Their sounds, names, and appearances are ultimately the threshold that started an aggressive war amongst fans of each band. Time has healed the tension between them, but their unique songs, aliases and visuals remain just as different as they once were years prior.