Of course, there isn’t any better place to start the topic than with Mushroomhead, the Cleveland act that predated Slipknot by a few years as a heavy band with masks and way more than the conventional number of members. In a 2006 interview with Midwest Movement (via Blabbermouth), drummer Steve “Skinny” Felton accused Slipknot of compromising their ideals to get to where they were in the metal scene. “They sold out everyone they possibly could to get that check,” he said. “They traded a platinum record for dignity, honor and respect.”
Meanwhile, now-former vocalist Jeffrey Nothing (aka Jeffrey Hatrix) had some choice words to say a year later, referring to the Iowa-based band as “Roadrunner-invented clones of us,” as quoted by Metal Hammer. In Mushroomhead’s defense, it wasn’t like Slipknot didn’t fan the flames during the peak years of the two bands’ rivalry. Speaking to Revolver in 2018, late Slipknot bassist Paul Gray admitted he and guitarist Jim Root tried to punch some fans as they received a hostile reception during a 1999 show in Cleveland.
It seems the feud has died down, at least for Felton, who, at the 17-minute mark of his June 2020 appearance on the “Talk Toomey” podcast, admitted that Mushroomhead’s beef with Slipknot was much ado about nothing. “God bless them, they’re still one of the biggest bands out there, man,” the drummer said. “It proves that masked heavy metal and that style of entertainment is still relevant – it’s still very relevant.”