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SLIPKNOT Guitarist Jim Root: "We Don’t See A Penny Off Of Record Sales And We Never Have"

This one's a little hard to believe.

This one's a little hard to believe.

We've heard some sob stories before about music royalties. Fear Factory frontman Burton C. Bell calls his former label owner a Danish devilMetallica lament that they can't live off their royalties anymore and this eloquent rant from Randy Blythe of Lamb of God.

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But what I'm about to show you is truly shocking.

In a new interview with The Morning Call, Slipknot guitarist Jim Root claims that he's never seen any sort of royalties from the music that Slipknot has made:

“You don’t even know are we going to have a career. Are we going to be able to sell records? Are we going to have a label? I mean, labels are [shutting down] all the time. It takes like pop and rap to keep these labels going because those are the only people that are buying records anymore.

To have a No. 1 with 130,000 copies sold [the first-week sales of “.5: The Gray Chapter“] is, you know, I remember when we first started selling records, in order to have a No. 1, you’d have to sell at least a half a million if not more, for the rock side of things. And now it’s a fraction of that.

So it kind of really shows you the state of where everything’s at. I don’t put too much into that anyway because we don’t see a penny off of record sales and we never have. For us it’s all about touring.”

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I really hope that Root was exaggerating. Slipknot has sold a lot of records, not just by metal standards. Their albums have gone platinum. It's hard to believe that Slipknot, as a corporation, has not profited from these millions of album sales with direct royalty checks.

Where could that money be going? Could it be that a band with nine members has excessive spending for producing a record? Maybe their budgets to produce the records are so high that it takes really long to recoup the value. So while Root might not be seeing royalties after the albums come out, he's not complaining about the advances he gets before he even records the album is he? I bet they're very healthy. The band is collectively credited as writing all the material, so perhaps all the money goes into the corporation and then is divided amongst everybody along with other royalties such as touring and merch. Perhaps Root doesn't get a specified breakdown? It just doesn't make sense that the band haven't seen a literal penny from royalty sales. They are the biggest band on their label.

Ultimately, the music is just an informercial to see the band on tour, where they have no problems making serious bank. So don't cry a river for Jim Root, he's doing just fine.

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