The years after Slipknot's 1996 debut demo album Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. were critical in their development. The band solidified their classic lineup with the addition of vocalist Corey Taylor, guitarist Jim Root, turntablist Sid Wilson, and longtime percussionist Chris Fehn, and began working on their now-legendary 1999 debut self-titled album.
Slipknot was released on June 29, 1999 through Roadrunner Records and would play what Corey Taylor considers to be a pivotal show at the Astoria in London on December 13. According to Taylor in an interview with Metal Hammer, the show is still talked about among fans and was the moment where Taylor realized that Slipknot was something bigger.
"We had a sense that something was happening was when we played the Astoria," said Taylor. "Coming from Des Moines, when do you think you're ever going to be able to play London, for fuck's sake? We were just wide-eyed: 'Oh fuuuuck.' We came out and it was packed and people were hanging from shit. I'd never seen anything like it.
"Everyone I meet, regardless of age, has said they were there. There's no fucking way, 'cos the capacity of the Astoria would have been 100,000 people [it was closer to 2,000], but I love the fact that show has become this legend people talk about."
Little did Taylor know that the Astoria show would only be the start of things. Slipknot would go on to sell 2 million copies in the United States alone and Slipknot would basically become an inescapable name for years to come in the metal world, despite the protestations of some within the community.