“I am living proof that you can defy the odds of your confines and make your dreams a reality..”
Words by Tyler Norman, Published by Massive Action Media
Last week, on Halloween, Slipknot suprise dropped a brand new song named “All Out Life” which has proven to be nothing short of a success from the get-go. Within 24 hours of the video release, the song broke the band’s YouTube viewership record for this time frame by racking up 3.4 million views. At the time of this writing, the video has clocked 10.2 million views, and counting. “All Out Life” is the first new music from Slipknot since 2014’s ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ – for which fans are clearly very hungry for – and which will appear on the band’s new album due out next year.
To catch a glimpse of what it was like behind-the-scenes of the release of Slipknot’s “All Out Life”, Massive Action Media connected with Tyler Norman – the human behind the mask appearing across the band’s new music campaigns. Read on for an intimate account of Tyler’s experience, and how this fan ended up becoming the “face” of Slipknot’s new music.
My name is Tyler Norman and I have become the “face” for the new era of Slipknot. Jesus H. Christ, that is a statement that I never thought I’d be making, yet here I am. Being a “nobody” that grew up in Looneyville, West Virginia (Yes, it’s a real town), Slipknot’s music always spoke to me on a very personal level. For me, art in its rawest form being created by nine masked “nobodies” from Iowa is exactly what I needed to help drive me to become all that I am today. It’s what drove me to uproot my life and move out west with only the belongings I could fit in my car. Ultimately, It’s what lead me to Slipknot’s doorstep after responding to a casting call for their latest music video, “All Out Life”.
I arrived early at the warehouse for the shoot to find over 200 of my Maggot brethren fans anxiously awaiting the day that laid ahead of us [for readers unfamiliar with the term, ‘Maggot’ was coined by Corey Taylor, Slipknot’s vocalist, during an interview to describe the appearance of the band’s writhing fans from the stage of a large show]. We were asked to show up wearing whatever we’d wear to work – whether it be scrubs, an apron, or in my case, a suit. Let me tell you this: none of us knew of the literal bloodbath we were getting ourselves into (I hope those Starbucks baristas were able to get a replacement uniform). We were all under the impression this was a video celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band’s self-titled album, all of the paperwork indicated as such, and because anthems such as “(Sic)” and “Surfacing” were played over the PA system duirng the recording. The only person who really knew what was going on was the man behind it all, Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan, who was directing that day.
Under Clown’s direction, we shot for nearly 10 hours, and, well, I’ll just let the video speak for the intensity of the experience. It was about halfway through the shoot, however, that I unknowingly became part of Slipknot history. I stepped out of the warehouse for a brief moment to get some fresh air, when a girl (who I believe to be Clown’s daughter) approached me and asked me to pose real quick. I did as I was instructed and that was it…or so I thought.
It was about halfway through the [10 hour] shoot, however, that I unknowingly became part of Slipknot history.
Weeks passed and the video was finally released – and let me tell you, the hype was REAL. No one was expecting a new single, especially not those of us that were at the shoot. I spent the first two hours of its release listening to the song on repeat and watching the video in slow-mo, getting all giddy every time I’d spot myself. Needless to say, I was satisfied, thinking nothing more would come from this.
Ears throbbing, I decided to take a break from the song to check Google News and gauge the public’s opinion of the new track. That’s when I saw it: a trending article by Pitchfork featuring the picture of ME from the shoot. I almost couldn’t believe it! Out of disbelief, I began scruitinizing the photo pouring over every little detail of this person – of myself. By the time I identified the rings I was wearing on the day of the shoot, reality began sinking in. It was true. From there, the image circulated more and more, hitting all the major Metal/Music outlets. It felt blissful, for sure, but it’s what happened next that made the world stop.
As I’m getting off work I decide to give the new song another go, so I search for Slipknot within Spotify, and that’s when I see it: that’s when I see myself staring right back at me. The picture from the set had become Slipknot’s Spotify profile picture. My visage, veiled as it may be, is now representing the band in this new era. I was silent, I was shaking, and I even cried a bit. It was one of those few beautiful moments where you feel like you “belong”. The kind of moments where the world around you, the late nights that kept you awake, the struggles, and the chances you decided to take all finally make sense. This moment belonged to me, and I was humbled.
It has now been about a week since all of this went down. The picture has circulated through all of the band’s promotional efforts and can even be found on the “About Me” of their official Facebook page. While it’s true that you can’t see my actual face, it certainly doesn’t deter from the excitement – simply knowing is enough for me. Slipknot has never been about the individual.
Over the past week, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I’ve received. I personally don’t believe I deserve this any more than any of my other Maggot brethren that were at the shoot that fateful day, but nevertheless I am honored and intend to make my Metal family proud. A lot of people have called me lucky, but I know that’s not necessarily the case – all of this happened for me because I believed in something. I took a chance and grabbed an opportunity. I am living proof that you can defy the odds of your confines and make your dreams a reality: You can have the kind of life that you desire. I believe in you.
Welcome to your all out life!
Connect with Tyler via his Instagram profile here and catch a glimpse of the man behind the mask below.
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