In Solitude with Bazille Episode 1: “Eyeless” by Slipknot
I remember being in 4th grade, not exactly the coolest kid in the classroom, but I had one specific moment that lit up my entire year and made me feel like a real badass. Somehow, we brought up the band Slipknot, and it came about that I knew all of the lyrics to the song “Wait and Bleed” by heart. Usually my weirdness out-casted me, but this time as I recited the lyrics word for word, a few of the popular kids gave me a lot of props.
Slipknot has always been one of my favorite metal bands. Corey Taylor is an amazingly talented singer, and I feel like each band member has something about them that is just so interesting. I get chills when I watch their live videos. When it comes to performing, they inspired the hell out of me as a young kid. I make hip hop music, but there’s a deep part in me that wants to throw on my own custom mask and scream into the mic as loud as I possibly can.
On this episode of “In Solitude with Bazille”, I chose to look back on these opening lyrics from Slipknot’s track “Eyeless”:
Am I the only motherfucker with a brain?
I'm hearing voices but all they do is complain
How many times have you wanted to kill
Everything and everyone
Say you'll do it but never will
You can't see California without Marlon Brando's eyes (x3)
There’s something oddly cool about the clashing concepts of sanity and insanity, as well as the point of view that the song presents it here. The line: “Am I the only motherfucker with a brain?” gives off this vibe of “everyone else is crazy, except me”. Immediately after, we get strokes of audible hallucination (implied) with “I’m hearing voices but all they do is complain”. That contradiction just blends so well with itself and truly gets at the heart of this song, I feel. Knowing good and well what you are going through, but feeling as though you are the only sane one in the room.
Then there’s the next lines, “How many times have you wanted to kill everything and everyone. Say you’ll do it, but never will”. Crazy, right (or rather, insane)? It takes me back to thinking about mental issues that some people have, some of them being intrusive thoughts like these that you do control, but just can’t help feeling. I think there’s also this stigma apparent, where expressing those troubles and feelings are wrong and dangerous, when honestly a lot of issues can really be traced back to the limiting and prohibition of expression.
Lastly, and honestly this feels like the icing on the cake for me, “You can’t see California without Marlon Brando’s eyes”. As Marlon Brando had a history of standing up for Indigenous peoples sometimes in ways that he could, and as he’s the fucking Godfather in the first place, I could appreciate this line. In another aspect, it’s just a line that I enjoy interpreting in different ways. Societal expectation and not being able to see the world in the way that society often tries to force is one that comes to mind. Think of having those glasses or contacts that the rebellion had in the John Carpenter film “They Live”, but as your actual normal sight, in a world that’s constantly focused on distorted values of compliance to facades of American-normalcy.
Overall, the intro to this song is one that I love jamming out to and seeing the band perform. It has this aggression that pushes forward and gets me pumped every time. There are plenty Slipknot songs that I love, and I’ll always be a super-fan, but this one sticks out to me all the time.