Photo by Kyle Gaddo

Photo by Kyle Gaddo

Slipknot have been on a victory lap since the release of their latest studio album ‘.5: The Gray Chapter.’ The thrash metal group have participated in several massive tours alongside Hatebreed, Motionless in White, Bullet For my Valentine and Lamb of God; earned substantial airplay with their singles “The Devil In I” and “Killpop”; and most recently earned two Grammy nominations for “Best Rock Album” and “Best Metal Performance” for the song “Custer.”

Just in time for the holidays, Slipknot have announced that the hard rock ballad “Goodbye” will serve as the next single from their latest release. “Goodbye” is a significant and personal song for the members of Slipknot, as it is dedicated to the band’s fallen bassist Paul Gray, who passed away in May 10 from a drug overdose.

The song’s lyrics include “A long time ago, we believed that we were united / So the last thing on earth I’m ready to do is say goodbye.” As such, it isn’t overtly surprising that when Slipknot percussionist Shawn “Clown” Crahan first heard them, he believed that lead vocalist Corey Taylor was exiting the band. As Crahan would explain to Rolling Stone, “That’s how emotional we all were. You never know when someone’s just gonna throw their arms up and go, ‘I’m done.'”

Fortunately that wouldn’t prove to be the case. Taylor would later elaborate that “Goodbye” was written “about the day we lost Paul. It’s specifically about sitting in my house two hours after we found out, just shell-shocked, completely numb and then completely overwhelmed with what we were dealing with. It’s a heavy tune, and it’s on a whole other level for this band.”

Slipknot guitarist Jim Root would also discuss his connection to “Goodbye” during a conversation with Australia’s “I love the ambience of ‘Goodbye’. “I get to get really Radiohead with my guitar playing and pretend that I’m [Radiohead guitarist] Johnny Greenwood or something. You know what I mean? It makes you think outside of the box from a quote-unquote standard metal guitar player and you get to search for more ambient sounds. That song’s pretty organic too. The bass that’s on that record is actually the bass that Corey played on the demo. We just left it because it had a kind of vibe to it. There’s no sense in trying to beat it.”

Slipknot’s ‘.5: The Gray Chapter’ sold 132,000 copies in the U.S. in its first week of release to land at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 chart.