Hard rock outfit Slipknot has postponed a planned tour of the U.K., Japan, and Australia "because of the international tensions, current conflict, and growing safety problems involving our country," a

Hard rock outfit Slipknot has postponed a planned tour of the U.K., Japan, and Australia "because of the international tensions, current conflict, and growing safety problems involving our country," according to a statement. The trek was due to begin Nov. 2 in Cardiff, Wales, right after the Oct. 31 close of the group's North American Pledge of Allegiance tour with System of a Down, Mudvayne, and others.

"Right now we feel we should stay close to home and within our families reaches in case of any major emergencies," the statement continued. "We sincerely apologize for this and WE ARE COMING, but right now is the time to watch out for our loved ones. We encourage you all to do the same" The band says the affected dates will be made up in 2002.

Meanwhile, despite the success of the group's recently released and well-received sophomore Roadrunner album, "Iowa," Slipknot drummer #01 (real name: Joey Jordison) tells Billboard.com that fans should look forward to the less-is-more theory from the Iowa-based outfit.

"Because this band has already achieved so much success and it's just too physical, too extreme and too good to let it become a parody, I'd rather leave on a good note than make a shit record or have the fans start to say, 'Well, they're not what they used to be,'" he admits. "I think this band will say all it has to say in four albums and then that's it."

Whether or not Slipknot's recording career is half over remains to be seen; however, one thing that won't change is their use of face makeup and disguises that vary from the horrific to the horrifically absurd.

"It wouldn't be the same band [without that]," Jordison reports. "The fact is our music comes first, but our look is taken very, very seriously. I've always said 100 percent to music and 100 percent to our visuals. They both are equal and we wouldn't be the same band without them."

When Slipknot signed on for the Pledge of Allegiance Tour, the band figured the title would appropriately represent a united front of uncompromising metal. Considering the tragic events of Sept. 11, the tour's moniker quickly took on another dimension of loyalty.

"It's ironic and I think that everything happens for a reason.," says Jordison. "Right now people are worried about the country and have been really consumed by it. We need to get back to having fun and going on with our lives and this is the tour to help that type of mentality get back on track, because if you want to get some tensions out, this is definitely the show to go to."

Jordison says that within the next few months, Slipknot hopes to tour another round of stateside arenas before heading back in the studio for what will be its third release.

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboard

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