Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson is preparing to step out from behind his turntable, take off his mask and put away the aliases -- #0, Ratboy, DJ Moonboots, DJ Starscream -- in order to launch a solo career as... Sid Wilson.
"When I see people, whether they're strangers or fans or friends or whatever, everyone is always like, 'Sid!,' " Wilson explains to Billboard.com. "There's not a lot of people going, 'Hey, DJ Starscream!' or 'Hey, #0!' Everyone is always, like, 'Sid!' at concerts, at DJ gigs, wherever. That's what I hear the public calling for, so I'm going to give that to them."
Wilson is currently fronting his own band and has recorded a self-titled solo album that he hopes to release this fall, though a label deal is still being negotiated. He describes the disc as "an eclectic mix of all the different styles of music I grew up listening to. There's a strong B-Boy influence in my music, 'cause I'm a DJ. I used to listen to a lot of Skinny Puppy and more mainstream things that came out of industrial, like Nine Inch Nails. I was always influenced by the Beastie Boys a lot and Run-DMC and the way they mixed their rock influences in their hip-hop stuff."
Among the songs from the album that Wilson and his band are playing are the planned first single, the socially conscious "Nervous Central." "Flat Lace," which Wilson wrote five years ago for Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, who died of an accidental drug overdose on May 24, is also particularly haunting.
"It's just about the different struggles in his life," Wilson says, "and it was just my way of letting him know that I was always there for him and that I was aware of the things he had to deal with. It's definitely difficult (to sing). It's hard for me to even talk about it."
Wilson says that Slipknot, in fact, has not spoken much about its future at all in the wake of Gray's death. "Before the incident everyone was getting ready to take a break from Slipknot and go work on their side projects for a little bit," says Wilson, with frontman Corey Taylor and James Root getting ready to release a new Stone Sour album and drummer Joey Jordison fronting Murderdolls after touring with Rob Zombie. "Now we're trying to move forward and keep with the plans that we had prior to the incident."
But Wilson sounds hopeful that Slipknot will at some point reconvene and make a follow-up to 2008's "All Hope is Gone."
"When the time comes, forces will bring us back together again," he explains. "But as of now I can't even predict when that will happen. It's a magical thing, and you can't predict magic. It just summons itself and pulls you all together."