About The Website
Where to begin?
I've always wanted to create an archive/catalog/database/directory/index or whatever you want to call it of all the bands 'related' to Slipknot. This includes current- and ex-Slipknot member's previous bands and side-projects. Due to the muddy nature of Des Moines' band line-ups, for example, seemingly infinite mixtures of current- and ex-members from a multitude of bands that all seem to merge and crossover at some point, it was only logical to also include bands in the category that I have come to call 'extended family'. There are many bands which feature the same names that have come up over the years, names which have been in bands with Slipknot members. Then there's the next tier of bands which start to feature people from those 'extended' bands, and so on and so on.
This website is really a spiritual successor to one which I found, probably mid-2000s called 'FreeNet Records'. This site had a section called 'The FreeNet Music Complex' and when I first saw it I was fascinated. It had an A-Z list of Slipknot, Mushroomhead and other band's ex-bands and side-projects. I got a lot of useful info from this and it remained a vital source of info until it unfortunately shutdown around late-2000s. It can still be accessed from the Internet Archive, which is a good thing.
[ IMAGE: The FreeNet Music Complex - 2003 screenshot segment ]
So I finally got my shit together and decided to really give my own version a go. Initially it will start out with just a list of bands and not many actual band pages, but it does also include lists of significant people and places that my spiritual ancestor site did not. I also will not be focusing on Mushroomhead or other band's side-projects, etc. If I do, it will be at a very much later date. Basically, this website is largely inspired by 'The FreeNet Music Complex', but will not be an exact copy of it.
One thing I can be absolutely sure of, is that there is not a single other place on the expanse of the internet, to list ALL Slipknot-related bands in ONE place. I know for a fact that even I don't have them all, but as far as is achievable, have all the ones that have been named.
[ IMAGE: The FreeNet Music Complex - 2005 screenshot segment ]
This type of project really has not been attempted before, as even the FreeNet Records effort didn't try and concentrate purely on just Slipknot-related bands and extended family, but rather a wider variety of big-name bands at a lesser level. This is also one of my biggest and most ambitious websites to date.
As a side-note, other previous websites with similar form and function include Stars4Iowa.com's 'Central Iowa Bands List' and my very own 'I Owe Iowa'... the latter of which, if I remember correctly, was directly inspired by the former.
The Website Name
I don't think I've ever had so much trouble naming one of my websites before. I spent days going through and over a whole host of words and word combinations. However, in my favor, this was not a site that could easily be named. OK, so it centered on Slipknot member's past and current bands but I did not want it to turn into yet another Slipknot website, where they were the focus even if not intended so. Yet at the same time it was not only Slipknot ex-bands and side-projects as it was also about the extensive line-up of bands that were born out of them. The bands listed were not just directly Slipknot-related, not only from Des Moines, not only from Iowa, not only from the Midwest... even though the majority were. No single string of words could sum up what I was trying to achieve, without there being so-called limiting factors present.
Names I went through included, but were not limited to: Behind The Veil, Children Of The Corn, From Iowa With Hate, From Iowa With Love, I Owe Iowa (a name previously used on my old Iowa band website), Iowa Industrial Complex, Iowa Music Complex, Iowa Music Index (IMI), Midwest Industrial Complex (MIC), Midwest Music Complex, Midwest Music Index, Midwest Mindset, My Umbral Quest, Only In Iowa, Pure American Filth, Revelations 5:15, Slipknot Inner Circle (SIC) (another name previously used on my old Slipknot website), Step Into The Dark, The Chronicles Of Iowa, The Iowa Chronicles, The Midwest Chronicles.
The Net Label
One way I thought about getting around the name issue, was if I made the website into a 'net label'. This would have then taken me right back to this site's roots of 'FreeNet Records', which was indeed a net label. All I would have had to have done differently with this new classification would be to host a bunch of MP3s from various band's on my site, potentially as some kind of free 'sampler' album of my own compilation. I didn't really want to take this route though, as this meant using more host web space and also seeking permissions from the artist's of said songs. The reason it would have been a resolve for the naming issue, is because I could have used a relatively disconnected name for the website without having the constant presence of Slipknot- and Iowa-related words in my head. It could have been something as inconspicuous and unintelligent as 'My Records'... but that name wouldn't have any limiting factors to it with what the viewer may regard as content description.
Names I went through included, but were not limited to: Gaia Records, Garou Records, Get Of Fenris Records, Get This! Records, Interloper Records, Project X.
After much thought into the direction of the website and possible names, I ended up keeping my initial aims of this site simply being an information database... eventually settling on the name 'The Nameless Project' as I simply couldn't settle on a viable name that I was happy with. And there is still a Slipknot connection there, for the attentive amongst you, as 'The Nameless' is indeed the name of a Slipknot song. I also like the name because of its potential deeper meanings. One, it's kind of ironic, because the bands on this website have all been named, where possible... therefore they're not 'nameless' at all. Two, because I have endeavored to bring the 'nameless' underground bands to the surface and give them a place alongside more famous bands on local, national and international levels... therefore giving them the opportunity for their names to be heard.
During the whole process though, I had also warmed to the idea of a kind of 'record label' but decided to make this one a Facebook page. By going down this route, it would be easier to garner a bigger audience from the get-go and depending on how I executed it, could absolutely include any band from anywhere... with little or no connection to Slipknot or even Iowa (although that was not the intention). As the content of this site was getting so confused and twisted with my need to include every band that every member of every band to do with Slipknot had been in, I decided to keep it simple and more focused. So the companion Facebook page was named 'The Eye In Iowa', using the play on words to create two or more possible meanings. This platform also meant that I didn't have to host anything myself, and could simply link to whoever's video on YouTube that I wished to on the day... therefore meaning that no permissions needed to be granted as everything was already in the public domain.
The Great Experiment
Only a dozen or so band pages in, and I was already feeling overwhelmed. It kind of hit me just how big a task this was going to be if I was seriously going to give every band entry in the bands list, a page. Some bands I only had scant info on, such as a rumored line-up or something, but then there were bands that had become rather famous and in these cases there was a lot of info on them and I would liked to have created almost whole fanpages for them.
The way in which I started adding band pages was really rather sporadic. I wasn't interested in going from A down through Z, but instead created pages on bands as-and-when I came across these bands naturally or when I had dealings with certain band members which then reminded me of certain bands. It was good to be able to get pages done first, on obscure bands rather than some of the bigger names.
I mean no bias towards any bands here, if you see that your band doesn't have a page yet, don't get mad at me. It's purely organic how I am coming to do them, and so far, you will find as many underground bands done as there are big name bands.
I was having a really hard time finding out information on much older bands or very underground bands. Over the years, there has been many mentions of just band and project names with no other information available at the time, and due to them possibly never coming to fruition, there was never any follow-up info either. So now I'm digging into my archives, which have pretty much remained an extensive private collection until now, and I'm seeing band names that I have no line-up info on, no discography, etc.
Social media sites such as Facebook are an absolutely fantastic resource to have right now, as before if you wanted to try and get in touch with someone you had to try and find a website of a band they were in, then hope that there was an e-mail address published. In many cases there weren't. About 10 years ago, MySpace was all the rage and that's really when I was able to start contacting various band members without needing an e-mail address. Today with Facebook, almost everyone is on there and contacting band members is as easy as it's ever been... that's if they reply.
So what I'm trying to say is, it's still very hard to fill-in the gaps on band information. Many musicians still don't reply, at all, and the ones that you do manage to get in touch with, don't always reply very regularly. For many of these musicians, they are simply doing what they love and don't even realize that people, especially people outside of Iowa or even the U.S., are actively wanting to find out more about a band. And because of this, people don't bother to try and remember stuff from years and years ago. Which is fine. But then you get someone like me who comes along every so many years and wants to know everything about everything.
Like so much of Slipknot's early shenanigans, many bands have simply faded into history. I have a passion and drive to document these early and obscure bands so that they can be read about for years to come. I have a desire to preserve this history. And apart from a few other people who I could count on one hand, I am one of an elite who are even attempting such a project right now.
I feel that there really is a need for a website such as this one. What with the aforementioned FreeNet Records folding, GarageBand being taken over, MySpace doing the dirty and official websites and fanpages going offline by the day, where would all this info be preserved? Domain name subscriptions expiring, big companies buying-out domain names, once indie projects turning mainstream and people losing interest, are just some of the reasons that such websites disappear.
The Internet Archive does a truly awesome job, but anyone who's ever used it to any extent, will know that even such a project as that, is flawed. Missing pages are the most common problem encountered, if a website is even archived at all. Many of the lesser-known websites or webpages, are not in fact archived, at all.
There's nothing to say that this website will be online forever, but I have created it in such a way that it is a totally local, self-contained, fully-linked website that can be made portable and uploaded anywhere. It is not powered by WordPress, it is not 'online only', it does not use any 'absolute' links. It will function, as it does online, from a compact disk or USB thumb drive just the same (with the exception to 'external' weblinks). So for as long as I am alive, I will endeavor to keep it online... even if anything happens to the host site and I have to re-upload elsewhere.
I've been creating websites for about 10 years now, and from day one I have always used free webhosts for any number of my websites. This means long, undesirable domain names and pop-ups, most of the time. Having known David 'DaVo' Wilkins via the internet for a number of years, and having been in touch with him at the time of this website's creation, it was a logical move to have my site hosted on his 'The Underground Archives' website. His website is a far more generalized and wider look at underground bands from the whole of the Midwest, with Iowa kind of being the main concern. Therefore, it was related subject matter and perhaps most importantly, he had his own subscribed domain name and webspace... meaning a more desirable domain name, no pop-ups and fast execution of page loading.
It is a great honor to have DaVo's website as my parent site. Click the banner below to check it out!