How to tell Jim Root and Mick Thomson’s Slipknot guitar parts apart

Mick Thomson and Jim Root
(Image credit: Venla Shalin/Redferns)

On album and onstage, Slipknot guitarists Jim Root and Mick Thomson work together as a team. Both play rhythm and lead tracks, and both feed off the energy and excitement of the other’s musicianship. They also equally enjoy a dizzying variety of textural passages and rib-kicking riffs.

So, amid the firestorm of barrelling beats, pummelling percussion, screeching samples, DJ scratching and vocal acrobatics, how can you tell if a guitar part you’re hearing is coming from Root or Thomson? 

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Jon Wiederhorn

Jon is an author, journalist, and podcaster who recently wrote and hosted the first 12-episode season of the acclaimed Backstaged: The Devil in Metal, an exclusive from Diversion Podcasts/iHeart. He is also the primary author of the popular Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal and the sole author of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends. In addition, he co-wrote I'm the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax (with Scott Ian), Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen (with Al Jourgensen), and My Riot: Agnostic Front, Grit, Guts & Glory (with Roger Miret). Wiederhorn has worked on staff as an associate editor for Rolling Stone, Executive Editor of Guitar Magazine, and senior writer for MTV News. His work has also appeared in Spin, Entertainment Weekly,, Revolver, Inked, and other publications and websites.