James Donald “Jim” Root (born October 2, 1971), also known by his number #4, is an American musician known for being the rhythm/lead guitarist of the heavy metal band, Slipknot, and the lead guitarist for rock band, Stone Sour. He was the last member to join the current line-up of Slipknot, in January 1999.
Life and career
James Root has performed in bands such as Atomic Opera, Deadfront and Stone Sour; the latter which he joined in 1995, and returned to along with vocalist Corey Taylor, during its revival in 2002. Prior to joining Slipknot, he worked as a screenprinter, waiter, and busboy. Root joined the band in January 1999, replacing their original guitarist, Josh Brainard, who left the band during the recording of their self-titled album, reportedly after having fulfilled his recording duties. In fact, the only two songs Root recorded during the album’s sessions were “Purity” and “Me Inside”, the former being featured on the short-lived first pressing of Slipknot as well as the 10th Anniversary Edition, and the latter being its replacement. Despite this, the song has become a staple for most of the band’s live performances. Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor invited Root to join the band based on Taylor’s past experiences working with him in Stone Sour. Although filling in the spot of rhythm guitar in 1999, Root has written lead guitar parts for Slipknot’s later albums particularly on All Hope is Gone. Root typically performs on lead guitar in Stone Sour, although he sometimes plays rhythm instead. He has spoken of both bands’ guitar style as being twin guitar: “In both bands, I fulfill both roles. In Slipknot, Mick [Thomson] has some solos, and in Stone Sour, Josh [Rand] has some solos.”http://hangout.altsounds.com/features/123576-lowdown-jim-root-stone-sour-slipknot.html During the recording of Stone Sour’s Audio Secrecy, he and Rand recorded their parts simultaneously.http://www.stonesour.com/board_posts/artist-bio
Outside Slipknot and Stone Sour, Root has appeared on Slipknot turntablist Sid Wilson’s DJ Starscream album The New Leader and John 5’s The Devil Knows My Name, for the song “Black Widow of La Porte”, and also appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing the solo and harmony guitars on “Tired ‘N Lonely” from the project’s album The All-Star Sessions. He also appeared on Jonathan Davis and the SFA´s cover of Lil Wayne´s “Got Money”
Root originally used a bondage hood, inherited from Slipknot’s original guitarist Josh Brainard following his departure from the band. He had purple hair at the time and would pull parts of it through a hole in the top of the mask. After a couple of performances and one photo shoot, he decided to change masks, as the bondage hood was too uncomfortable for him and would often distract him when playing. He then began using a jester-style mask, said to represent that side of his personality. This mask was torn in places and covered in “warts”, and his masks have become smoother aesthetically. His most recent variation of the mask remains jester-styled but is clean white with vertical black scars detailing around both eyes which resemble makeup worn by circus clowns, and a zipper in between black lips similar to those on the masks of percussionist Chris Fehn and sampler/keyboardist Craig Jones.
In July 2007, Fender released a Jim Root Signature Fender Telecaster guitar. This Telecaster model is available in flat black with a white pickguard and maple neck and fingerboard, or in flat white with a black pickguard, maple neck and ebony fingerboard. Both models feature mahogany bodies, 22 jumbo frets, a single volume control with no tone control, black hardware, and EMG humbuckers (EMG 81 in the bridge and EMG 60 in the neck). In 2010 a signature stratocaster was issued, with specs similar to his telecasters. They are available in black and white finishes. This guitar has also been used live on shows during 2009.Prior to his endorsment deal with Fender, Root had been seen using PRS, Jackson, Charvel, and Maverick electric guitars and Martin acoustic guitars as well as a wide range of effect pedals and amplifers. In a 2009 performance for Eurockeennes, Jim used a Gibson Flying V. In January 2010, a Jim Root Signature Fender Stratocaster was unveiled on the Fender website, similar to the one he has been seen using on stage, as of March 2009.