Distribution for the demo was initially left to the band and their producer Sean McMahon, before it was handed over to the distribution company Ismist in early 1997. Slipknot received a small amount of airplay on local radio stations off the back of the demo. However, it didn't lead to any kind of interest from record labels, so the band returned to the studio to develop new material. While working in the studio, Slipknot continued to do local shows, during one of which in September 1997, Colsefni announced on stage that he was leaving the band. The gap on percussion was filled by Greg Welts, who was affectionately known as "Cuddles." In early 1998, Slipknot produced a second demo featuring five tracks exclusively for record labels. The band began to receive a lot of attention from record labels, and in February 1998, producer Ross Robinson offered to produce their debut album after attending rehearsals in Des Moines. Soon after, DJ Sid Wilson was recruited as the band's ninth member after showing great interest and impressing band members. In late June, Slipknot received a $500,000 seven-album deal from Roadrunner Records; the band signed the deal publicly on July 8, 1998. Two days prior to this, Welts was fired from the band, something which Slipknot refuse to comment on.
Chris Fehn was brought in to replace Welts on percussion before Slipknot traveled to Malibu, California to work on their debut album in September 1998. Partway through the recording process of the album, Slipknot returned to Des Moines, Iowa for the Christmas period, during which guitarist Brainard decided to leave the band. Speaking about his decision, Brainard explained: "some decisions were made that I wasn't particularly happy with." Slipknot recruited Jim Root to complete their lineup and returned to Malibu to continue work on their debut album. Slipknot went on to release their first home video Welcome to Our Neighborhood and the two singles; "Wait and Bleed" and "Spit It Out".
Iowa and hiatus (2001-2003)Anticipation for Slipknot's sophomore effort was intense and in early 2001, the band began recording their second album at Sound City and Sound Image studios in Los Angeles. It was about this time that conflicts began to arise between band members due to their extensive touring and recording schedules. Despite this, recording on their second album came to a close in February 2001 and Slipknot embarked on their Iowa World Tour. Iowa, the band's second album was released on August 28, 2001, peaking at number three on the Billboard album charts and at number one on the UK album chart. The album produced three singles; "The Heretic Anthem", "Left Behind" and then "My Plague" which appeared on the soundtrack for the film Resident Evil. In 2002, Slipknot made their first (and to-date only) appearance in a movie, performing the song "I Am Hated" in a scene in the remake of Rollerball. The release of the album and the promotion in support of it resulted in out shows in large arenas in several countries. However, in mid-2002, Slipknot went on hiatus for the first time due to internal conflicts, seeing several band members focus on side projects. At this time, the future of Slipknot was unclear and there was speculation over whether the band had split and the possibility of a third album. Despite this, on November 22, 2002 Slipknot released their second DVD Disasterpieces.
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