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Slipknot's new album, "Iowa," is their follow-up to the band's self-titled 2000 debut, which has sold 1.3 million copies OTC to date in the U.S. alone. Insiders expect the new record to go multi-Platinum
with a possible debut at #1.
ROADRUNNER LANDS AT
ISLAND DEF JAM
Indie Label Spurns Several Suitors
For Prize Act Slipknot
Is Island Def Jam playing the role of Wile E. Coyote in a live-action chase?

Unlike that beleaguered villain, IDJ is close to nailing its Roadrunner. According to sources at the indie, the much-coveted label—coveted primarily because it’s home to Platinum horror-rockers Slipknot—will make its new home at IDJ.

Details of the deal, which has yet to be finalized, are sketchy, but those in the know all agree talks are in their final stages and an agreement should be etched out in the very near future, sources said.

IDJ’s Lyor Cohen, Roadrunner owner Cees Wessels and representatives for both labels could not be reached for comment.

This development comes after Wessels put 49% of the label on the sales block last month for $30 million (hitsdailydouble.com, 6/20). Suitors ranged from Sony—which sold 80% of the label's distributor RED to edel for $75 million in 1999—to BMG's RCA and WEA's Atlantic Records Group.

The deal was complicated by the fact Roadrunner owes $17 million to edel from a recent loan the German music company decided to call in. In fact, Sony's interest quickly waned due to the various legal entanglements involved, despite the urging of Slipknot manager Steve Richards.

Wonderers wonder if potential lawsuits from edel against Roadrunner for breach of contract, or litigation against Island Def Jam and parent Universal Music Group for contractual interference will follow the proposed deal or if these legal issues have been worked out as part of the negotiations.

Slipknot's new album, "Iowa," is their follow-up to the band's self-titled 2000 debut, which has sold 1.3 million copies OTC to date in the U.S. alone. Insiders expect the new record to go multi-Platinum with a possible debut at #1, given the debut’s impressive sales—quite an accomplishment considering its independent stature and the relatively minimal radio play it received.

"Iowa" was originally slated to come out July 17, but the release will obviously be postponed while the band and label gets absorbed into the IDJ system. Slipknot is on the Ozzfest tour until Aug. 12, while playing assorted headlining dates with Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Disturbed and Mudvayne on off-days. Following Ozzfest, Slipknot is scheduled to headline the inaugural Pledge of Allegiance outing, which will also feature System of a Down, later in the year.

The band has a rabid cult following. Slipknot offered an MP3 download of the track "The Heretic Anthem" on the label website, www.roadrunnerrecords.com, which attracted 75,000 fans. The new album's song titles express the Des Moines, IA-based band's take-no-prisoners attitude, including "People = Shit," "Disasterpiece," "M Plague," "New Abortion" and "I Am Hated," which will be featured prominently in the forthcoming "Rollerball" movie.

And while Slipknot is the most coveted of Roadrunner's groups, the label also features such hard-rock faves as Spineshank, Nickelback, Fear Factory, Biohazard, Deicide, Brujeria, Machine Head, Misfits, Sepultura, Obituary, Soulfly and Type O Negative.

The maneuvers by Roadrunner/Slipknot are a direct result of edel being in severe financial trouble. German bankers tried to pressure edel's chief Michael Haentjes to undertake a distressed-asset sale—including RED—or face a takeover. But the exec was reportedly able to negotiate a six-month extension on his loans. The company has admitted it spent too much on acquisitions in the past, burning through between $300-400 million. It has already sold its interests in Viva and Play It Again Sam at a major discount.

If litigation is to follow the IDJ-Roadrunner deal, some think edel may claim that Slipknot’s "Iowa" could have given them the extra revenue to pay back their loans and keep their U-boat afloat.

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