“Custer” by Slipknot is having a bit moment on TikTok right now. The song originally appeared on the band’s 2014 album, .5: The Gray Chapter. An emotional release in many ways, due to it being the first following the passing of bassist Paul Gray, “Custer” stands out as a truly savage change of pace. From the razor-sharp riffs to the industrial pulses of the electronics and samples, it attacks the ear from all angles. Then there is Corey Taylor’s trademark bile-drenched growl, repeating, “Cut cut cut me up and fuck fuck fuck me up” again and again and again. It is quintessential Slipknot in every way. Dangerous, devilish and dripping in desolating and destruction.
Though the song is not going viral with metalheads. Quite the opposite, actually. It is reaching a whole new type of person, who is using the song to soundtrack some of their wildest moments. There are dance troupes producing stunning choreography to it. We have doggies having little shuffles to it. There are girlies doing little cat-walk-ready shimmies to it. And remember PSY’s “Gangnam Style”? Well, you’ve never seen it like this.
It’s a wonderful reminder of just how magical music can be. It breaks down barriers and builds bridges between cultures and styles. It doesn’t matter how heavy or dark a song is. There’s still a chance for it to find a home where you least expect it. The Internet offers up so much opportunity for this collaborative approach to things, and when it pays off, it pays off big style. In 2014, nobody could have ever imagined one of the heaviest Slipknot songs to be danced to by the people it is right now. But the fact that it is should be celebrated.
You can check out the 76 thousand videos that “Custer” by Slipknot has been used on, making up 800 million views and counting right here. And here is the song that started it all in full.