Eyeless by Slipknot: Lyrics Meaning and Interpretation

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Eyeless is a song by the heavy metal American Band Slipknot. It featured on their self-titled debut album, released in 1999. The song was not released as a single. It was majorly written by songwriter and Slipknot band member Corey Taylor.

What does the Title Mean?

“Eyeless” has a direct reference to the line “Can’t see… Marlon Brando’s eyes” (Explained below in the Chorus Section). This song talks about developing a new perspective for looking at things. Songwriter Taylor was earlier “Eyeless” and lacked the vision to see the truth. But towards the end of the song he learns that the solution depends on his attitude and mind-set.

Verse 1 – What Does it Mean?


Insane, am I the only motherfucker with a brain?

I’m hearing voices but all they do is complain

The song metaphorical addresses the cynics who despise Heavy Metal Music. The writer Corey Taylor cannot understand the hatred towards the genre their band performs in. Musical taste is subjective and not everyone will appreciate every genre. But outright hating something is uncalled for. The only thing these cynics tend to do is “complain”. The writer expects people to keep a more accepting mind-set. “…motherfucker with a brain” refers to the attitude of living and letting live, that is, respecting everyone for their tastes and choices.

The lyrics can also be interpreted as repressed anger, which is trying to burst out. The reference to “hearing voices” reflects the confusion in the mind – fight or flight, attack or subdue.

How many times have you wanted to kill

Everything and everyone, say you’ll do it but never will

These lines refer to anger and how repressing it worsens its effects on you. There are times when you want to express it, when you “wanted to kill”. But when common sense prevails you control yourself and do not explode with rage.

Songwriter’s Corey Taylor revealed in an interview that this song is about the absence of his father and his personal experience at NA (Narcotics Anonymous). He could therefore be referring to his treatment for addiction and how frustrating it was to hear people telling him that he is wrong.

Verse 2 – What Does it Mean?

I am my father’s son

‘Cause he’s a phantom, a mystery and that leaves me nothing!

This is a direct reference to writer Corey Taylor’s relationship with his father. Taylor’s father was absent (“a phantom”) during his childhood, which led to abandonment issues. Taylor feels rage towards the whole situation which is a “mystery…leaves me nothing”.

How many times have you wanted to die?

It’s too late for me, all you have to do is get rid of me!

Taylor emphasizes his angst at not having his father around. It was so unbearable that he wanted to die. “…too late for me” could be Taylor’s absent father talking to him in his imagination. He is telling his son to “get rid of me” and move on with his life. This also connects to the “hearing voices” line in the first verse. Taylor is battling against his thoughts. Since he was in drug rehabilitation, Taylor has experienced this under the influence of drugs.

Verse 3 – What Does it Mean?

I tried, you lied to me for so long

Everywhere I go, there’s a sense of it

These lines hint at something Taylor’s father must have told him before leaving. Maybe, he said that he would return. But he did not. He lied to Taylor.

Abandonment issues are hard to cope with. Taylor was never truly able to get over this. He feels the pain of his father’s betrayal “Everywhere I go”. This can also be metaphorically referring to the long term influence of hard drugs. Even after quitting, a former addict continues to harbor strong feelings towards that drug.

Freak on my antics and give me a choice

Doesn’t matter if I give a shit, it’s shit that you gave me

“Freak me” is slang for “Fuck me”. Taylor is fed up of his destructive behaviour and his “antics”, caused due to drugs and his father’s absence. He wants to get better and look forward in life (“give me a choice”)

But it is difficult to move on. Taylor has tried to do it but it is not working, even when he cares (“give a shit”). He is emotionally and psychologically scarred by the deed of his father and the effect of drugs (“Shit that you gave me”). There is an interesting play on the work “shit” in the last line.

Chorus – What Does it Mean?


You can’t see California without Marlon Brando’s eyes

Can’t see California without Marlon Brando’s eyes

You can’t see California without Marlon Brando’s eyes

Songwriter Corey Taylor heard these lines from a homeless guy on the street. California is the home of Hollywood – a world of stars, dreams and success. Marlon Brando was a successful actor. But despite his flourishing career, Brando’s personal life was full of sadness and losses.

The chorus could then mean that you cannot truly enjoy success or happiness (“California”) without knowing what it is to fail or be sad (“Marlon Brando’s eyes”). In the song, Taylor is trying to motivate himself to get on with his work by embracing his sadness. Only then can he truly achieve his dreams (and he did!).

Post-Chorus – What Does it Mean?


It’s all in your head

It’s all in my head

It’s all in your head


In an interview, Corey Taylor remembered his time at Narcotics Anonymous (NA). To help him cope with his addiction, the workers at NA kept repeating the line “It’s all in your head”. Basically, they were trying to tell Taylor that his dependence on drugs was a psychological addiction, which he can fight off with determination.

Symbolically, Taylor is telling himself that the anger he feels due to his father’s deeds is not a physical reality. It is only an emotion, a thought. He is affected by it, because he is allowing it to influence him.

Bridge – What Does it Mean?

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Do you wanna feel pain? Takin’ my name in vain

Caring never felt so lame inside

Taylor seems to be unleashing his rage finally. He is ready to fight anyone who calls his “name in vain”. He cared a lot for his father but he did not return to him (in reality he did, but much later after the release of the song). This is why Taylor feels that caring for someone is useless and “lame”.

Anybody else got pride? Do you wanna take my life?

Maybe I’ll reverse my ride

In rage, Taylor is warning people to pick a fight with him. “…reverse my ride” could refer to Taylor acting cruelly, the same way his father did by abandoning him.

Who the fuck are you? Fuck you!

Better suck it up ’cause you bled through

Better get away from me

Stay the fuck away from me

Taylor is not playing. He is seriously angry and is warning people again to stay “away from me”. “…you bled through” could imply that the songwriter has already beaten up someone and is telling them to retreat before they get more hurt.

Outro – What Does it Mean?

I feel safe; seems you’re saved

I feel safe; seems you’re saved

Look me in my brand new eye

Look me in my brand new eye

Look me in my brand new eye


Look me in my brand new eye

Look me in my brand new eye

Look me in my brand new eye

Look me in my brand new…

As the songwriter calms down, he realizes what the homeless man had told him. You cannot experience joy without sorrow. Taylor is now moving on to accept this truth. He is developing a “brand new eye”, a new perspective to look at pain and suffering. This shift in attitude has helped him. He can finally proclaim “I feel safe”.

In Conclusion

Songwriter Corey Taylor effectively expresses the various stages of angst and recovery in this song. He even teaches listeners a valuable lesson in life. It is better to let out the rage and accept your sadness. Only then can you appreciate true joy.

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