Mickael Gordon "Mick" Thomson (born November 3, 1973) is an American heavy metal musician. Born in Des Moines, Iowa, he is best known as one of two guitarists in Slipknot, in which he is designated #7. Thomson originally met founding Slipknot members Anders Colsefni, Donnie Steele and Paul Gray through their mutual involvement in death metal band Body Pit, and later replaced Craig Jones in the group in 1996. Following the departure of Joey Jordison in 2013, Thomson is now the third longest-serving member of Slipknot.
Mick Thomson grew up having a "fascination with death metal bands", including Morbid Angel, although he has also named The Beatles as one of his major musical influences. He began his career playing guitar in a number of local bands in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, most notably death metal outfit Body Pit, formed in 1993. Original Slipknot members Anders Colsefni (vocals), Donnie Steele (guitar) and Paul Gray (bass) were all fellow members of Body Pit during this period. In addition to performing in the band, Thomson gave guitar lessons to local students at Ye Olde Guitar Shop on 70th Street in Des Moines.
Thomson joined Slipknot in the summer of 1996, replacing Craig Jones on guitar after he became the band's full-time sampler. The first Slipknot album on which Thomson performed was the 1999 self-titled debut. Speaking about the process of recording the album, he recalled in an interview for Revolver magazine that "It was a nightmarish hell to do that fucking record", primarily due to the group's lack of money, poor quality of food, and other band members' bad habits.
Upon joining the band, Thomson wore a hockey mask which he bought from a store, compared by author Joel McIver to that worn by Hannibal Lecter in the film The Silence of the Lambs. The guitarist's mask would remain much the same throughout his career, with only minor changes made for each album cycle, which he claimed was because he "pretty much nailed it ... for being able to get across how I am". Speaking in 2008, Thomson played down the amount of consideration which went into the mask's design and meaning, proclaiming that "I had my original latex hockey mask way back and then my leather one and I was using those designs and it morphed into what it is now. There isn't something crazy creative about it." Thomson also chose #7 in the band, claiming that it was his "lucky number".
Outside of Slipknot, Thomson has collaborated with several other bands. Along with Slipknot bassist Paul Gray, he appeared on a Death tribute album organised by James Murphy. In 2007, he performed the second guitar solo on Malevolent Creation's "Deliver My Enemy", released on Doomsday X. Speaking about his appearance on the song, which was engineered in part by Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson, Thomson claimed that he was "proud beyond words to have been asked to be part of this recording". In 2011, he performed guest lead guitar on Necrophagia's album Deathtrip 69. Thomson is also featured in the music video for "No Pity on the Ants" by thrash metal band Lupara, directed by Frankie Nasso and released in 2007.
Thomson is known for playing Ibanez MTM guitars both in the studio and on tour, all of which are handmade by the company's artist shop luthier Tak Hosono. The guitars feature Seymour Duncan EMTY Blackout pickups and d'Addario EXL117 strings. He began working with the company in 2003, during the recording process for Slipknot's third studio album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses). His effects pedals include a Maxon OD820, a Death by Audio Fuzz War, an MXR Carbon Copy Delay, an Electro-Harmonix Bassballs Envelope Filter and a custom fuzz pedal made by his guitar technician Kevin Allen.
In July 2016, Jackson Guitars announced that Thomson had joined their artist roster. Speaking about joining the company, Thomson proclaimed that he was "immensely proud to be a part of the Jackson family", praising his custom Double Rhoads and Soloist models as "incredible".
Outside of performing with Slipknot, Thomson is known to keep a relatively low profile. Speaking on the band's 2006 video release Voliminal: Inside the Nine, he explained that "I like my quiet time; I like to be left the fuck alone", while pointing out that he "loves" being a part of the band. In an interview with Jon Wiederhorn for Revolver magazine about the making of Iowa, the guitarist explained that "On days off, you'd never see me out of my hotel room ... I'd rather be alone than be around a bunch of people that I don't care about, don't care about me or are fuckin' full of shit".
Thomson married his girlfriend Stacy Riley on October 5, 2012. He has a number of tattoos, including the word 'seven' on his left arm (reflecting his number in Slipknot), and the word 'hate' in Japanese writing on his right arm.
On March 11, 2015, Thomson was injured during a knife fight with his brother Andrew outside a house in his hometown of Clive, Iowa. It was reported by The Des Moines Register that both men were drunk at the time, and that the Slipknot guitarist suffered "serious but not life-threatening" injuries after being stabbed in the back of the head. Both Mick and Andrew were later charged with "disorderly conduct by fighting", after an investigation determined that both were responsible for the incident. Mick and Andrew were both hospitalised after the fight, but Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor tweeted on the day of the incident to assure fans that Thomson would recover.
- with Slipknot
- Slipknot (1999)
- Iowa (2001)
- Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) (2004)
- All Hope Is Gone (2009)
- .5: The Gray Chapter (2014)
- with Malevolent Creation
- Doomsday X (2007) – "Deliver My Enemy"
- with Necrophagia
- Deathtrip 69 (2011) – guest guitar parts