James Donald "Jim" Root (born October 2, 1971), also known by his number #4, is an American musician known for being the guitarist for the heavy metal band Slipknot, and the former guitarist for alternative metal band Stone Sour.
Life and Career
James Root began performing with the thrash metal band Atomic Opera from Iowa in the early 90s, not to be confused with the hard rock band Atomic Opera from Houston, Texas. Soon after they split up he went on to perform in bands such as DeadFront and Stone Sour; the latter which he joined in 1995, and returned to along with vocalist Corey Taylor, during its revival in 2002. Prior to joining Slipknot, he worked as a screenprinter, waiter, and busboy.
Root joined Slipknot in January 1999, replacing their original guitarist, Josh Brainard, who left the band during the recording of their self-titled album, reportedly after having fulfilled his recording duties. In fact, the only two songs Root recorded during the album's sessions were "Purity" and "Me Inside", the former being featured on the short-lived first pressing of Slipknot as well as the 10th Anniversary Edition, and the latter being its replacement. Despite this, the song has become a staple for most of the band's live performances. Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor invited Root to join the band based on Taylor's past experiences working with him in Stone Sour.
Although filling in the spot of rhythm guitar in 1999, Root is considered to be one of the band's main songwriters and has written lead guitar parts for Slipknot's later albums particularly on All Hope is Gone. Of Slipknot's nine members, Root was the last to join the band. Root typically performed lead guitar in Stone Sour, although he sometimes played rhythm. He has spoken of both bands' guitar style as being twin guitar: "In both bands, I fulfill both roles. In Slipknot, Mick [Thomson] has some solos, and in Stone Sour, Josh [Rand] has some solos." During the recording of Stone Sour's Audio Secrecy, he and Rand recorded their parts simultaneously.
Outside Slipknot and Stone Sour, Root has appeared on Slipknot turntablist Sid Wilson's DJ Starscream album The New Leader and John 5's The Devil Knows My Name, for the song "Black Widow of La Porte", and also appeared on the Roadrunner United project, performing the solo and harmony guitars on "Tired 'N Lonely" from the project's album The All-Star Sessions. He also appeared on Jonathan Davis and the SFA´s cover of Lil Wayne´s "Got Money".
Root has been in a relationship with Lacuna Coil singer Cristina Scabbia since 2004. This is seen on both their social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. He currently owns a home in Atlantic Beach, Florida.