Crahan was born Michael Shawn Crahan in Des Moines, Iowa. He once performed in bands such as Heads on the Wall & One Cup Fat. As well as lending his percussion talents to the band, Crahan has also sung backing vocals on a number of songs Slipknot has both recorded and performed live. Feed. Kill. Repeat.. Outside Slipknot, Crahan has founded Big Orange Clown Records, a vanity label within Sanctuary Records, which has so far signed the metalcore band Gizmachi. The band received little interest due to their album being released amidst the success of Slipknot members Corey Taylor, James Root and Joey Jordison's side projects, Stone Sour and the Murderdolls, respectively. To My Surprise was later dropped by Roadrunner Records. In 2007, Crahan began performing as drummer for Dirty Little Rabbits. The band was a supporting act for Stone Sour during their North American tour in Summer 2007, and have released one EP, titled Breeding. Also in 2009 Shawn remixed a Suicide Silence track on their Wake Up (EP) entitled "Wake Up (Clown of Slipknot Remix)".
Clown Crahan, to his nickname, wears clown-style masks while performing with Slipknot.
- Gretsch drums with Bubinga shells and Remo heads- two 20 kick drums, 15 tom, 16 dicks
- 15" Pearl Competitor FFX-style Marching Snare
- Pearl Championship RMALTS Marching Snare Carrier
- Vic Firth Drum Mallets
- Vic Firth American Classic 7A Nylon Tip Drumsticks
- 2 empty Budweiser beer kegs (one on each side) played with a baseball bat and sometimes with a pair of 12 inch red wooden claves.
- Audio Technica AEW-T6100 Wirless Handheld Microphone and system
- Two cameras mounted on the rig which he uses to record himself, the band, and the audience
- Shawn usually wears Franklin batting gloves when performing. He sometimes also wears black Mizuno vintage pro G2 batting gloves
- Shawn's percussion set-up is miked with Audio-Technica AT-23 mics