Corey Taylor: ‘I Haven’t Heard Any’ New Slipknot Material, Stone Sour Touring Another 18 Months [Interview]
Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. He discussed building the Knotfest brand even without Slipknot playing, switching gears from the hard rock-based Stone Sour to the more violent Slipknot and what it was like inviting his son Griffin onstage to sing a song with Stone Sour earlier this year. Taylor also dished out some comments on the current state of America and his new book surrounding the topics, America 51. Check out the chat below.
How ya doing, Corey?
Hello my dear, doing great, how are you?
Doing great, thank you so much for taking the time. Lots to talk about as usual. Let's start with Ozzfest Meets Knotfest. You played with Stone Sour and Slipknot obviously didn't play. What are the key factors necessary for Slipknot's festival to exist without Slipknot.
Good bands really. I mean I feel like we built the foundation strong enough with the talent, the acts, the attractions. All the cool stuff that kind of comes around with it. We built it strong enough that now it's like Lollapalooza. You know, Jane's Addiction didn't headline every year for Lollapalooza because it was about the festival. It wasn't just about the band, it was about the festival. That's really what we want to do. We want to build something where it's a showcase for our genre, not just for us as a band, but for our genre. So I feel like we've created, we have set the concrete now we can start stacking the bands and putting together something really cool. Even when we are not there.
Corey, your new book, Area 51: A Probe Into the Realities That Are Hiding Inside the Greatest Country in the World is a commentary on America. What scares you the most about the realities of contemporary America?
It's very violent place right now. Whether [its] pundits or the strategists or the columnists, whether they want to admit it or not, there is a fractious factor going on in America right now. Our so-called President is not doing us any god damn favors by catering to the minuscule part of his base. We saw that pathetic press conference because nobody is going to tell Donald J. Trump how to speak or be whatever. He put every goddamn foot in his goddamn mouth that he could possibly shove in there and he basically showed that he is all ego, all talk and no leader.
So I think we’re kind of at a point where the rest of our government needs to step up, needs to show some type of leadership or they're all going to go. The rest of us in the middle are tired of it. We're tired of the zealots on both sides. We're tired violence that erupts when both sides attack each other, for better or for worse. We're tired of this because we're the ones carrying America but we don't get any of the coverage. It's all the violence, all the sensationalism that gets all the coverage. Meanwhile, we're stuck in the middle going, "Nobody represents us. Why don't we have a voice?" So, it's my usual painfully honest, angry, hopefully a little humorous self, unfortunately, coming at a time maybe we need a little bit to think about and a little bit to laugh about to kind of get us through the next couple years.
Corey, Clown has said there are almost 30 pieces of work written for Slipknot. What does that mean in terms of the length of the next album and do you have any ideas when it might be released?
I have no idea. I haven't even heard any of this stuff. In true Slipknot fashion, I’m being told through the press that this is all going on. So it is what it is. I can guarantee you that it's very creative, I can guarantee you that it's dark. I can guarantee you that it's going to be unlike anything I've ever heard before. I know [Clown's] mind, I know Jim [Root]'s mind. I just am really looking forward to hearing it when I’m allowed to hear it.
You spent the summer touring with Stone Sour. There's possible new Slipknot music on the horizon. How difficult is the transition and readjustment from one band back to the other?
It's not as difficult as you'd think. By the time that I'm done with one I'm kind of starting to get into the mindset of the other. We still got another year and a half of touring with Stone Sour to do before I even start to feel the twinge of Slipknot but by the time I'm done doing that, I know that I'll be in the mood to really focus on something a little more - less rock 'n' roll and a little more brutal. I think that's one of the reasons why I'm so glad that Stone Sour started to go in that hard rock direction, so it really becomes even easier to differentiate between the two. We've got a really great rock 'n' roll style going on with Stone Sour right now and it allows Slipknot to have that lethal bent -- that kind of melodic murder that we kind of do, you know?
Melodic murder, I love that. Corey, the deaths of Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington startled the rock community. What resonates with you about them to make you even more of an advocate of understanding mental health?
Just knowing that it's something that I've fought with and have struggled with my whole life and knowing that I have friends who are the same way. I was friends with Chester. I knew Chris but we weren't friends; obviously, he was a peer and someone I looked up to. Chester really resonated with me just for the fact that we had gotten really close in the last year or so. It kind of ... it set my feet and kind of set my tone in motion to make sure that the message was clear for people out there who struggle with it like I do, that there are people to talk to, there are people who will listen. Maybe you don't even need help, you just need someone to listen. That in itself is a helping hand.
My main mission is to let people like me, and [let] them know that they are not alone. They don't have to suffer alone. It may feel like the loneliest place on the planet and it may feel like trying to move through wet cement to try and lift your hand up to ask for help. But once you do, there will always be a hand there. Whether it's mine or people way more qualified than I am to help, there are people out there who will help.
The sidebar of that is that I feel like more people who don't know the struggle need to educate themselves because they can be a part of the problem. The misunderstanding, the ignorant apathy that happens when people just say -- just shake it off, you'll get over it, that's not the way this works. It's a life-long struggle that needs empathy. It needs understanding. It doesn't need cold indifference. So that's the message I'm trying to carry to people.
Your son Griffin joined you onstage on this summer's Stone Sour tour, which was so cool to see. From your perspective as an industry veteran and also a dad, how do you feel about your kid potentially wanting to get into the business?
Honestly that was the proudest I've ever been in my life. I had never experienced that type of feeling, resonating. For me, it's like I kind of have to resign myself to the fact that he wants to be in the business. I worry, obviously, that he'll have it even tougher than I did because he'll be compared to his old man for his whole career and that's not fair to him. But, if that's what he's passionate about, he's so much better than me at so many other different areas that it's not even funny. I'm going to be supportive, I'm going to make him get a goddamn education first [laughs] but, when the time comes and if that's what he wants to do, then I'm going to support him 110 percent.
Thanks to Corey Taylor for the interview. Grab your copy of Stone Sour's new album, 'Hydrograd,' now at Amazon or digitally through iTunes and snag Slipknot's 'Day of the Gusano' here. Don't forget to follow Slipknot and Stone Sour on Facebook. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show at this location.
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