Corey Taylor: New Slipknot Lyrics Are ‘Most I’ve Shared’ in Years
Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor was the latest guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio program. The singer spoke about his relationship with Ozzy Osbourne, his son playing Slipknot music with Clown's son, the next Slipknot album, Rammstein & more.
Stone Sour are going to be touring with Ozzy later on this year. Slipknot began its touring life on Ozzfest then eventually partnered together on Ozzfest meets Knotfest. Personally and professionally, what makes touring with Ozzy so special?
Well, from a fan’s standpoint, he’s the reason that I do this, in a lot of ways. I quote Dizzy Gillespie, “No him, no me.” Basically, he was the first larger than life singer that really made me love heavy metal. Whether it was [Black] Sabbath or his solo stuff, I can just remember being the biggest Ozzy fan on the planet. So, as a fan, it’s pretty crazy. To realize that not only do I get to tour and work with Ozzy on so many different levels, but also, to socialize with him personally.
And it blows my 13-year-old self away — it’s pretty crazy. On a professional level, it’s one of those things where you kind of hope and dream that one day you would be on that level, or at least be associated with it, let alone said in the same breath. And to feel like I have accomplished that in some way, is very humbling and makes me realize just how lucky I am to be able to do what I do.
Slipknot and Stone Sour are both full-time bands. Physically and creatively, there must be times when that's an exhausting schedule for you. For you, what's the personal necessity of having both?
Personally, it allows me, musically, to be able to create at will. The best way to kill your creativity is to put boundaries or limits on what you can and can’t do. And because I have these two fantastic bands, I am able to do anything that comes to mind musically. It just feels like the gloves off, just across the board. If I want to do something slow and light, like "Saint Marie," I can do it. If I want to do something destructive and chaotic, like "AOV," I can do it. For me, it has made my musical aspirations as big as the horizon basically.
From a personal standpoint, I get to partake in every sort of frontman persona I’d like to. With Slipknot, I can get on my inner madman. And with Stone Sour, I can get on my inner class clown. And both are me. Like, I have always maintained the fact that you can't have one without the other. So it makes sense for me to be powering these two huge bands.
Guitarist Josh Rand has been dealing with some personal issues that aren't unfamiliar to you. How much of a hand do you have in assisting in the recovery side of addiction, not only within your immediate circle but also a more general larger sense?
When it comes to stuff like that, all you can really do is offer advice offer a shoulder to lean on. You never want to make somebody feel like if they aren’t doing it your way, then it’s not going to work. The key to sobriety is always what works for you, what is best for you. And there are several different ways to do it. So for me, it’s just about being there, making sure and reinforcing the idea that if you need a hand, if you need someone to talk to, if you need that kind of reinforcement, then I’m here.
I’ve been through it, I know the drill. I can offer advice, I can offer ways and solutions. But that’s all you can do, at the end of the day, your sobriety is your own heavy lifting. So just being there as a friend is really sometimes all you need. And the great things is being able to be there for each other. Offering that reinforces my own sobriety. Let's me know that I am still on the right path and hopefully trying to strive to be that person that I really want to be.
Stone Sour released an acoustic EP of Hydrograd songs for Record Store Day. As a singer what does performing acoustically enable you to do differently?
I love it. It's a great way to distill a song down to its very soul, to its essence. A lot of people don't realize, a lot of the stuff I write, I write on an acoustic. Almost everything that I've ever written, riffy rock, chorded stuff like that - it's written and worked out on an acoustic right out of the gate. So for us, it's cool to be able to show the acoustic side of it and show that there are so many different dimensions to so many different songs. One way that it's recorded doesn't mean it's the only way that it can be performed. For me, that just shows the versatility. It shows the multiple dimensions that you can get from songs or get from music or get from those different interpretations.
A new Slipknot album has been in the pipeline for a while with some talk of a release next year. What's different about not only the way you're going about writing it, but also with what you want to say with it?
Well, it's been a heavy couple of years for me personally. So I'm working out some things, personally for myself, which has been great. I've been able to grab ahold of some of the depression that I've been fighting and formulate the way that I want to describe it. So some of these lyrics are, to me, some of the best I've ever written. It's probably the most I've shared in years.
Hearing some of the guys in Slipknot read and react to some of the lyrics that I've been writing has been fantastic. I know Clown was like, just blown away by how open and raw it all felt. It felt like the old days. It felt like the beginning when it was just - we were the wound and the fans were the scabs. Trying to get it to heal and we were all trying to heal together. That's what this kind of feels like.
It's been great watching the process and getting involved with the process, finally. Hearing the music that Clown and Jim and Jay and Alex and everybody else in the band has been really working on, and being able to listen to it with fresh ears and come at it from different standpoints has been really fulfilling. It's been really, really good.
Your son Griffin has a band with Simon Crahan. What was that conversation like when your son tells you he's starting a band with Clown's kid?
The funny thing is he hit me up when they were going to audition Simon. He's like, I don’t know what's gonna happen. I was like, well I can tell you exactly what's going to happen. It's gonna be crazy and that's exactly what happened.
They rehearsed over at Clown's house and I went over to pick Grif up and me and Clown are standing basically in the room in his house where we wrote Iowa, the album, and we're watching them in another room, play songs that we had written after Iowa. It was like, this weird coming full circle and then him and I sharing a parental sense of pride, watching our kids do something that we loved and that they loved, and hopefully, we've passed down to them. It's been pretty rad.
The last time I actually had a chance to see Stone Sour was on the Rammstein show in Vegas, which was so awesome. I don’t know about you but I'm a huge Rammstein fan and that was - did you stay to watch Rammstein?
I caught a little bit of it. I was actually sick as a dog that day, so I saw a little bit of it. I'm friends with those guys, so getting to see Phil and those guys do the - the fire was so intense, I was just standing there going: how do they do it? That's coming from somebody in Slipknot, [laughs] for God's Sake. It was intense, man. They spare no expense when it comes to the show and that's why they're fans are so rabid when it comes to seeing their live show, man. I love it. It was incredible.
I recently watched a Rammstein documentary. I think it's an older one, but it's pretty hilarious talking about them coming up and coming to the US, not speaking any English but really sticking to their guns about what they wanted their live performance to be and not giving in and just doing a show without fire here, which is why the US has been deprived of Rammstein for so long over the years.
I'm hoping that as they see that they can put on their kind of shows now that we'll see a few more over in The States. I'm spoiled, I see them a lot during the festival season.
Which is like, the big --
I get to see the fire. I rub it into my friends who are Rammstein fans as much as I can because they lose their minds. I'm like hey, it's not my fault, deal with it.
And how incredible - I mean, they played Download - I guess it was like, I don’t know maybe two years ago and it was just a reminder of - they're singing in German and no matter where you go people just lose their minds and have no idea what they're saying.
Not one drop. I know a little bit of the little - a few of their songs, but other than that I have no idea what they're saying. I know "ich vill" means, I will and that's about it. After that, [laughs] it gets weird.
Thanks for Corey Taylor for the interview. Pick up Stone Sour's latest album, 'Hydrograd,' here and keep up with the band on Facebook. Find out where you can hear Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show here.
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