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Corey Taylor: New Slipknot Album ’98 Percent Done’

Slipknot Corey Taylor
Mary Ouellette, SheWillShootYou.com

Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor is constantly working, whether onstage or in the studio. But the rocker took some time recently to chat with the ‘Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie‘ radio show about Slipknot’s upcoming album and he dropped some big news about the progress of the disc, saying it’s ’98 percent done.’ He also touched on a number of other topics, so check out a full transcript of Corey Taylor’s radio interview with ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie below:

It’s Full Metal Jackie and we have Corey Taylor with us on the show tonight. Slipknot are obviously working on a new album. Corey, what’s been most fulfilling about working on new Slipknot music that you never experienced before?

This one, it just feels, there’s something weird about this one. Obviously this is the first album we’re making without Paul [Gray]. After everything we went through, there’s a catharsis that comes with this, being able to throw all the emotion and aggression out that we’ve been holding onto. At the same time, getting to be creative again. Feeling that juice coming back into us. It’s been a real positive experience just from an artistic standpoint, a lyrical standpoint. We’re making an album that’s not just a reflection. Let’s just get new music out there. There’s something very vital with what we’re trying to do. There’s something very visceral with the emotion we’re playing with and trying to tell the story of a band that’s gone through hell, and yet we’re back. It’s been really fulfilling.

Slipknot fans are fiercely devoted to the band. How has your responsibility as their voice changed over time? Especially now, with new music.

There’s an intensity that comes with this band. There’s a special kind of insanity that comes with this band, it’s not just a crazy for crazy sake. This is about almost that primal scream expression that comes with being able to channel it, not just explode, but channel it. The responsibility comes when you’re trying to not only broaden the horizons of new fans but live up to the expectations of the older fans, and yourself. It’s been about using this band as a way to channel the aggression that I always feel. It’s not the same kind of aggression I had when we made our first album, but it’s about approaching everything with that same intensity and drive — that same commitment to making everything absolutely perfect. That’s what we expect from ourselves and that’s what the fans expect from us.

The last several years have been tumultuous for Slipknot, to say the least. That always seems to be the climate of this band. Could it be Slipknot without turmoil?

No. Probably not [laughs]. It’d probably be some Lawrence Welk thing going on. I don’t want to say the band thrives on drama, but just because of the atmosphere we’ve created for ourselves, we tend to inspire ourselves through chaos and the cacophony of being a bunch of people in a band. Any time you get more than three people in a situation there’s going to be a sort of turmoil. Anyone in a band can tell you that. Anyone who works with a group of people can tell you that. Any actor on a set can tell you that. There’s something about trying to make an individual’s voice heard in a community sense that will naturally bring out tension, not everyone is going to agree. If they do, it’s usually because they don’t have any good ideas of their own.

It’s important to be able to find that balance. Sometimes that comes with intensity, arguments. It comes with debate — heated debates — but debates nonetheless. You have to find a way to make everyone’s vision work. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. We’ve been luckier than most, maybe in the ninety percentile. We’ve been able to make sure that everyone’s voice is heard in this band. But it does come with its slew of lash back or feedback. Its just one of those challenges, if you want to be in a band, that’s what you have to do. If you don’t, be a solo artist. It doesn’t get any harder than trying to make something like this work.

Slipknot performances are physical to the extreme. They’re draining physically and mentally. What about them can you not live without?

Aw man. There’s a lot. I’ve been privileged enough to be able to go out onstage with a lot of different people. Whether it’s bands that I helped start, or joining people who I grew up listening to. People whom are my peers now, I guess is the way to put it. I’ve never experienced anything like what I get from a Slipknot show. There’s a click that happens, as soon as you step on that stage. You know it’s thick. The intensity is thick, the atmosphere is dense. You allow yourself to think things, that no normal person would think. I always say there’s a part of me that would gladly pull my own head off and kick it in the audience. That’s the kind of craziness you get to. In your head, of course I could! Maybe I shouldn’t, I gotta sing. But I could! I could if I wanted to.

There’s something very … it comes back to catharsis. I never was really truly happy before I joined Slipknot, and I’ve never been happier in my life because I’ve been able to let go of so much. The live show is such a big part of that. It’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ in tune, sometimes. It’s ‘Thunderdome.’ You bust a deal, you face the wheel. If you mess up onstage, we’re all coming for you. We all know it, so we are committed to it. Then, knowing that when you’ve given everything you’ve got, that roar of the crowd washes over you like the colosseum in ancient Rome. There’s nothing on earth that even touches that.

Corey, your sense of humor is brutal with an undercurrent of cutting honesty. What made being on the receiving end of that Roast on the Range most uncomfortable, but still fun?

The funny thing about that, I knew because of the personalities involved I wasn’t going to be the main target. Even though it was my roast, people were coming for each other, and I was the dude with his own comfortable seat just going, “Yeah sure, tear each other to shreds. See if I care. Because I get the last word.” In all seriousness, it was a lot of fun. My face hurt for three days! I was laughing my ass off.

With the exception of maybe a couple of other people, everyone had a great time. We were able to raise a lot of money for a great cause, and if I can put myself on the chopping block for that, just for the reason of raising money for an organization like MusiCares, so be it. I’ll do it every week. You can’t take yourself too seriously in this world, and especially in this world, the world you and I are in. The minute you do, you put yourself on a pedestal that nobody else put you on. You will find yourself very alone, very bitter, very selfish. So luckily I have great people around me to keep my ass in check and that’s all I need.

Touring with Stone Sour must be so much different than being on the road with Slipknot. Backstage, what is different about your pre-show rituals before taking the stage with Stone Sour?

Both bands are quite dork-ish, let’s put it that way. There’s a bunch of stuff we do with Slipknot. If people could peek behind the curtain they’d be like, who are the douches back here? It’s the same with Stone Sour. My main thing before a Stone Sour show is I try to get everyone to laugh. Because it is such a different world from Slipknot. With Stone Sour, it’s a lot more about the party. Slipknot is the hangover after the brutal-ness of a gnarly weekend that you don’t really remember a lot. So, you have to set the tone.

If I were to go onstage for a Stone Sour show with that kind of intensity, it would take away from the things I was trying to sing in some of the songs. There’s a different type of intensity that goes with Stone Sour. Yet, it’s about trying to connect in a different way with those personalities, because they are completely different from Slipknot. With me, it’s almost about trying to set the tone by going, “Guess what? I’m going to wear the dumbest s–t I can, just to get a reaction from the audience right out of the gate.”

Halloween 2010, I think we were doing a co-headlining tour with Avenged Sevenfold. Halloween, at the Brixton Academy in London and I didn’t show anyone what I was wearing that night until the very last second. So much so that some of the guys from Avenged came out just to see my outfit. They were like, there’s no way you’re wearing that and anyone — go online and Google me Halloween 2010, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. It was a tutu with a full bustier, a very magenta wig.

So they didn’t know until you walked out.

They had no idea and we had a Kabuki, which in Japanese means never works. Luckily this night, it worked. It came down and the audience was ready, screaming, oh! You would have thought I had hit a home run at the World Series. As many flashes, everyone’s phones were out, it was hilarious. Because you have to set the tone. If you don’t, you’re and idiot.

Corey, tell us about the progress and where things are at with the new Slipknot album.

The album is done. Oh yes. I’d say 98 percent done. I’m in the process of heading to the studio to give a listen, see if there’s anything we need to touch up. But yeah, it is very close. The next step is the mix, and we’re going to try to get it out very soon. There will be big announcements soon. Big things to hear, soon. That’s really all I can say about it. I know we’re anything, if not diligent to our plan. The plan is to just slowly but surely get people to lose their minds for the next couple of months with just little stuff here and there leaked.

Great to see you, thank you so much.

My pleasure.

Thanks to Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor. As he stated in the interview, stay tuned for more Slipknot album updates in the coming months. Tune into Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.

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