Corey Taylor Says He Was a Better Guitar Player Than Early Stone Sour Guitarists ‘Nine Times Out of Ten’
In an interview from this past summer, Corey Taylor looked back on his early days starting Stone Sour in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, back in the '90s — a few years before things got going in Slipknot. Remembering early Stone Sour lineups, Taylor estimates he was "always better than the [lead] guitar player" in the band — "nine times out of ten."
And while he didn't name names, from the context of the conversation, it appears Taylor was referring to the embryonic Stone Sour around the time they recorded their first demos circa 1993–94, before their first hiatus in 1997 for him to focus on being the lead singer of Slipknot.
So while it's unclear exactly what guitarists he was pointing to, it's highly doubtful he meant subsequent Stone Sour guitarists such as Jim Root (also of Slipknot) and Root's replacement, Christian Martucci.
"I was homeless," Taylor recalls of that era to FeedbackDef, "but the guys in the [Stone Sour] actually chipped in and got me a hotel room for us to hang out [in]. That was my first [experience of being in] a brotherhood, first sense of a community, and a first sense of, 'OK, I can bring something these guys have never had before,' which is a clarity of musical voice, and something to take this even further than we want it to [go]." (via Ultimate Guitar)
Corey Taylor Was Homeless
Taylor has previously been upfront about his early experience with homelessness, which came at a low point in his life when he also struggled with depression. But at the time, being the main guitar guy in Stone Sour seemed to instill a new conviction in the musician.
"I guess that was the first year where I really felt confident in my skills as a guitar player," Taylor explains. "When Stone Sour first started, not only was I playing guitar constantly, but I was also the lead guitarist. So I was not only the main writer, I was always the lead guitar player. That's kind of been the throughline for my whole career; I would always fill in the weaknesses for whatever band I was in at the time."
He continues, "When I first started, I was almost always better than the drummer I was in a band with. So, whenever we would do demos, I would play all the drums. But then, I had to make a choice. I wanted to sing; I [didn't] want to do both. I don't want to be Phil Collins — I want to just sing."
Taylor the Better Guitarist?
Expounding further on his early Stone Sour guitar experiences, Taylor says, "With Sour, I was — nine times out of ten — always better than the guitar player we had in the band, as a lead player. So I said, 'Fuck it, I'll just handle it. I'm writing all the music anyway, I might as well be the guy who's leading the charge.' And then, we'll just get a good rhythm guitar player kind of go with [it]."
He adds, "I'd say that was the genesis of my really diving headfirst down, just jumping off the cliff and praying to God the parachute goes off."
Corey Taylor Interview - July 2023
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