Nancy Dunham of Loudwire recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Loudwire: You are so down to earth. That’s something a lot of your fans must find so surprising.
Corey: It’s important. The people I respect the least are the ones that take themselves way to seriously. And you can just tell this isn’t about the creativity for them. It is about the trying to prop themselves up to feel better about themselves. I think that is sad because there are really some great, great artists out there that really come off as such tools. I am the kind of guy who has never taken myself too seriously. I mean, I am very serious about what I do, I’m very serious about the creative process and everything but at the end of the day I am just another lucky geek who got to live out a dream, you know? I am still the guy who reads tons of comics, watch tons of movies, still loves having a great time. I never put myself up on that pedestal. When people put me up on that pedestal I do my best to knock myself off.
Loudwire: Are there any negative effects, though, to that kind of forthcoming approach especially in this media environment?
Corey: Maybe that is why I catch so much hell for calling out some of these people. That’s fine, man. I’ll walk the thin line between hero and villain as long as it takes but at least I’m honest. At least I’m speaking my mind instead of hiding behind a keyboard or a computer screen under a user name that nobody understands. It makes me a target, but I can live with it.
Loudwire: What do you see happening with SLIPKNOT in 2012?
Corey: I think  will just be more of a strengthening year for us. [The 2010 death of bassist Paul Gray is] still very fresh for us, even though it’s been a year and a half since his death. It is still something that breaks me down every night. I just know if we try to rush in and make an album that doesn’t feel right, the audience will know. The audience will know that it doesn’t feel right and they’ll know it was forced and they’ll know it isn’t genuine. If anything we have always been as genuine with our audience as possible. That is why I have gone out of my way to say, “Look, I’m not ready to do it.” And I know there are guys in the band that may or may not be comfortable saying it to anyone else but I know they feel the same way because they have said so to me. I think as long as the guys know we are going to eventually going to they are OK with that. It is not that time yet. When we make the album we all know it is going to be for Paul, you know? And I don’t think any of us are ready to open up that much yet. I think we need to take the steps to strengthen ourselves as a band first. And then start making those steps. And, plus, he was one of our major, major songwriters. There is such a huge gap because of his loss. And I feel it. And that’s why I am not comfortable. It doesn’t make sense yet. And that is one of those things that makes me a villain to a lot of kids. Me saying we aren’t going to make an album is like me saying that the band is going to break up for some people. And everyone needs to calm down. I never said that. I said it is going to be a while before we make another album. But I think the more we put ourselves out there and the more we show ourselves as a band, a solid unit, the more people calm down about that.
Loudwire: It’s almost like you’ve lived several lives. How do you define yourself now?
Corey: I have got to be honest, I am not as defined now as I was before just because of how honest I am in my lyrics. Obviously, when I was young I got all caught up in the whole romance of the stardom and the fame. I’m lucky I made my mistakes early and I was savvy enough to have learned from them for the most part, I guess. Now I am defined by who I aspire to be. A great father, a good husband, a good person, a good friend some crazy ranting lunatic who gets to entertain a bunch of frickin’ people. It’s really cool. I am not defined by who people think I should be. I am my own man and that’s good. I could easily have become a Charlie Sheen or someone like that. It is almost like they are enabled to be a certain way. And in many ways, they are encouraged to behave that way because they know that kind of behavior makes headlines. And they are encouraged to be pretty much jackasses because of their “genius.” [People say] “It’s OK for him to be a complete a–hole to people because he’s a genius.” That’s just a big cop out. That is an absolute cop out. I have met several people who are bigger and better than these, quote unquote, a–holes and they are some of the sweetest people I have ever met. It takes 10 seconds to have manners. Put the effort in. It takes nothing to be good to people.
Read the entire interview from Loudwire.