Phil Freeman of Roadrunner Records recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT/STONE SOUR frontman Corey Taylor. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Roadrunner Records: You perform behind a mask, so do you write SLIPKNOT lyrics as that character in some ways? Are lyrics for SLIPKNOT qualitatively different from lyrics for STONE SOUR?
Corey: That’s a good question. I don’t know, per se. First off, there’s no playing a character when you’re trying to tap into something as gnarly and unhinged as SLIPKNOT. You’re tapping a valve that you have within you — you either feel these things, or you don’t. You’ve either lived through this pain, or you haven’t. There’s no way to make this stuff up. So for me, it’s basically letting that part of me off the leash a little bit. ‘Cause I’ve got a very, very dark side to my history, my personality, my creativity, my infatuations, basically. And SLIPKNOT allows me to let those go and indulge them, but then pull them back. STONE SOUR, there’s a hint of that there, but with STONE SOUR, it’s much more mellow. It’s a different kind of passion. There’s definitely a little more light in STONE SOUR than with SLIPKNOT, although they both have very positive messages at the end of the day. And that’s where it becomes important. So when I put the mask on for SLIPKNOT, it’s actually revealing that side of me that I keep in check, that I keep a little closer to the chest, because if I just let that guy go, oh, God, it’s messy. It’d be really bad. So for me, it’s a very positive way of working out some serious issues. And over the years I’ve been able to let go of a lot of stuff and figure a lot of stuff out.
Roadrunner Records: Now, you’re saying the early songs were therapy for you, but there’s eight other guys to contend with. Have you ever written a lyric that other bandmembers told you they couldn’t stand behind?
Corey: You know, the interesting thing is that the guys have always really had my back. They’ve really given me carte blanche to get whatever I need to off my chest. Clown [percussion] and Joey [Jordison, drums] go out of their way to let me know that they support whatever I’m saying, no matter what. It feels good to know that your bros have your back when it comes to that. I’ve had the guys in the band come up to me individually and tell me what their favorite lyrics are. So it’s a trust thing. They trust where I’m coming from with these lyrics. They trust that my heart’s in the right place and I’m really trying to help people instead of hurt people, and that just gives you so much confidence as a singer and a writer that you can explore so many different things. I’ve been really lucky.
Roadrunner Records: Are there any songs that, when you sing them today, in 2012, you think, “Wow, I was really 25 years old when I wrote that?”
Corey: Not really, man. I’ve always been really — the great thing about the way I write is, I don’t put anything out there until it’s done done. There’s maybe a handful of lines here and there I wish I could have maybe explored a little further, and maybe I just kind of went with what was on the top of my head, but you’ve gotta stand behind it. And I can’t think of one song or one line or one chorus that I can’t say I support. I can listen to recordings and hear how young I sound, and I’m like, “Whoa, Jesus, what’s up, 12-year-old?” But for the most part, the lyrics have really — I think they’ve held up really well. I never want to feel dated when I’m writing something, so I really try to make it as timeless as possible.
Read the entire interview from Roadrunner Records.