UFiesta Preview: Stone Sour's Corey Taylor on Dave Grohl and New Music from Slipknot
Stone Sour and Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor is pulling double duty this year in more ways than one. Stone Sour is putting out its second album in as many years; the first was House of Gold & Bones Part 1, which dropped last year, and the second, House of Gold & Bones Part 2, came out in April.
Later this year, Stone Sour and Slipknot will be performing the same weekend, as part of Ozzfest Japan and the Download Festival. On top of that, Taylor just released a comic book to coincide with House of Gold & Bones.
Up on the Sun talked with Corey Taylor about the differences between House of Gold & Bones Parts 1 and 2, his bucket-list collaboration with Dave Grohl, and new music from Slipknot.
Stone Sour is scheduled to play U-Fiesta in Mesa on Saturday, May 4.
Slipknot is known for its insane stage antics, theatrics, and outfits, as well as its brand of metal and rock rap. Stone Sour's sound is gritty and dark, with an array of slower melodic songs that waver between visceral metal and a look into one's deeper consciousness.
Both bands have garnered several Grammy nominations for Best Metal and Rock Performances, and Slipknot even won Best Metal Performance for the song "Before I Forget" off of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses).
What a lot of people don't know is that Stone Sour was formed before Slipknot, the latter in 1995 and the former in 1992.
"So many people don't realize that Stone Sour preceded Slipknot," Taylor said. "That was my band before I connected with Slipknot, and the roots are deep with Stone Sour. I love being out with this band. It's a different band than Slipknot, and I think when you make music, you need to stretch and move in different directions."
Up on the Sun: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.
It's all good, it's my sworn duty has the frontman for a band.
When we talked a year ago, you had explained how the concept behind The House of Gold & Bones was a morality play, and how everyone finds themselves at a crossroads. Did the album evolve past what you even originally thought it to be, in terms of hitting home for a lot of people?
Well, the response has been amazing. Fans have been saying it's the best of our career, and I've gotta agree with them. Everything we've done at this point has been building toward making these two albums.
I think it told the side of the story that I wanted it to, which was that unconscious side, that internal dialogue side. That's really where I wanted the music to sit. And, uh, I think the music played perfectly off of the story I wrote.
In a lot of ways, it did kind of go past what I thought the story was going to be, and what it finally came [to] was about adding strength in life to make decisions and choices and stand up and live your life, no matter what that life is.
I was really happy that it evolved into that. I've always left a lot of my lyrics open to interpretation, and these albums are no different. I was kind of blown away.
What songs are you enjoying the most performing right now? I really love "Sadist" and "Gravesend"
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah . . . Those songs are very, very, very special, too. "Sadist" was from Josh, who normally writes the really heavy stuff. He came to me and had written this slower tune that just had this heaviness to it.
I knew we were going to have to really play up the delicacy between the two. We worked together, and I added a couple things here and there, and once it came together it was this really powerful song. You know? And Josh was really stoked with the way it came together.
And then "Gravesend" is just such a dark tune; it's about really trying to bury the demons from the past, but they all come screaming to the surface if you don't do that properly. I mean, in order to bury those demons you have to forgive them.
And that's the hardest thing in life. That's the thing so many people forget about, you know? You can ignore a problem and it will blow up in your face. But it you embrace it face-to-face, it will slowly, surely get better.
Are there any tracks you are more anxious about performing live?
Well, we've been playing "Do Me a Favor," which is like a slow burn. At first people are like, "What is this?" And then the more they listened to it, the more they thought it was badass. With every audience we've played it for, it's just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger.
And then when the chorus kicks in, I can't even hear myself. And I'm wearing in-ear monitors, man! That is such a blast to feel, you know? We haven't really had a chance to practice too many more songs from Part 2. So hopefully on the next handful of tours we'll be able to break more out.
How does Part 2 differ from Part 1 for you?
I think it's definitely more . . . It has a spirit. It's darker. Some of the songs have bits that are much heavier than Part I.
To me, it moves the story more than Part 1 does. I mean, Part 1 is a great rock album that happened to have a linear story going on. Whereas in Part 2, it's much more involved with what the concept is supposed to be, and moves you toward a conclusion. It feels more like a soundtrack.
We did that on purpose. We really wanted to have that one-two punch that complemented each other, where the story is really a piece of the puzzle. And when you put these pieces together you get the whole picture.
I really liked the collaboration with Dave Grohl on "From Can to Can't." What musician would you really love to do a collaboration with?
Dave was number one. Anytime I looked at that question in the press -- for years, he was my first guy. Because a) I love the dude to death. We're pretty good friends. And b) I love his songwriting. I'm a huge Foo Fighters fan; I'm a fan of everything he does.