Andrew Tijs of Undercover conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT/STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor earlier this week during STONE SOUR's appearance at the 2011 edition of Australia's Soundwave festival. You can now watch the entire 20-minute chat at this location. A couple of excerpts from the interview follow below.
On the differences between the way he approaches STONE SOUR and his role in SLIPKNOT:
Corey: "The great thing about STONE SOUR is that, for the most part, these are guys that I grew with. I mean, me and Shawn [Economaki, bass] and Josh [Rand, guitar] have known each other since we were teenagers. And then Jim [Root, guitar] was a guy that we kind of grew up going to see play live — his band was the most popular band in town, so we went and saw him play, and then years later he joined and he just naturally made STONE SOUR better. And it's kind of the same thing that happened when Roy [Mayorga, drums] joined — when Roy joined the band, it just naturally elevated everything; he was a guy that I'd known since '98. So it really is a family, it really is a strong brotherhood. With SLIPKNOT — I mean, I'm very proud of what I did with SLIPKNOT, and obviously, I'm close with those guys, but it's completely different. It was a band that joined later and I, honestly, in a lot of ways, never really felt connected to it — for whatever reason; it might have been me, it might have been them. I cast no aspersions on anyone. But that's just the dynamic. STONE SOUR's always had a really special spot in my heart, because it's the first real band that I started, and I put so much work into it, and I'm still with these guys that I've known 20 years. I mean, it's always gonna be right there."
On talking about SLIPKNOT in the past tense:
Corey: "Well, it's not the same, obviously, is it?! [Referring to the May 2010 passing of the band's bassist, Paul Gray.] I mean, it's never gonna be the same, so there's no way I can look at it any differently than that."
On whether he thinks new music from both SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR will be affected by Paul Gray's passing:
Corey: "If it happens, if it happens... There'll definitely be new STONE SOUR music, but with SLIPKNOT, there's such a huge piece missing now — a piece that the fans can't even understand. And, honestly, it drives me nuts trying to explain it to them. I mean, Paul always was that unconscious, almost lynchpin that held everything together. And he had such a great mind for the music that we created that without him, I don't see it happening very soon, let's put it that way. If we do, it's gonna be way down the line, and it's gonna be when everyone's ready. Because there are other things in the band that are affecting things right now." After the interviewer points out that "Everyone must still be tender" following Paul's death, Corey goes on to say, "It's not even about that. It's individual issues, let's put it that way, and that's all I'll say about it. Obviously, we're doing these shows in the summer at Sonisphere and that's pretty much gonna be us dipping a toe in the water to see what happens. To me, it's baby steps. I think everybody's racing ahead without realizing that we kind of have to pick ourselves up first. Everyone needs to be realistic about it and it seems like I'm the only one who's being realistic. And it's a heavy responsibility to be the guy who is kind of coming off as the doomsayer, but at the end of the day, that's respect. I'm not just racing right ahead and going, 'Oh, yeah, we're gonna go...' I lost my brother last year, and people need to understand that and respect it before I start getting all 'hip, hip hooray' about everything."
On whether his feelings fluctuate about SLIPKNOT carrying on without Paul Gray:
Corey: "Yeah, a little bit. I mean, it's always going to. There's not a part of me that's very happy about jumping up on stage without Paul; it's gonna be very, very weird. If I'm cautious, it's because I respect what we've done, and I respect him and I respect his memory. I think too many people are just ready for us to kind of rush past that, and it's, like, that's not how the healing process works, and it's never a good thing to do that. So I'm tentative. I'm hoping it goes well. But I'm also gonna be realistic, I'm gonna be pragmatic and that's just the way I am."