Last month, it was announced that SLIPKNOT frontman Corey Taylor has signed a "global recordings agreement" with BMG to release his second solo album, "CMF2". The follow-up to 2020's "CMFT" will arrive later this year via Taylor's label imprint Decibel Cooper.
Asked by the "All Things Music" podcast if it was a "weird and "pretty refreshing feeling" to be a free agent after spending more than two decades signed to Roadrunner Records, which released all of his albums with SLIPKNOT, STONE SOUR and the aforementioned "CMFT", Corey said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah. Honestly, it's all of that. But there's also this moment… and even after all these years, for me, there's this moment where it's kind of daunting as well. You're, like, 'Fuck.' This feels like — not starting over again, but now you have to create bonds with a whole new group of people. But the rad thing about BMG is just how into everything I am and everything I do they are. Which is refreshing, because probably for about 10 years Roadrunner has not been that. Roadrunner was completely antithetical when it came to that stuff. They just had become this company that we didn't even recognize anymore. So when our contract came up, we were, like, '1-800 See ya! I'm done with you.' Because it had turned into a bunch of people we didn't know."
Elaborating on where the turning point happened when it comes to his relationship with Roadrunner, Corey said: "They did this massive cull back in, like, I wanna say it was 2012. It was the 'great firing.' And they fired everyone we knew, everyone we had started out with… Jonas [Nachsin], the president, gone. By this time, Cees [Wessels], the old owner, was gone. So Roadrunner went from this juggernaut of a metal company to a hallway at Warner Brothers. I saw it with my own eyes. I was just, like, 'Wow! Where did this go?' It just became this thing that they owned the catalog. And that was it. They didn't care. And the people who were left didn't really care about us. So it really became this thing where we had to kind of rise to the challenge on that. And all kudos to our management company, 5B, because they really created all of these different departments around us to help us keep going. If it wasn't for 5B, man, we would have been stalled; let's put it that way. So we were able to continue going, really kind of almost in a weird, corporate DIY way.
"So when the time came to do my solo thing, Roadrunner almost halfheartedly put the first album out," Corey explained. "Didn't push it. It's insane that we even did what we could with that, even with the pandemic going on, because they didn't care. So when the time came to kind of re-up with Roadrunner, they were, like, 'If you wanna go somewhere else, we won't stop you.' I was, like, 'That's all I needed to hear, dude.' I was, like, 'Thanks for that.'"
When podcast host Ryan Katz noted that it must have been "shocking" of Roadrunner to say that, Corey corrected him. "Not really — not when you think about the fact that they don't care," he said. "They didn't care about us. Like I said, it was a totally different group of people. They had nothing to do with getting us there; they had nothing to do with keeping us there; so they didn't really want us to stay there. So I was, like, 'All right. Whatever.' So then BMG comes in hot, dude, and they were, like… It felt like the old days of Roadrunner. Their excitement, their passion, the fact that they're a global company… And they were, like, 'We're gonna make this album not only a priority but we are going to get behind this one hundred percent.' And I was just, like, 'You had me at 'hello.' Let's do this."
Taylor clarified that his deal with BMG only extends itself to his work as a solo artist, although he also plans to release material from other musicians.
"SLIPKNOT's gonna be fine," he said. "SLIPKNOT is its own industry at this point. If it wants to drop stuff independently, it can. But with me, even though I love a challenge, it's still building towards a level that I want it to get to, and with me, there's no other level than the top. So if I can use all the help I can get, I'm gonna take it and I'm gonna run with it as far as I can."
SLIPKNOT's final album for Roadrunner, "The End, So Far", came out last September.
Taylor began tracking "CMF2" in January at an undisclosed studio with longtime producer Jay Ruston, who has previously worked with STEEL PANTHER and ANTHRAX, among others.
In February 2022, Corey released a solo album of covers and acoustic recordings, titled "CMFB…Sides", via Roadrunner Records. The collection comprised nine previously unreleased B-sides, covers of tunes that inspired Taylor, acoustic renditions, and live versions.
"CMFT" made impressive debuts on charts around the world, entering at No. 1 on Billboard's Current Hard Rock Albums chart, while claiming No. 2 on Current Rock Albums, No. 6 on Vinyl Albums, and No. 9 on the Top Albums charts. Furthermore, "CMFT" landed Top 10 on the official album charts in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, with Top 20 debuts in the United Kingdom, Finland and Japan (international chart).
Photo credit: Pamela Littky