In a new interview with Grammy.com, Corey Taylor talked about the need for him to transition into exploring other things, such as recording and touring with his solo project, after spending more than two decades fronting SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR. He said: "As a performer, you physically want to rise to that occasion. The only thing that holds us back in performance is age, and I'm lucky that I'm healthy enough that I can still go at a certain level. But I know I can't continue that forever. The guys in SLIPKNOT also know that, and that's something that we're talking about very honestly. 'What do we do?' 'What does the next level of SLIPKNOT look like?' We're looking at it from an artistic point of view. How do we make it still seem frenetic and off the chain, but also something that we can deal with from a strength point of view? It'll be interesting to see where that challenge takes us. It also allows me to be able to do stuff like this solo thing. It's high-energy right now, but when it gets to the point where I want to tame it down a little bit, I have songs that I can lean into and let them do the heavy lifting for me."
He continued: "This is probably the closest to the real me as a performer that I've been in my whole career. Because obviously with SLIPKNOT, it's really one side of the genre. With STONE SOUR, I was being held back because of certain people in the band. But with this, there are no limitations, and I can do music carte blanche as far as genre goes and performance goes. I have a band that can play anything, which is just criminal. It's really, really cool. I'm just really fortunate to be in the place where I am right now."
Earlier this month, Corey told Saby Reyes-Kulkarni of Paste magazine about his decision to put STONE SOUR "on indefinite hiatus" and launch his solo career by releasing 2020's "CMFT" and 2023's "CMF2" albums: "When STONE SOUR first started, not only was I playing guitar constantly, but I was also the lead guitarist and main writer. Honestly, one of the reasons why I was very adamant about starting my solo thing is that there was a weird misconception around who was writing what for what band. Maybe this is where my ego comes into play, but I felt like I wasn't getting the credit for the things I was actually writing. With STONE SOUR, it was fairly obvious, but there were a lot of songs that I wrote that people thought [guitarists] Jim [Root] or Josh [Rand] wrote where that wasn't the case at all. And then, with SLIPKNOT, there was a lot of stuff that either wouldn't have been written without me, or that I wrote that other people gave [themselves] credit [for]. As someone who takes great pride in sitting down and creating something from nothing — just from my imagination — that stuck in my craw."
He continued: "I've never shied away from giving credit to the people who deserve it. I've never taken credit for anything that I didn't do, and I've always been the first to shine the spotlight on anybody else. I don't necessarily get that in return. So this, for me, is setting the record straight and changing the narrative. Showing people that, 'Oh yeah, he does write heavy shit. And country shit. And acoustic shit. And piano shit. And rock shit. Hardcore shit' — the gamut."
This past June, Taylor told Germany's Rock Antenne that it is easier for him to make solo records than it is to work with a band. But he clarified: "It's not that I don't miss some of the guys in STONE SOUR; I still talk to them. But at this stage, I refuse to compromise my vision and my art because of certain people's hindrances. And that's all I'll say."
In August 2022, Corey told SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" that "nothing" had changed with regard to STONE SOUR months after he said in a previous interview that the band was on hiatus. Pressed about whether STONE SOUR is something he still might revisit at some point in the future, Corey said: "I don't know. The solo thing's more where my heart is, to be honest."
Corey, who was actually in STONE SOUR before he joined SLIPKNOT, continued: "To me, I've done the time doing stuff in a — for lack of a better term — band situation. And the reason I stick with SLIPKNOT is because that, to me, is the one that kind of started everything. But STONE SOUR, there's still so much drama and issues [between the members]. To me, it's just not something I desire to do. And songs in STONE SOUR that I want to play are the ones that I wrote in the first place. So to me, I would rather go out with a group of dudes who I've known forever and have a great time playing these songs and have the audience enjoy it because they see a bunch of dudes up there enjoying it than try to force issues on an audience that nobody really wants to be a part of, let's put it that way."
Asked it has been difficult for him to shelf STONE SOUR considering the amount of work he put into the band, Corey said: "It's been a bitter pill to swallow, but I've also reached an age where I refuse to waste any time with people who I don't enjoy being with, let's put it that way. And that's saying more than I actually should be saying.
"When it comes to my bands, I know in the past I've been very open to talking about it," Taylor continued. "But I'm very reticent about talking about things that deal with people who I care about. And whether there are issues or not, I still care about them. So it's tough. I have to rein myself in 'cause I'm not gonna throw anybody under the bus because nine times out of 10 I could be the problem too.
"I just know that at this point in my life I have more reason to love the solo thing than I do to try and do something with STONE SOUR," Corey added. "Now, am I saying that it'll never happen? No, because you never know. Something might come up and we could get an opportunity, and we could get an opportunity to do something for charity, and we all get together and we do something really, really cool. But my immediate plans right now — there's no STONE SOUR in the future."
STONE SOUR has been off the road and out of sight since completing the touring cycle for its last studio album, 2017's "Hydrograd". Taylor has been working with SLIPKNOT since then, as well as making his debut solo album, "CMFT", and a follow-up effort, "CMF2", which arrived earlier this month. A STONE SOUR live album, "Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno", came out in December 2019.