Interview: Corey Taylor Discusses Religion, the Paranormal and ‘Pro Toolbags’

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Courtesy of Roadrunner Records

Courtesy of Roadrunner Records

October is Metal Month at Radio.com. Throughout the month, we’ll have artist interviews as well as mini-documentaries about metal, metal fans and the birthplace of metal. And book reports: reading is fundamental, even for headbangers, and we’ll have reviews of some of the best recent metal biographies and retrospectives. Horns up!

He’s the closest thing metal has to a renaissance man: Corey Taylor fronts no less than two major bands, Slipknot and Stone Sour. He’s written a comic book series based on Stone Sour’s House Of Gold & Bones albums and now has two books to his name: 2012′s Seven Deadly Sins: Settling the Argument Between Born Bad and Damaged Good and his more recent A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven: Or, How I Made Peace With The Paranormal And Stigmatized Zealots And Cynics In The Process.

It’s the latter book that’s been on his mind lately. He is rankled by the idea that it will be filed under “music” in book stores, as it’s a serious look at the supernatural, which neither flatly denies paranormal occurrences, nor buys into all of the explanations for them. Much of the book was inspired by Taylor’s own experiences.

As he told Radio.com, “It came down to, well, I’ve had all of these experiences. And yet, every explanation that has been offered to me has not been satisfactory, whether it’s religious, or complete dismissal by the skeptics, or the purported ‘ghost hunters,’ who get more and more reactionary with every series. I’m more interested in the proof of it. I wanna know what this is, instead of just going ‘Aaaah!’ I’d rather go, ‘Oh, that’s what this could be.’ Once I figured out that that’s where I wanted to write it from, the rest of it just kind of fell together.”

An avowed atheist, the book may not gel with Taylor’s more religious friends, but he’s careful how he treads on that ground: “I don’t knock how people feel, I knock the religion itself. That’s because so much of man’s fingerprints are on religion. If there was more proof in God, I’d probably believe more in it. It’s always been way more divisive than inclusive, so that’s one the reasons I’ve never subscribed to that side of things.”

His next book could well be a tutorial on how to budget your time. Besides all the aforementioned projects, in recent years, he’s also guested on a number of albums, including Dave Grohl’s Sound City, Travis Barker’s Give The Drummer Some along with a solo holiday single, “X-M@$.” He says he actually gets most of his work done while on the road. He’s a lot more laid back when he’s not on tour: “When I’m at home, I like to just be with my family. Be a dad, be the guy making lunch, dinner, breakfast. And then I lay on the couch for an hour, drink coffee and scratch myself.”

A few months back, he did a couple of shows with Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players, performing a set of Cheap Trick covers, backed by Grohl and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. He says he loved Grohl’sSound City film, and would love to return to the analog world. “I could totally make an album on two-inch tape, it would be amazing to go back to that. You use Pro Tools as a tool, you don’t use it to paint over the fact that you have zero talent. Nothing’s more offensive to me, to be honest.”

You heard it here first: the man who bellowed such metal classics as “Wait And Bleed,” “New Abortion,” “People = S***” and “The Heretic Anthem,” has revealed what offends him. He refers to this class of artist as “Pro Toolbags.”

“We’re breeding a world where mediocrity is elevated to this ridiculous status and it’s pathetic.”

And speaking of music, he gives the status of both of his bands: “Stone Sour is basically off, we’re on hiatus right now. Slipknot: we’re gonna start throwing some music together, start putting together the seeds of a new album. That’s the extent of my plans.” Although he’s quick to add that he has something else to add to his to-do list: “Maybe lose ten pounds get in better shape.”

Perhaps his next book may end up being on health and fitness.

- Brian Ives, Radio.com

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