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SLIPKNOT

In Des Moines, Iowa, Joey Jordison, Shawn Crahan, and Mick Thomson approached him asking him to join Slipknot. He agreed to go to one of their practices, and ended up singing in front of them. Of Slipknot’s nine members, Corey was the sixth to join the band. Performing with Slipknot, he would also come to be known as “Number Eight”, being that the band follows a numbering scheme for its members, ranging from 0–8. According to Shawn Crahan, Corey wanted number eight, because it symbolizes infinity.

Feeling he could expand more inside Slipknot than in Stone Sour, Taylor temporarily quit Stone Sour, even though they were recording an album with Sean McMahon. Taylor’s first gig with Slipknot was on August 22, 1997, which according to band members did not go well. During his first gig, Taylor did not perform wearing a mask; however, for his second show nearly a month later, Corey wore a mask that resembles his debut album mask. Taylor’s current mask was described by MTV’s Chris Harris as looking “as though it were made of dried, human flesh—like Leatherface, if only he used moisturizer.”

Taylor has recorded with Slipknot since the release of their second demo album, a self-titled demo used to promote the band to prospective labels and producers. As permanent vocalist, he recorded with Slipknot at Indigo Ranch in Malibu, California and released Slipknot, the band’s debut album that peaked number one on the Top Heatseekers chart, went double platinum in the United States, and was included in the 2006 book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Taylor was accused of copyright infringement, regarding the lyrics of the song “Purity”, but no action was taken. Taylor began recording for their second studio album, Iowa, in 2001 at Sound City and Sound Image in Van Nuys, Los Angeles. It was released August 28, 2001 and peaked number one on the UK Albums Chart, as well as number three on the Billboard 200. While writing Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Taylor decided to write lyrics that would not warrant an explicit label. It peaked number two on the Billboard 200. All Hope Is Gone was the first Slipknot album to peak number one on the Billboard 200.

 

STONE SOUR

Taylor is a founding member of the American hard rock band Stone Sour. After he formed the band in 1992 with drummer Joel Ekman, Shawn Economaki joined filling in the bass position, leaving the electric guitar position to be filled by Josh Rand. Stone Sour recorded a demo album in 1993, and another in 1994. In 1997, Taylor was approached by the metal band, Slipknot, resulting in him abandoning Stone Sour while they were recording a demo album with Sean McMahon at SR studios. Taylor did not return until five years later to record their debut album, Stone Sour in 2002. Both Taylor and guitarist Josh Rand contacted Jim Root, Slipknot’s guitarist, and Shawn Economaki, Stone Sour’s original bassist, to begin writing songs for their debut album. Drummer Joel Ekman came back on board as well. This “reformation” later resulted in Stone Sour recording at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Their self-titled debut album was released August 27, 2002, and it debuted at number 46 on the Billboard 200. Their second album, Come What(ever) May debuted at number four on the Billboard 200. It was released August 1, 2006, and charted on several different charts. Live in Moscow is currently their only album specifically released only for music download. During the recording of the album, drummer Joel Ekman left the band for personal reasons. As a result, drummer Roy Mayorga was recruited, taking his place. The group released their third studio album, Audio Secrecy, on September 7, 2010.

Later, Corey Taylor announced the release of a concept double album with Stone Sour. The albums are titled “House of Gold And Bones”. During the process of making the double album, bassist Shawn Economaki left the band. He was temporarily replaced for touring purposes by Johny Chow. The first part was released in October 2012 and the second part in April 2013. There are 23 songs in total, 11 on the first part and 12 on the second. In addition to these two albums is a four-part comic book series written by Taylor and published by Dark Horse Comics. They are set to go on sale in 2013. With these albums came a story that was written by Taylor that coincide with the album. Fans can also construct a miniature “house of gold and bones” from the packaging design of the physical versions of the two albums. Taylor has also said that he would like to finish off the project by making the story into a movie but nothing has come of this yet.

 

OTHER WORK

Taylor has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Soulfly, Apocalyptica, Damageplan and Steel Panther. At one point, he was heavily involved in the recording of thrash metal band Anthrax’s album, Worship Music, but the sessions remain unreleased. He also contributed to the Roadrunner United all-star album in 2005, providing vocals for the song “Rich Man”. Taylor has also made a brief appearance in Steel Panther’s singles “Death to All but Metal”, “Eyes of a Panther”, and “Asian Hooker”. In 2006, Taylor founded the record company Great Big Mouth Records. Taylor has produced two albums: Face Cage’s self-titled album and Walls of Jericho’s Redemption. Taylor provided guest narration on the track “Repentance” for Dream Theater’s 2007 album Systematic Chaos. In an interview with Billboard magazine, Taylor confirmed that on January 13, 2009, he was planning on making a solo album, as well as returning to his side project Stone Sour after Slipknot’s All Hope Is Gone World Tour. Taylor has stated that he was writing songs that “don’t fit either of his main bands.” He describes them as a cross between Foo Fighters, Johnny Cash, and Social Distortion, saying that there’s “a country background that comes built-in with living in Iowa”.

On March 30, 2009, it was confirmed that Taylor and the Junk Beer Kidnap Band would be performing at Rockfest in 2009. The group performed on April 24, 2009 at People’s Court in Des Moines, Iowa, marking Taylor’s first official solo show. Taylor performs with his band the Dum Fux, who make covers for 1970s punk rock and 1980s hair metal. Taylor also performs with Audacious P, a band that is primarily a Tenacious D cover band. Rapper Tech N9ne confirmed that Taylor was to perform on his album K.O.D., but was removed because Taylor did not submit his vocals in time. Taylor recently admitted that he tried out for the vacant singer spot in the band Velvet Revolver, but said that it just did not work out. However, according to a recent Billboard article, it seems likely that he may in fact become the vocalist for Velvet Revolver, though no official confirmation has been made. Duff McKagan added that they can neither “confirm or deny” Taylor’s membership in the band but believes that Taylor is the “real deal”. Slash has since ruled Corey out as the possible new vocalist explaining that “[it] just wasn’t right” although he does love him. He however, has recorded 10 new songs with the band, drummer Matt Sorum stated it’s unlikely it will ever be released. Taylor explained to Mark Hoppus on Hoppus on Music that McKagan and he were writing new music for a possible new supergroup.

In July 2011 Taylor collaborated with Aaron Lewis while promoting Lewis’ solo album, Town Line for a one night only acoustic duet show covering songs such as, Pearl Jam’s “Black”, Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb, and Alice in Chains’ Down in a Hole, videos from this show with Taylor and Lewis can be found on YouTube. Taylor also shared the stage with Aaron Lewis on August 16, 2009 during the Ride For Dime memorial concert. They performed Pantera covers with a variety of other musicians.

As a solo artist he recorded a song, “X-M@$”, for The Teenage Cancer Trust. The single was made available to digital retailers on December 12, 2010. It debuted at number thirty-seven in the UK. Taylor clarified on YouTube that the song was just a joke about people who don’t enjoy Christmas. He personally loves Christmas especially due to the fact he gets to see his extended family but finds the frustration of people who don’t like it to be hilarious.

In 2011, Taylor collaborated with Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker on Barker’s solo album Give the Drummer Some on the song “On My Own”.

Between 2013 and 2016, Taylor appeared with Kings of Chaos.

In 2016 Taylor started to host “A Series of Bleeps”, a rock-centric radio show on Beats 1.

Corey was a guest vocalist on Korn’s album The Serenity of Suffering on the track “A Different World”.

In 2017, he and Griffin appeared as guest stars on an episode of The Nostalgia Critic, as both have stated they are fans of the show.

 

STYLE AND INFLUENCE

The first two Slipknot albums with Taylor’s vocals, Slipknot and Iowa, both contain gratuitous explicit content. Many critics claimed Taylor relied on the profanity, which is why Slipknot’s third album, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) is profanity-free, (with the exceptions of the word bitch on the song “Duality” and bastard on the spoken intro of “Pulse of the Maggots”), and did not warrant the explicit label. Compared with the previous vocalist for Slipknot, Anders Colsefni, Taylor has a vocal style that was characterized by ex-drummer Joey Jordison as “really good melodic singing”. Taylor’s vocal style, which contains at times melodic singing, growling, screaming, shouting, and rapping, led him to place at number 86 on the Hit Parader’s Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time and is often compared to other vocalists such as Ivan L. Moody, John Bush, Phil Anselmo and Jamey Jasta.

Taylor’s two major projects have contrasting temperaments. Slipknot is considered to be heavy metal, nu metal and alternative metal, and expresses moods such as depression, hostility, anger, misanthropy, and rebellion. Stone Sour is classified as alternative metal, expressing moods of bleakness and somberness as well as anger and rebellion. Taylor cites Mötley Crüe, AC/DC, The Who, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Faith No More, Van Halen, Aerosmith, Rush, Motörhead, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Alice in Chains, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, Dokken, Misfits, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Queen, Anthrax, Black Flag, Slayer, Def Leppard, The Stooges, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Neil Young, Cheap Trick, Pearl Jam, The Damned, The Cramps, Soundgarden, Mr. Bungle, Fear Factory, Megadeth, Nirvana, Journey, Bob Dylan, Machine Head, Kiss, ZZ Top, White Zombie, Pantera, Korn, Green Day and Marilyn Manson as influences.