Corey Todd Taylor (born December 8, 1973) is an American musician best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of Slipknot and Stone Sour.
Corey Taylor is a founding member of Stone Sour, and has released five studio albums with that band. Taylor joined Slipknot in 1997 to replace their original singer. He has released four studio albums with them. He has worked with several bands, including Junk Beer Kidnap Band, Apocalyptica, Anthrax, Aaron Lewis of Staind, and Soulfly. Taylor was ranked number 86 in Hit Parader's Top 100 Metal Vocalists of All Time.
Corey Taylor was born in Des Moines, Iowa on December 8, 1973. He lived in Orlando briefly with his uncle, George Robson though Taylor was mostly raised by his mother in Waterloo, Iowa, a place described by Taylor as a "hole in the ground with buildings around it." He is of Belgian, Polish and Danish background from his father's side.
Taylor was raised by his single mother. He developed a fond feeling toward classic rock after his grandmother introduced him to it.
In 1979, Taylor and his mother saw the science fiction series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. Before the series, there was a trailer for the 1978 horror film Halloween. Taylor said this "developed some sense of Slipknot in [himself]." While Halloween introduced Taylor to masks and horror themes, Taylor's grandmother introduced him to rock music, showing him a collection of Elvis Presley records from the mid-fifties to late seventies. He especially found some songs like "Teddy Bear", "In the Ghetto", and "Suspicious Minds", to appeal to his interests the most, describing them as "good times." Taylor also began listening to Black Sabbath at a young age, beginning with their early work.
Taylor, along with his mother and sister, lived in an "old dilapidated farmhouse," which on days in late autumn would "look like Black Sabbath album covers." By age fifteen, Taylor had developed a drug addiction and had overdosed on cocaine twice. By this time, Taylor was living in Waterloo, Iowa, but later set out on his own and ended up at his grandmother's trailer in Ohio. She took legal custody of him and helped him buy musical equipment. When Taylor was eighteen, he left his grandmother's trailer and went to various places, Des Moines being a place to which he frequently returned.
Taylor and his father first met when Taylor was an adult, and now have a relationship, although he said their paths do not cross that often. On September 17, 2002, Corey's then-fiancée, Scarlett Stone, gave birth to their son Griffin Parker. Taylor also has a daughter named Angeline from an earlier relationship. Taylor and Stone married on March 11, 2004, and divorced three years later. On November 13, 2009, he married Stephanie Luby. Early in the 2000s, Taylor was pied in the face in the parking lot of Wynnsong 16 Cinema in Johnston, IA, by a body-armored assailant.
Taylor has also had alcohol abuse problems, which his ex-wife, Scarlett, helped him through as well as keeping him from committing suicide. In 2006, Taylor told MTV that he had attempted to jump off a balcony of the eighth floor of the Hyatt on Sunset Boulevard in 2003, but "somehow [Scarlett] stopped me". This was later recanted by Taylor in an interview with Kerrang! radio and stated that it was, in fact, his friend Thom Hazaert who stopped him from jumping. Scarlett then told him that either he would have to get sober or she would annul their marriage. Before Stone Sour started recording Come What(ever) May in January 2006, Taylor was sober.
On August 3, 2009, he co-hosted the 2009 Kerrang! Awards alongside Scott Ian of Anthrax. The following year, they both once again co-hosted The Kerrang Awards, where Corey collected the K! Services to Metal award on behalf of Paul Gray who died after an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, and had also shown signs of "significant heart disease". In early September, 2010, Taylor announced that his book, Seven Deadly Sins: Settling The Argument Between Born Bad And Damaged Good would be released on July 12, 2011 through Da Capo Press.
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.
Feeling he could expand more in 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." One of the old dreadlocked masks is now in the possession of Dom Howard of British rock band Muse, after the two bands both played MetalFest. He was apparently subjected to Taylor's "sit the fuck down!" routine face-to-face during Slipknot's set and can be seen reliving the experience (wearing the mask) on Muse's Hullabaloo . Despite rumours that Howard had stolen the mask, he in fact received it from a fan afterwards.
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 2× 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, California. 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.
Taylor is a founding member of the American hard rock band Stone Sour. After he formed the band 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 92, 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. Corey Taylor has announced he will release a concept double album with Stone Sour sometime in 2012. The album will be titled "House Of Gold And Bones". During the process of making the double album, Shawn Economaki (bassist) left the band. He was temporarily replaced with Johny Chow. The first part will be released in October 2012 and the second part in 2013. There will be 23 songs in total, 11 on the first disc and 12 on the second. Song titles for the first album that are already confirmed by Taylor on the band's website include "Absolute Zero", "RU486", "A Rumor Of Skin" and "Taciturn". The second album features the single "Do Me a Favor" and "Gravesend." 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. He 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.
Taylor has appeared as a guest musician on albums by Soulfly, Apocalyptica and Damageplan. 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 is currently been writing songs that states "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 the 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 covers 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.
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.
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".
Style and influence
Taylor has a baritone vocal range, and spans 3 octaves. 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 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 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 Corey Taylor and often compared to Ivan L. Moody, John Bush, Phil Anselmo, 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, and rebellion. Stone Sour is classified as hard rock, alternative metal, heavy metal, and post-grunge, expressing moods of bleakness and somberness as well as anger and rebellion. Taylor cites Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Dokken, Misfits, Black Sabbath, Black Flag, Slayer, Def Leppard, Sex Pistols, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Cheap Trick, Pearl Jam, The Damned, The Cramps, Megadeth, Journey, Bob Dylan, Pantera and Korn as influences.
- 2013 Best Vocalist at Revolver Magazine's Golden Gods awards
- Arnopp, Jason (2001), Slipknot: Inside the Sickness, Behind the Masks, Ebury, ISBN 0-09-187933-7
- McIver, Joel (2001), Slipknot: Unmasked, Omnibus, ISBN 0-7119-8677-0
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Image from Discogs