July 14, 2015 Corey Taylor Up Close & Personal with New York City 7-7-15
The resilient and unstoppable Corey Taylor is notorious for his tremendous vocal range, and vehement assessments on society. After the Grunge Rock movement, Metal evolved, adding the Nu Metal sub-genre in the mid-to-late nineties with bands such as KoRn and System of a Down. However, Slipknot was a different force of nature. This nine-member masked Metal act that has released five solid studio albums, along with Taylor’s range in vocals, made the band empowering, unique, and memorably influential. Not limited, Taylor has showcased another side of him with his other band, Stone Sour, which formed before Slipknot, that erupted such emotion and talent through his voice with hits such as “Bother.” With two highly successful bands, a engaging personality, and unlimited insight, Taylor has become a well-renowned multi-talented gem that has influenced and inspired many artists of the post-millennium.
On the evening of Tuesday, July 7th, 2015, Corey Taylor kick-started his ten date solo tour, promoting his third book You’re Making Me Hate You: A Cantankerous Look at the Common Misconception That Humans Have Any Common Sense Left. Known as the Great Big Mouth, Taylor has written, in brutal honesty, his opinion on how today’s society has embarked between music, television, children, and all around bad human behavior. He has uncensored his mind and released his thoughts to share for all to read. Originally slated to perform at Gramercy Theater, NYC, it was moved to the larger Irving Plaza due to popular demand, making it a night like no other to see an exclusive acoustic performance by the phenomenal Taylor. Fans have become accustomed to see Taylor play at large arenas and venues, headlining a multitude of festivals from Slipknot’s own Knotfest, Welcome to Rockville, Carolina Rebellion, to Heavy Montreal. However, this night radiated with an intimate vibe as though fans were gathered in Taylor’s very own living room to hear him jam while drinking a cold brew.
The sold out venue filled with New Yorkers gathered in close, wearing their Slipknot and Stone Sour T-shirts, ecstatic to see the acclaimed Corey Taylor take the stage. The crowd was mixed between the aforementioned fans, and a few were expecting to hear a heavy acoustic piece of Slipknot’s “Surfacing,” however, a different sound emerged; something historical. The surprise came when Iron Maiden’s “The Trooper” blasted through the speakers as Taylor rushed onto the stage with immense enthusiasm. Instead of tunes, Taylor proved to the audience that he can be quite comical as he talked about his decision-making of the title of his book from being either “You’re Making Me Hate You” or jokingly, “How Many Dicks Did Bieber Suck?” Showing off his personality even more, he moved on to laugh about the recent Kanye West debacle that has been happening and brushed it off his shoulders at ease. He also discovered that after a Google search, the band “Kanye Twitty” actually existed.
Moving onto a more serious note, Taylor expressed what his book was really about, and what legitimately strikes him to the core. Such an example would be his hatred of the medication commercials, where it would showcase the deathly side effects after the first sunshine fifteen seconds, with phrases such as, “may cause spontaneous bleeding in the eyes,” and “may cause death.” Keeping up with the feeling of his book, he explained after speaking with his legal team about “everything you can be sent to jail for,” which hinted how crass his book is. Taylor also emphasized his hatred for the plethora of bad kids and elaborated with, “I scare the fuck out of suburbia.” Continuing with his explanation that “most kids are fucked up because we are fucked up, if we don’t sort it out now, it will get worse,” he concluded that all of these elements are the theme of his book.
Taylor moved on, speaking about his history with Irving Plaza, New York City, and how he first played there with Slipknot shortly after their debut self-titled album was released in 1999, followed by playing with his Hard Rock band, Stone Sour, a few years ago. In front of a packed room, he stated this solo gig represented only his third visit to the venue, and it was certainly a perfect choice for an intimate personal evening. Shortly after a mass of cheers, Taylor announced that he was willing to do an open and honest Q&A.
The first question of the evening, “first childhood scar?” Taylor proclaimed how he was five years old, in Clear Lake, Iowa, the same town where the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens, and Buddy Holly died in a small aircraft, how the area had such history in a small town. Taylor was living the life as a typical five-year-old kid, where he saw his friend Marcus, who one day went out with him and jumped up a fence and landed directly on a claw tooth rake. The young Taylor jumped and came down on his own leg and noticed a ferocious amount of his own blood. Taylor screamed across the street and landed his first trip to the emergency room where he had stitches.
Thereafter, a fan luckily asked about Taylor’s thought process behind his ever compelling song lyrics. Taylor went on to explain about one of the latest Slipknot tracks “Killpop” from 2014’s .5: The Grey Chapter was written about how weird and superficial the music industry has become and how it continues eating itself. The “she” in the song represents the music industry and how he is on the other side of it. Taylor continued explaining that there is no right or wrong way to write music, as long as it comes from the heart and as long as it is not for money or selfie sticks. He elaborated and spoke about the track “Circle” from 2004’s Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), was written during the Iowa tour back in 2001. They managed to record pieces of it while on the road, however, at that time they kept on messing up on a few verses due to being too drunk. Taylor sobered up during Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), where Slipknot evolved to be more than just pumping out Metal songs, and it was also about what they feel. What everyone learned was the meaning behind the “Circle” is about Taylor, trying to bring the light back to his life and it is a track that picked him up.
The questions continued as a fan asked if anyone ever pretended to be Corey Taylor, considering the band concealed their identity their first few years in the public eye. Taylor recalled on an incident back in 2001 on the “Pledge of Allegiance Tour” where one night at Virginia Beach he got very drunk after seeing the film Jurassic Park III. He became bitter with how terrible the movie ended up being, therefore after he got back to his hotel, he ran to the bar to have a few Jack and Cokes. One of his crew members shows up at this bar smiling at Taylor, telling him that he just had a drink and hung out with “Corey Taylor.” Taylor looked at him and found out that there was an impersonator at an Irish Pub nearby, telling everybody that he was Corey Taylor and that the tab was in his name. Irritable, Taylor ran outside, looks for a cab and was ready to find “this dude.” He arrived at the bar and noticed a large human being with a blonde mullet that drew Taylor’s neck tattoos on himself with a sharpie. This Taylor impersonator was clearly heavily intoxicated. Taylor and a few other members circled around the impersonator while he screamed out in drunken slurs and plopped his head down. Taylor walked up to him and asked if he was Corey Taylor, and the impersonator looked at him saying, “Yes,” but then he looked down and noticed that this group of strangers were wearing Slipknot passes. Taylor asked this man for his signature, as he stared at the passes he went, “My manager doesn’t want me to sign anything anymore.” Taylor looked at him and said, “I will tell you what, I will sign for you.” He found a nasty napkin and a pen and wrote, “you are a fucking bastard.” Taylor slid the note him, taking the impersonator by complete surprise, thus making for a very interesting true story that everyone at Irving Plaza loved.
After Taylor opened up with this story, it was time for only one more question, and the last one was asking if Taylor would be going to Comic Con in San Diego. Taylor, who is a comic fan said, “No,” however, he might go to the one in New York in October. The hourglass on the personal questions for Taylor was up and the artist took a short break before it was time to break into the music portion of the show. A brief moment later, Taylor walked back on and opened his acoustic set with the Alice in Chains’ cover of “Nutshell.” Continuing to charm the crowd, he went into the fan-favorite, Stone Sour’s “Bother” from their 2002 self-titled debut album. The fans cheered and sung along to it as Taylor smiled, proving how much he loved performing. During this song, there was a slight break where many cried out, “Corey! Corey! Corey!” Taylor gazed out into the crowd with appreciation and finished the hit song, closing with an explanation on how he wrote it twenty years ago.
Continuing with the acoustic Stone Sour vibe, Taylor went into “30/30-150” from 2006’s Come What(ever) as the audience clapped with delight. Taking a moment to connect with his fans, Taylor asked all how everyone was feeling that evening and introduced his best friend, Jason Christopher who once played with Stone Sour. Having Christopher join him on stage, they went into the emotional cut “Through Glass.” Maintaining the heartwarming vibe, Taylor performed more Stone Sour songs from 2012’s House of Gold & Bones – Part 1 with “The Travelers, Pt.1” and “Tired.” Following with an acoustic solo, Taylor’s voice illuminated the venue with his affectionate sound through each and every song.
After playing a handful of Stone Sour tracks, Taylor told the crowd that this evening inspired something he had never done before. Then for the first time ever live, he began playing his acoustic version of Pink Floyd’s “Breathe” from 1973’s The Dark Side of the Moon followed by “Have a Cigar” from 1965’s Wish You Were Here. After the magical seventies moment, Taylor picked the night back up with Stone Sour’s “Imperfect” from 2010’s Audio Secrecy. At this point, there was a fan who persistently shouted out, “Play Sanitarium!” Taylor, clearly in tune with those around him, quickly played a snippet of Metallica’s “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” as the crowd cheered. Abruptly stopping, he went on to state he has always been a huge Green Day fan and went into the cover of “Pulling Teeth” from 1994’s Dookie, before going into the final Stone Sour song of the night, “Taciturn.”
This intimate evening brought ecstatic fans to new heights where they continued to shout out “Corey! Corey!” Taylor’s sincere happiness beamed across the venue as he asked for a bit of help on the next track, going into Slipknot’s “Snuff.” Taylor messed up slightly on the lyrics however, the crowd kept him in line as they gracefully shouted the words and he whimsically continued. Moving on with a handful of surprising cover songs, he went into the ’90s classic of Live’s “Lightning Crashes,” before shocking all with a cover of Mother Love Bone’s “Chloe Dancer,” and joked about another possible lawsuit as he went into the Prince classic of “Little Red Corvette.” Taylor stopped and blatantly asked if there were any Cure fans in the house, and a wave of approving screams immediately followed. He smiled and went into the beautiful “Lovesong,” making it his own as he organically performed with his honest expression. Seeming to be closing out his set , Taylor went into Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and Eagles’ “Take it Easy,” leading the fans to cry out “Slipknot!” and “Corey!”
The venue remained dark, hinting that Taylor would come back on stage, shortly after he waltzed back on and pointed at the “Hated” banner. He explained that his wife made it and that, “my wife knows me so well.” To everyone’s delight, he picked up his acoustic guitar once more and went into the Bon Jovi classic of, “Wanted Dead or Alive.” After this track, he looked around the venue and told his New Yorker fans, “This is like the most people I have seen in my living room.” A fan cried out, “Play Cemetery Gates!” Taylor looked at him and blatantly responded, “No fucking way.” Carrying on with his encore set, he revealed another fact about himself that he loves Punk Rock music as he went into the Fear cover of “I Don’t Care About You,” before the official close of the night with Slipknot’s “Spit it Out.” Despite how unusual it was hearing Nu Metal morphed into an almost Country Rock vibe, the fans rejoiced in pure satisfaction.
This exclusive evening was a special token for fans to take with them where they were able to see Corey Taylor reveal himself in an extraordinary way. It was a moment that erupted an immense amount of honesty where Taylor was able to listen and answer directly to his fans. The You’re Making Me Hate You solo tour has been selling out and it will end on July 19th at the House of Blues in West Hollywood. This is not nearly the end of seeing Taylor live though, as he will be back with Slipknot on the “Summer’s Last Stand Tour” with bands, Lamb of God, Bullet For My Valentine and Motionless in White, that launches on July 24th at West Palms Beach, Florida.