Corey Taylor of Slipknot Reflects on "Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses"
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 09:24:55
It's been ten years since Slipknot unleashed Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses.
However, the album's impact can be felt throughout hard rock and heavy metal stronger every day. To date, this is Slipknot's masterpiece. It moves and functions as one entire vision, creating a definitive journey into the heart of darkness and back. It's got some of the band's heaviest output in the form of "Three Nil" and "Opium of the People" as well as some of its most melodic—"Vermilion Pt. 2"and "Circle". This is every side of Slipknot. It's every face, masked and unmasked. It's a bona fide classic...
To celebrate the record's tenth anniversary, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor about the record.
Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses feels like a complete thought. The first lyric ties into the last lyric.
Exactly! A lot of things connected on that album if you really listen to it. Songs flow into one another. Songs fade as another fades up. It was a great listen in artistry when it came to putting an album together. I can't take any credit for that. I was just one little piece in it. It was Clown, Greg Fidelman, and Joey Jordison really putting that together. I just did my best to keep up with it.
Do you have any good memories of Paul Gray from that record?
He's really all over that album. That was the first album where he really got to stretch musically especially with stuff like "Vermilion Pt. 1" and "Vermilion Pt. 2". That was like, "Oh man!" To this day, I listen to the end of that song, and I go, "That is so gorgeous and wonderfully dark I can't actually believe I was on that song". It's really the outro part that has such an orchestral vibe to it and almost like a Russian vibe to it. It's so sick! You listen to it, and you're like that's one of the baddest fucking things I've ever heard in my fucking life. It was the first time I'd ever seen Paul start to put guitar parts together like this. He's like, "This part will do this, but this part will come in and offset that. Then, these parts will come in". It was almost like musical weaving. You took one part out, and it didn't work. You put it all together, and it was like this gorgeous tapestry. That was one of my favorites. "Vermilion Pt. 2" was his idea as well. He really wanted to do an acoustic version. They sat down and tried to work it out based off the original framework and we realized that wasn't going to work. We needed to let "Vermilion Pt. 2" be its own arrangement. Once we got there, it made sense. That's when I started working on the lyrics from that point of view. The cool thing was me and Paul sitting down and working on the music for "The Virus of Life". That was something he and I put together and then putting together the majority of "The Nameless" which was really cool. I came up with the chorus for it.
It feels like The Who could've written it...
It's so layered and almost frenetic that it really established itself as one of the songs that the fans talk about to this day.
Have you done it live?
We did "The Nameless" live on the Vol. 3 tour. We haven't done it in a long time.
Did you ever play "Circle" at any of your acoustic shows?
The only time we've done anything like that acoustically was on my spoken word book tour. Jim Root came down to the very last show, which was in Jacksonville, Florida. I dragged him up on stage, and we did "Vermilion Pt. 2", and we had never done it before. The audience fucking lost their shit. They were like, "Holy shit!" I had Jason Christopher Rappise doing backups on it. He was perched on this stool, and he had the mic. It was very funny. He was so stoked! He was like, "I don't even need to play guitar. I just want to do the backups!" [Laughs]
That extended version of "Danger – Keep Away" stands out. What songs from Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses still speak to you?
That's a great one. That's when we were getting really experimental and not worrying about a certain formula. That type of element will definitely project itself on the next album. I think it's going to be very out there. Speaking for specific tracks, there's "Three Nil" of course. Then, I'd say "Opium of the People" and "Welcome". One of my favorites off that record, period, is "The Virus of Life". That's probably one of the songs that if I'm going to go to Vol. 3 and listen to some of the album, I always play that one.
What's your favorite song from Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses?
See Slipknot featured in our "Most Anticipated Albums of 2014" here!
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See our Top 5 Corey Taylor Acoustic Songs here!
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