Corey Taylor of Slipknot Talks Mayhem Festival, "Antennas to Hell", and Reflects on "All Hope Is Gone"
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 10:36:49
Slipknot will descend upon the U.S. once more this summer.
The 21st century's greatest metal band is headlining the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival for the second time. They actually christened the tour in 2008, but this run promises to be a special one for the Iowa agents of collective chaos.
On June 30, 2012, the jaunt commences, and it's bound to be one for the history books. Last summer, the group returned the stage for some of their most ferocious, fierce, and fiery shows ever. However, their homecoming stands bound to be not only doubly explosive but one of the best concert experiences of 2012.
In the midst of this sonic war across the nation, Slipknot's first-ever compilation, Antennas to Hell, will hit shelves July 24, brandishing both fan favorites and the audio from their legendary headlining set at Download Festival 2009. Everything is emblematic of the band's continued domination of heavy metal and points towards even bigger milestones on the horizon—including KNOTFEST this August, Satan's answer to Coachella.. .
Slipknot singer Corey Taylor sat down for an exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino about Mayhem, Antennas to Hell, All Hope Is Gone, old memories, and more…
What would be the cinematic equivalent of Slipknot's live show?
There's a part of me that thinks it would be a combination of Fame and From Dusk Till Dawn. I don't know! That's interesting [Laughs]. It definitely has some From Dusk Till Dawn in there because there's so much going on, especially towards the end where it just gets crazy. We'll go with Fame and From Dusk Till Dawn…
Do you have a favorite memory of hanging out with Paul Gray on the first Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival in 2008?
We all had fun on that first tour. I can remember me and Paul really being stoked about it because it was the first big headlining run we'd done in a long time. In a way, Mayhem was replacing OZZfest. It was cool for us to transcend the festival we'd started out on and headline the new brand like that. I can recall Paul and I having some good times backstage too. We were excited about the set, what we were going to play, and the new music. It was really cool.
Wasn't it the audience's first live exposure to All Hope Is Gone?
Yeah, it was. In fact, during the first show we played in Seattle where Sid Wilson broke his feet, we actually played "All Hope Is Gone". It was the only time we've played it live. It was cool. The first show is always the one where you're trying to find the rhythm of what you're going to do live. For some reason, "All Hope Is Gone" didn't feel right in the set at the time. We took it out, but you never know…
Is it special for this tour to be Slipknot's first back in the U.S. in three years?
The last time we played the U.S. was Halloween of 2009. We've always had a really good time touring the festival circuit in North America. It's a great opportunity to get in front of a bunch of crazy people and just destroy. We were the first to headline Mayhem. Being able to headline it this time with bands like Slayer, Anthrax, and Motörhead as well as younger bands like As I Lay Dying feels good. It's great to be able to re-establish ourselves like that.
Do you remember your first experience playing a summer festival?
The first OZZfest we played in 1999 was in West Palm Beach, FL. It was May 29. I remember it was the hottest show I'd ever played up until that point. When we first started, we only had about 200 people. By the time we were done with our set, the whole area was filled. People were pouring in over the hills towards the stage. It was pretty sweet [Laughs]. We went on super early at like noon. It was a good time. I remember that specifically because we spent three days getting down there. We'd never been on a tour bus before. We had to figure stuff out. We all had too much luggage. It was ridiculous. We were all staying on one bus. All of our masks and coveralls were in there, and it stank so badly. I remember for the longest time we lived off of one giant bag of Goldfish crackers and tuna fish. That was all we had for a month and a half. It kept us alive long enough to get to the next gigs. There were some slim days with two of us on a corndog, which is bad luck, really [Laughs].
Is Antennas to Hell like a photo album for Slipknot?
Yeah, I definitely think it's a snapshot. This is our salute to the Paul years. That's what I'm going to refer to it as. We made so many great songs with Paul. Even the songs Paul didn't write he made better naturally. This is our way of showing a testament to Paul and what his legacy was as well as how many great songs came from those years. It's going to be weird and interesting to see what happens in the future but , if nothing else happens, we had four great albums with Paul. This is our little salute to him.
Do you feel like it's a proper gateway for younger fans?
Definitely! It's not like we just give them our "radio hits", which I can't say without laughing. To be honest, it's so weird we even have songs on the radio. It's a great blend of the songs that were played on the radio and the songs we played live that people made hits. Without the fans, we wouldn't have any of this. We certainly wouldn't have any "hits". It's a combination of the live anthems people expect from us when they come to a show and the songs on the radio.
What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think of All Hope Is Gone?
It was really a perfect storm of music coming in. Paul and Joey [Jordison] had put together some really good stuff. Jim [Root] and Joey had actually put some stuff together. I brought a song in. There were actually some songs that came out of jamming together in the studio that made that album what it was. It was cool to come in every day and hear the potential coming out. All of this incredible potential was being realized, and it was cool to hear that. For me, it was a step towards the maturity of the band. We started doing that with Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, but with All Hope Is Gone we found we could blend all of that ferocity with that different approach towards music. We could still have the heavy but branch out. If you want to talk about the Paul years, that was a great album to leave the people with in a way.
Will you be seeing Slipknot at Mayhem? What's your favorite Slipknot song?
Win a pair of tickets to see Slipknot on Mayhem and a signed copy of Antennas to Hell here!
See our exclusive interview between legendary actor John Cusack and Corey Taylor about The Raven here!