INTERVIEW: Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor

Photo by Travis Shinn

Photo by Travis Shinn

If you look in the current issue of Mixdown Magazine you’ll find my interview with Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor about the band’s new album, Hydrograd (released today). We had a great chat about the band’s incredible new album Hydrograd. But we talked about a lot more than could be fit into that article, so I thought you’d like to see some other highlights from the interview.

I Heart Guitar: One moment in the single Fabuless really made me laugh: the ‘motherfucker’ in the chorus. I have a running joke where I insert unnecessary motherfuckers in songs that really don’t deserve it. Steely Dan or the Beach Boys or something. 

Corey Taylor: [Laughs] Thats funny because I do that all the time when I’m in my car, singing. I’m always adding an unnecessary motherfucker to what I’m singing along to, where it just needs a little more, y’know? I mean I’m sure they would have gotten to the motherfucker eventually but they were too busy with the notes, so people like you and me provide the motherfucker for them.

That song is so eclectic. How did it come together? 

That song came together from Tooch (guitarist Christian Martucci) and Roy (Magora, drums) jamming together. It was one of those songs where when we heard the demo we were like ‘Holy shit.’ It took a little arranging because it was all in different spots – it originally had a totally different feel to it – but the riffs themselves all had a great vibe. I took it and did my magic on it and worked it in with the lyrics that were going on in my head and different melodies and stuff, and it came together really quickly. It was a matter of arranging the puzzle so that the song fuckin’ figured itself out.

The first few times you listen to it you don’t quite know what could happen next. 

Exactly. And that’s the cool thing. I feel like a lot of music doesn’t have that feeling any more, and you can anticipate what the next part is. With a lot of bands you can almost write the fuckin’ next riff in your head before you’ve even heard the song all of the way through for the first time. With this song it keeps you guessing right up until the last minute.

HydrogradSo this is the first record written with Christian Martucci and Johnny Chow. 

Working with those two, honestly, was so effortless. The great thing is it all starts with us just getting along. Really getting along. We all hang out, we all love hanging out and talking shit and joking, and we’re all such dorks that it doesn’t really matter. So writing together is the same thing. We just love what we do so much that we get excited when we hear what we’re doing with the music.

How’s the spine coming along after your operation? Has it affected your range? I was thinking about how when Frank Zappa got pushed off the stage and broke his neck, and after he got rebuilt his voice got lower.

Yeah, that didn’t happen to me. It’s really only a physical thing for me. I’m slowly but surely starting to get my mobility back, and that’s even after a year. It’s been pretty crazy. But luckily I didn’t lose any of my range – actually I got some back because I quit smoking over a year ago, and I’m starting to get my range back because of that. God, if I’d know that would happen I’d have quit ten fuckin’ years ago. But I’m still in the process of rehabbing all that shit, and I’m slowing but surely getting my body back. It’s a fucking pain in the ass but I’m getting there.

I don’t think people realise how physical singing is – how much of your whole body goes into it. 

Oh yeah. You can lose your chops really easily. And not only lose your chops but you can let your talent go to fuckin’ shit, and it can take you years to get that shit back. About six years ago I started to really try to keep myself in shape as much as possible, and as long as it’s worth it you just keep trying, keep going for it.

What guitars are you using at the moment? 

On the road I have three guitars that I’m using, really. I have a 2008 Gibson Firebird that has a couple of Seymour Duncan pickups in it. It has a nice chunky edge to it and a really killer clean tone. Those guitars have a great clean tone. I also have a 1987 Gibson SG out with me that smells like the dude who owned it chain-smoked around it for about 45 years! It’s got the colour, but unfortunately it’s also got the smell, so I named it Keith. So I’ve got that out with me and I’ll probably bring that down with me to Australia when we get down there. And I’ve also got a Framus and I’m thinking about working some magic with those guys. I actually have a Stevie Salas Idolmaker model that I’m using right now and they’re fuckin’ pretty dope, dude. I wanna have them use that base and make a custom for me but give it more of a hollowbody vibe, and put a couple of humbuckers in it and see what happens. I think that could be really fuckin’ cool, because it plays amazingly. It’s got such fuckin’ chunk to it. It’s really great. So those three I’m kinda rotating through, just feeling them out every night.

Jackson Welcomes Slipknot’’s Mick Thomson 

Mick Thomson

PRESS RELEASE: Jackson is proud to announce a forceful new addition to its stellar artist roster in Slipknot lead guitarist Mick Thomson. Thomson’s arrival heralds the induction of one of metal’s most successful and revered players into the Jackson fold.

Buy Jackson guitars here

““Jackson is exceptionally honored to have Mick Thomson joining our family,”” states Artist Relations Manager Mike Taft. ““His game changing, take-no-prisoners approach to metal guitar has influenced countless musicians worldwide, which makes him an ideal ambassador for the Jackson brand. As Slipknot continues to build on their metal legacy, we look forward to working closely with Mick to provide him the instruments he needs to deliver both on stage and in the studio.”” Read More …

NAMM 2014: Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster

Jim RootFor a few years now, Slipknot/Stone Sour’s Jim Root has been appearing onstage with a Jazzmaster-based Fender kitted out with his preferred pickup combination of an EMG 81 in the bridge position and a 60 at the neck. Now, finally, you’ll be able to get your hands on one of your very own! The Fender Jim Root Jazzmaster is a very stripped-down take on what a Jazzmaster is: the pisition markers, chrome bridge, dual tone circuits and controls have been jettisoned, replaced by a hard-tail Stratocaster bridge, a master volume control and a 3-way pickup selector switch. The body is mahogany with a comfortable contoured neck heel, satin-finish maple neck with “modern C” profile and large headstock, compound-radius ebony fingerboard (12”-16”) with 22 jumbo frets, staggered deluxe locking tuners, black hardware and pickup bezels, and a Flat Black satin-nitro lacquer finish. Includes black tweed case with red plush interior, strap and strap locks, cable and polishing cloth.

Thanks to Guitar Noize for the heads-up on this one!  Read More …

INTERVIEW: Scar The Martyr’s Joey Jordison

Scar The MartyrJoey Jordison has always been a monster of a drummer. His inventiveness and power have played a crucial role in making Slipknot into the unstoppable juggernaut it is. And if he was ‘only’ a drummer, his place in metal history would be assured. But Jordison isn’t tied down to one particular instrument. Murderdolls proved that he had a solid handle on rock-metal riffage. But with new band Scar The Martyr, Jordison is really free to explore his own musicality. He plays drums and bass throughout, and provides the guitar backbone for all but two of the self-titled album’s 14 tracks. As a guitarist Jordison’s style is assured, aggressive, and equal parts rhythmic and textural. As a result, Scar The Martyr [Roadrunner] is an incredibly dynamic listening experience, crammed full of brutal riffs and haunting chords, and some pretty damn chunky guitar tones too. In addition to Jordison, the album features the guitar work of Jed Simon (Strapping Young Lad), Kris Norris (Darkest Hour) and vocalist Henry Derek, as well as Nine Inch Nails’ Chris Vrenna on keys.

Read More …

INTERVIEW: Stone Sour’s Corey Taylor & Josh Rand

House-of-Gold-Bones-Pt.-2There comes a point in every band’s life when they start to long for something more. For some it’s an orchestral collaboration. For others it’s an elaborate narrative stage show. Maybe a film of some kind. Something that extends the creativity of the band beyond the regular album-tour-album-tour cycle. For Stone Sour that moment has come, and it’s manifested itself in the form of House Of Gold and Bones [Roadrunner], a two-part concept album and comic book project being portioned out over an extended timeframe. Musically it’s a logical progression from 2010’s brilliant Audio Secrecy but the project finds the band exploring even heavier territory, further narrowing the gap between Stone Sour and Slipknot, the band that shares two of its members (vocalist Corey Taylor and guitarist James Root). I caught up with Taylor and guitarist Josh Rand after the band’s Soundwave festival sideshow with Linkin Park. Read More …

More Seymour Duncan EMTY 7-string info

The other day I posted about Seymour Duncan’s new 7-string version of Slipknot guitarist Mick Thomson’s EMTY Blackouts signature active humbuckers. Here’s a little more cool news: the 7-string version is available in both Phase I and Phase II versions. Both have the same sound, but the Phase I model is a direct retrofit for most passive 7-string humbuckers including those by Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio, while Phase II Blackouts are a direct retrofit for the EMG 707 humbucker. I know a lot of I Heart Guitar readers are seven-stringers like myself, so dig in!

More info on these pickups here.

NAMM 2012: Squier Jim Root Telecaster and more!

Oh now this is neat! The Fender Jim Root Telecaster is an incredible instrument and it’s great to see a Squier equivalent.

PRESS RELEASE

SQUIER® BY FENDER® PROUDLY PRESENTS ALL-NEW SIGNATURE MODELS

Models honor pop-rock star Avril Lavigne, metal stalwart Jim Root, alt-rock bassist Mikey Way, and Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil and James Johnston 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Jan. 9, 2012) – Squier is excited to introduce three new artist signature models, the Avril Lavigne Telecaster®, the Jim Root Telecaster®, and the Mikey Way Mustang® Bass. The three signature models promise star-like vibe and tone at incredible Squier value.

The new lavish, black-on-black Avril Lavigne Telecaster joins Lavigne’s chart-topping signature Tele, and features several striking touches, including a three-ply pickguard, knurled black flat-top volume control knob, a black headstock with die-cast turners, and a distinctive 12th-fret skull and crossbones logo.

Designed in cooperation with Slipknot/Stone Sour guitar speed demon Jim Root, the Jim Root Telecaster boasts several foreboding features, most notably an elegant satin-matte finish in black or white, starkly simple single-knob/single switch control layout, black die-cast tuners and other black hardware, and two pulverizing passive humbucking pickups with black covers.

Read More …