Iowan metal juggernaut Slipknot just dropped their critically acclaimed sixth LP, We Are Not Your Kind, and as it trends towards a No. 1 debut in the U.S., U.K. and other countries, the band's frontman, Corey Taylor, held a fan Q&A on Facebook live last night (August 14th) to answer Maggots' dying questions. He opened up about the new album, old songs, his health and much more. Watch the Q&A in full above, and check out eight particularly interesting nuggets from the chat below.
1. Lead single "Unsainted" was the most challenging song to make on We Are Not Your Kind
A massive hit — and a big, pop-leaning switch-up after the brutality of standalone single "All Out Life" — WANYK's "Unsainted" did not come easy, according to Corey Taylor. "In the demo stage, it had moments that were very similar, but at the same time, it was very different — especially the beginning," the singer explained of the song.
The biggest challenge? "It was such a great song," Taylor said, "and yet we couldn't figure out how to start it." The answer? A choir.
2. Taylor hated the choir on "Unsainted" at first
Slipknot's Shawn "Clown" Crahan and WANYK producer Greg Fidelman suggested a choir for the intro. "I was like, 'No, no!'" Taylor recalled. "I don't want to say it was dumb, but it didn't feel like us … until I heard the mock-up for it, and just the mock-up alone was incredible."
"It was literally the last song we were able to say was finished, and it was because we were trying to find the absolute right way to make it perfect," he added. "I was never so happy to be wrong in my life, let's put it that way!"
3. "Solway Firth" proved to be the most challenging song for him, vocally
WANYK's second single, "Solway Firth," is an absolute ripper, wreaking Iowa-level sonic destruction. Maybe it's not so surprising, then, that the song was a tough one for Taylor to wrench from his lungs. "I wanted it to feel like flesh was being ripped from my very soul," he told fans. "This was about baring something that I didn't want to admit, and I didn't want to feel anymore, so that song was definitely one of the ones that took me a second to really get there."
4. Thankfully, Taylor's voice feels stronger than ever, due in large part to him quitting drinking and smoking
Recording and performing songs like "Solway Firth" may be a daunting task, but Taylor feels more up for it than ever, due to him living a much healthier lifestyle these days. "I haven't drank [alcohol] in nine years and haven't smoked in five," he explained, "and my voice is actually stronger than it's ever been."
5. That said, "Solway Firth" is also his favorite new song to play live
"The reaction that we get from the audience — especially a multigenerational audience — is just fantastic," Taylor enthused. "I couldn't ask for something better than that."
6. His favorite classic 'Knot song to perform is Iowa's "Disasterpiece"
Opening with the immortal line "I want to slit your throat and fuck the wound," "Disasterpiece" is one of hte most brutal songs on Slipknot's most brutal album, Iowa. Taylor loves singing it. "That song just makes me mental in a way that none of the other songs really do. It gets me going, and I'm always just ready to go," he said.
7. Horror movie director and soundtrack composer John Carpenter influenced the vibe of the new album
As we noted in our album review, WANYK is replete with moments that evoke the eerie soundtrack work of horror master John Carpenter — you know, the guy who directed Halloween, The Thing, They Live and more. "I don't know if there was an overt influence, but certainly not only his scoring, but his mood that he would create cinematically, absolutely," Taylor explained. "The music that he scored for his movies was so ominous and lurching, and you can definitely hear that on 'Spiders' and things like' My Pain.' A lot of that goes to Clown, who was really the musical architect behind that."
8. In non-'Knot news, Taylor has been thinking about writing more books
While his main focus is Slipknot right now, the singer revealed that he's "starting to get that itch again" to write another book. He explained that he took a break after penning America 51 because it took a toll on him, mentally, but "probably in the next year or so" he wants to start writing again. "I've actually got a really great idea for a novel, as well as a cool idea for another rant book — as I like to call them!"