Playing rock concerts while wearing a mask sucks — a lot. Especially if you're in Slipknot, where comfort and convenience have historically barely been taken into consideration when it comes to the band's production and onstage presentation. Singer Corey Taylor sometimes found himself eating his own vomit and swallowing his own blood while performing in his Slipknot-era mask, and things didn't get much better for a long time. In a recent conversation with Kerrang!, Taylor took a trip down memory lane and reflected on the best and worst masks from across his career. Below, as highlighted by Metal Injection, is what he had to say. You watch the full interview below.
"Oh, god ... They were all fucking horrible. The hardest was my original with the dreads. Anything that's full-headed — there's just no getting out of it. At least when you've got some kind of a half-mask with some buckles and shit, you don't feel like you're singing in a portaloo. But when it's all [closed], you just put this big rubber hood on and there's just no getting out of it. You might as well just stick your head in a ... It's no fuckin' bueno.
"So that one and the Iowa one, because they were basically variations of the same thing. Those were the worst. Oh my god, the Iowa one ... The Iowa one was foam rubber. The ones from the first album were thin, they were just fucking rubber. But then we got a little money and we were like, 'Wow, let's fucking make some cool shit for the Iowa run!' And they used foam rubber, which was basically just like giant sponges. You could tell where we were at in the show by how big my head was getting, and how heavy this fucking thing was.
"This is true story: We were in Kansas City and it was so wet and so heavy, that fuckin' thing flew off my head like a fucking wine cork. And it was right in the middle of 'Heretic Anthem.' I've got black makeup on my face and stuff, and here it is, just sitting in front of me. There's like 20,000 people and I just kind of went ... [mimes putting the mask back on slowly] And this is no joke — it was like putting on a rug that had been sitting out in the rain. [Flips off the audience.] So this is for you, OK? This is for all of you. This is what we go through for each and every one of you. And I love you for appreciating it.
"As far as the easiest one ... Honestly, the Vol. 3 one was pretty easy. However, it was the hardest to sing out of. And they call it the football mask because it's got stitches and shit. And it's like ... 'It looks like a baseball!' I'm like, 'Shut your fucking mouth.' But because it wasn't symmetric, it was hard for me to get the mic up to my mouth, so it really changed the way that my vocals sounded. Which is why now when I do my mask I make sure that the rubber is flushed with my mouth so I can get the mic up to it. You know, mask problems."