In a new interview with Saby Reyes-Kulkarni of Paste magazine, SLIPKNOT‘s Corey Taylor spoke about his decision to put STONE SOUR “on indefinite hiatus” and launch his solo career by releasing 2020’s “CMFT” and 2023’s “CMF2” albums. He said: “When STONE SOUR first started, not only was I playing guitar constantly, but I was also the lead guitarist and main writer. Honestly, one of the reasons why I was very adamant about starting my solo thing is that there was a weird misconception around who was writing what for what band. Maybe this is where my ego comes into play, but I felt like I wasn’t getting the credit for the things I was actually writing. With STONE SOUR, it was fairly obvious, but there were a lot of songs that I wrote that people thought (guitarists) Jim (Root) or Josh (Rand) wrote where that wasn’t the case at all. And then, with SLIPKNOT, there was a lot of stuff that either wouldn’t have been written without me, or that I wrote that other people gave (themselves) credit (for). As someone who takes great pride in sitting down and creating something from nothing — just from my imagination — that stuck in my craw.”
He continued: “I’ve never shied away from giving credit to the people who deserve it. I’ve never taken credit for anything that I didn’t do, and I’ve always been the first to shine the spotlight on anybody else. I don’t necessarily get that in return. So this, for me, is setting the record straight and changing the narrative. Showing people that, ‘Oh yeah, he does write heavy shit. And country shit. And acoustic shit. And piano shit. And rock shit. Hardcore shit’ — the gamut.”
This past June, Taylor told Germany’s Rock Antenne that it is easier for him to make solo records than it is to work with a band. But he clarified: “It’s not that I don’t miss some of the guys in STONE SOUR; I still talk to them. But at this stage, I refuse to compromise my vision and my art because of certain people’s hindrances. And that’s all I’ll say.”
In August 2022, Corey told SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” that “nothing” had changed with regard to STONE SOUR months after he said in a previous interview that the band was on hiatus. Pressed about whether STONE SOUR is something he still might revisit at some point in the future, Corey said: “I don’t know. The solo thing’s more where my heart is, to be honest.”
Corey, who was actually in STONE SOUR before he joined SLIPKNOT, continued: “To me, I’ve done the time doing stuff in a — for lack of a better term — band situation. And the reason I stick with SLIPKNOT is because that, to me, is the one that kind of started everything. But STONE SOUR, there’s still so much drama and issues (between the members). To me, it’s just not something I desire to do. And songs in STONE SOUR that I want to play are the ones that I wrote in the first place. So to me, I would rather go out with a group of dudes who I’ve known forever and have a great time playing these songs and have the audience enjoy it because they see a bunch of dudes up there enjoying it than try to force issues on an audience that nobody really wants to be a part of, let’s put it that way.”
Asked it has been difficult for him to shelf STONE SOUR considering the amount of work he put into the band, Corey said: “It’s been a bitter pill to swallow, but I’ve also reached an age where I refuse to waste any time with people who I don’t enjoy being with, let’s put it that way. And that’s saying more than I actually should be saying.
“When it comes to my bands, I know in the past I’ve been very open to talking about it,” Taylor continued. “But I’m very reticent about talking about things that deal with people who I care about. And whether there are issues or not, I still care about them. So it’s tough. I have to rein myself in ’cause I’m not gonna throw anybody under the bus because nine times out of 10 I could be the problem too.
“I just know that at this point in my life I have more reason to love the solo thing than I do to try and do something with STONE SOUR,” Corey added. “Now, am I saying that it’ll never happen? No, because you never know. Something might come up and we could get an opportunity, and we could get an opportunity to do something for charity, and we all get together and we do something really, really cool. But my immediate plans right now — there’s no STONE SOUR in the future.”
STONE SOUR has been off the road and out of sight since completing the touring cycle for its last studio album, 2017’s “Hydrograd”. Taylor has been working with SLIPKNOT since then, as well as making his debut solo album, “CMFT”, and a follow-up effort, “CMF2”, which arrived last week. A STONE SOUR live album, “Hello, You Bastards: Live In Reno”, came out in December 2019.
In August 2020, Taylor said that he was open to doing more recording and touring with STONE SOUR in the future. But he admitted that there had “been some contention here and there” between the members of the band in the past and added that it was “time” for him to “step away” and pursue his solo project for a while.
In June 2020, Corey told “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk” about STONE SOUR: “If someday we wanna get back together and do some stuff, it’ll be bigger than it was. But for right now, we’re all kind of focused on kind of doing our own thing. But you never say never in this business.”
In June 2021, STONE SOUR guitarist Josh Rand told MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn‘s “No Fuckin’ Regrets With Robb Flynn” podcast about when fans can expect to see the follow-up to “Hydrograd”: “There’s no timetable for a return, ’cause, honestly, between Corey doing his solo thing, now me working on THE L.I.F.E. PROJECT stuff, Roy (Mayorga, drums) working on MINISTRY… So, there’s just no timetable.
“I made a comment (in 2020), and it kind of backfired, because of how I said (STONE SOUR was on an) indefinite hiatus, which, if you know the definition, actually just means it’s a long period of time with no timetable of return. I don’t know if everybody thought I said ‘infinite’ instead of ‘indefinite.’ (Laughs) All of a sudden, the band was, like, over. It was, like, ‘Oh my God! It’s over.’ All I was saying was there’s no timetable. It’s no different than what we’ve done in the past. It’s just gonna be a longer break.”
According to Rand, he and his STONE SOUR bandmates “needed to branch out”, “try different shit” and “work with different people” before regrouping to work on new STONE SOUR music. “And then whenever that time is that we get back together, it’ll actually be what is best for STONE SOUR,” he explained. “There’s no doubt about it in my mind. Just having these different experiences for all of us instead of just running that same cycle. I think more so with Corey and myself — like I said, he got to do a solo record where he’s doing a different style of music than anybody would have thought of or that wouldn’t have fit in STONE SOUR or SLIPKNOT. For myself, working with somebody that’s not Corey and Roy. So there’s a growth that will be there that we’ll ultimately get which will benefit the band. I know some people might not be stoked that it’s gonna be who knows when, but it needed to happen, and that’s what’s best for everybody involved.”
Asked how he and the rest of STONE SOUR made the decision to take a longer-than-usual break this time around, Josh said: “I think at the end of the tour cycle, we had a good idea of what was going to happen, where (Corey) wanted to do the solo record. For myself, it’s something I kicked around — just having some of the songs that I would musically write that I would never submit into STONE SOUR ’cause I don’t feel like it fits at all. So I was kind of on that path to begin with. I just kind of got an extra nudge with him doing his solo record of, ‘Hey, this is probably the time to do this.’ And then we got hit with the pandemic, which then really locked me into the house. And I was, like, ‘What else am I gonna do?’ So I just started writing and working on playing piano. I did a bunch of stuff on piano, which some of it will come out, and some of it, it’s, like, ‘No.’ I’ll (it) for myself. And that’s basically what we did. So we had a good idea, I think, that we were gonna take a longer break at the end of ’19. I think towards the end, all of us were just burnt.”
Photo credit: Marina Hunter