Corey Taylor Talks to Full Metal Jackie About His New Book, the Latest on Slipknot + More
Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. The singer talked all about his new book ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven,’ mentioned the latest on Slipknot + more. If you missed Jackie’s show, check out her full conversation with Corey Taylor below:
It’s Full Metal Jackie bringing you two full hours of metal each and every week. On the show with us, once again, the one and only Corey Taylor. What’s up Corey?
Hello my dear, how are you today?
I’m great, thanks for being on the show. As usual, a million and one things going on in your life.
You apparently don’t sleep ever, is that true?
No, no I subsist on cigarettes, coffee and just a strong sense of waiting. Just sitting in bed, waiting for something to happen, you know?
It’s funny. We’re talking about this brand new book of yours that’s out now. It has the longest title of all time: ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven or How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process.’ Are people calling it ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven’ for short?
Yes they are. I apologize for the subtitle. That was just a way to piss off my editor, who wouldn’t let me go until I came up with a subtitle. I was like, “Oh, I’ll give you a subtitle.” I can’t stand them. I think you just name a book and you’re good. It’s not ‘The Stand: A Bunch of Stuff Happens in Armageddon,’ you know, Steven King’s ‘The Stand’ and another bunch of stuff that goes on. Every book’s got to have a subtitle these days and it drives me banana sandwich, man.
We’re talking about this new book, it’s out there now, and Corey, performing music for an audience prompts immediate response, instant gratification. What was most difficult about acclimating yourself to the time lapse in receiving a response to your work as an author?
It was cool. You know, I mean I kind of just prepared myself for it in a weird way. Um, because you know, every once in a while you’ll do something and it will almost have a grenade effect, like it doesn’t happen for like a couple of months and sometimes you forget that you did it, and then it comes on and your like, “Oh yeah, I did that, that’s kind of cool.” You know, I mean, it’s a lot like putting an album out. You spend so much time making it and then you kind of get away from the making of it. You go on the road and doing that you’re promoting it, you’re doing interviews, and then it’s almost like a foregone conclusion when it comes out. It kind of loses a little bit of its luster. It would be different if you recorded it and you put it out the next day. It’s kind of the same way as with a book.
You write a book, you put it together, and it’s actually slower than putting an album together because from soup to nuts, it was about 6-7 months that it took to kind of put this together because you send it in, they send you a version that you edit, you do the edits, you send it in, you get one more chance to fix things. I mean, it’s this ongoing process. It’s just such a pain in the itch hole. I can’t even tell you, man. It’s almost anticlimactic at that point, that you put it out and you’re just like, “All right, well, it’s out there, I hope you read it.”
Corey Taylor, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman and now, of course, author. New book, ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven’ is available now. Being a second time author, Corey, what did you do better, in your opinion, this time, compared to writing your first book?
The thing I loved about writing the first book was the format of it. I loved the fact that it almost kind of wrote half of itself right away. You’re talking about the seven deadly sins, and obviously you’re going to try to kind take apart each sin … you understand, you realize, each sin its own chapter so half the book was kind of written before I even started typing, and I liked that, so I was kind of looking around and going, “What other experiences could I kind of use that for and use the same kind of format?” This time around, I wanted to make sure that my sentences didn’t run on for 12 pages, which they tended to do in the first book. I can remember when I was doing the audio version, getting really mad at myself because I’m like, “Good Lord, this whole paragraph is one sentence.” No one talks likes that. Nobody does that in real life.
So I wanted to make it a little more conversational and make it a little easier—fix the flow, give it maybe a lilt or rhythm, but I also wanted to try and make it even more interesting than the first book where there was a great balance between the stories and the point that I was trying to make with a lot of the research that I had done in trying to figure out what these ghosts and whatnot were.
It’s Full Metal Jackie—we’ve got Corey Taylor with us on the show talking about his new book ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven.’ Again, it’s out there now. Corey, are there similarities in writing songs for an album and chapters for a book?
The thing I realized it’s harder for me to write a song. With a song, normally you get about 4-5 minutes to make your point. You have to make it in such a way where everything works. I’m the kind of guy that I obsess over whether a song is really good or not. I take it really seriously, I try to get into what the hook is, whether the writing is really good, trying to find those little beats and pieces of ear candy that make it interesting and make it pop so it’s not linear all the way through. Where as a book, it’s me vomiting intellectually into a computer. I look down and say, well OK I’m over 7,000 words on this chapter we’re good here. Try to tie it up and get it ready, then get ready for the next chapter. IT’s actually harder for me to try to encapsulate the message I’m trying to say in a 3:30 minute song than to go on at length in a book. With a book, there’s really no rules. Just make sure you spell everything correctly.
We’ve got Corey Taylor with us on the show talking about his new book ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven.’ Corey, what aspects of writing the book directly affected writing ‘House of Gold & Bones’ and it accompanying comic book?
It was a lot of balancing going on. I had finished the short story and the songs that I had written before I even jumped into the book. I was going back and forth between the comic book and ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven.’ So it was really just making sure that I was paying attention in writing the right things for each project and making sure I didn’t let one bleed into the other. Because honestly, they were completely separate projects. I wanted to make sure they were definitely separate and not bleeding one into the other.
One was fiction and dealing with almost a morality play and the other one was a non-fiction and trying to make sense of something from a scientific point of view while also trying to scare the crap out of people.
It’s Full Metal Jackie—we’ve got Corey Taylor with us on the show talking about his new book ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven.’ It’s available now. Corey, give us any kind of update on Slipknot.
We have a couple of shows coming up in October that we’re doing in South America. Other than that, nothing for the rest of the year but, next year beginning of next year. Sometime in the first few months we’re going to start getting together and throwing new music at each other. It feels like it’s time. There’s no timetable, no deadline. We’re not putting any of that on ourselves. But, it definitely feels like its time to go into a studio and see what’s next for Slipknot. So that is the plan as of right now.
We’ve got Corey Taylor with us, thank you so much for being on the show. Again, the new book ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Heaven’ out in stores now. I know you’ve always got a million things going on with your multiple bands and everything you’ve got so I appreciate you taking the time to talk to us. Wish you a best of luck with this second book and everything that’s to come, Corey. Thank you so much.
Thank you very much for having me, dear.
This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome guitarist Gus G. of Firewind and Ozzy Osbourne’s band to her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.