Corey Taylor Calls AI Cheap – ‘We Want to Make Reality Completely Pointless’
"It was an idea that my manager put in my head."
On Tuesday night's edition of Loudwire Nights (May 16), Corey Taylor opened up about why he's getting into the record label business. A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that his new solo album, CMF2, would be released on his own imprint with the international music company BMG.
"I was like, 'Do people do that anymore,' and he was like, 'Why not?,'" Taylor explained to Loudwire's Meatball. "It was something I always wanted to do. The thing I've always tried to do and the thing I've always strived to do, my whole career, is to help advance the younger generation. Give a voice to a new voice, or at least try to amplify it, you know?"
Taylor admitted that even if he only signs one or two bands to the imprint, he'll consider it a success.
"If I put my money where my mouth is, it makes my job feel that much better," he said. "It makes my heart feel that much better."
It was important to Taylor that he was partnered with people he trusted and who believed in his vision and passion. For him, it was a no-brainer to do this with BMG.
"[They] came in hot, dude," he said. "They were so stoked to be part of everything that I was doing, so it made sense. They've been flying the flag for rock and metal and punk for God knows how long."
While Taylor wasn't ready to name bands that he is interested in for his imprint, he did explain his specific criteria. "It doesn't matter if it's rock or hip hop or whatever," he said, "Anything that's passionate, I'm in. Doesn't even necessarily have to feel different. It just has to feel alive. I can't say that about 98 percent of the modern production in the world. A lot of bands out there, they all feel like they were created by the same AI, they all sound the same, they all feel the same, they all do the same shit. It's boring."
As he contemplated the reality he just described, Taylor caught himself before he got too deep into that rabbit hole.
"I'm excited. Once the time comes, I'm excited to see what I can put the stamp on and see what happens."
Corey Taylor on Artificial Intelligence + Music
When Taylor mentioned the sound of bands today and related it to artificial intelligence, Meatball asked him what he thought about the recent AI-generated song that featured Chester Bennington's voice singing Slipknot's "Snuff."
"It's cheap shit," Taylor responded, quickly. "I don't know what it is about human beings—they keep fucking opening Pandora's box for God's sake. It's scary, dude. I thought deep fake was bad and now here comes AI and all you do is teach this thing to do this or you type this thing to do that and all of a sudden it's just there. How much more do we want to lessen—and I mean lessen as in detract from—what we actually do as human beings? How much more do we want to take away from our own creativity? How much more do we want to make reality completely fucking pointless or better yet, how much do we completely want to devalue true talent, true creativity, true hard work, true persistence and heart to the point now that people are going to question whether it's you or not. It's so fucking ridiculous."
And when it came to Bennington's voice being used on top of Slipknot songs, Taylor showed even more disdain for AI.
"As honored as I would be to have something real like that from Chester, it's just not right," he said. "People have really got in the habit of stepping on graves and they don't care. That's what bothers me the most, this true apathy for anything other than their own needs. How fucking selfish do you need to be?"
Taylor caught himself again.
"We're in danger of me going off on one of my fucking tirades."
Writing "Uncoverable" Songs
As fun as a Corey Taylor tirade can be, the conversation between him and Meatball shifted to a more positive topic: cover songs. As of late, it seems that more and more people are decided to cover songs from Taylor's career—and he thinks it's really cool.
"The funny thing is that for the longest time, I considered a lot of my songs uncoverable," he explained to Meatball. "They're so distinctly me. One of the reasons I stopped writing songs for other people is because the stuff that I write, it inevitably doesn't turn out nearly as good as I want it to be in my head. It's not because of the people who I write them for, it's because if I'm not the one doing it, it doesn't feel as relatable."
Taylor loves seeing people tackle his songs, though, and there is one recent cover that blew his mind.
"Holy shit, Vera Farmiga doing "Duality," that freaked me out," he said. "Me and the wife were watching it—is this real life? What the hell is happening? From that to a great cover of "Bother" that was done by Tricky way back in the day. It gave me chills, I was like, 'Holy fuck, dude.' It's something that I'm really proud of, I've been able to create a body of work now that people really want to look into and do their own versions."
While there are covers that give Taylor chills, there are also some mash-ups out there that crack him up. One of the most famous is "Psychosocial Baby."
"I remember the first time I heard it I was like, the only cool thing about that for me is the fact that I was finally on a track with Ludacris," Taylor said about the mash-up of "Psychosocial" and Justin Bieber's "Baby," which featured Ludacris on a verse. "I could finally claim that me and the Lud were together, we were kicking it."
When asked if he'd ever want to collaborate with Ludacris on a legit track, Taylor was quick to answer.
"Maybe one day, I'm putting that out into the world. Ludacris, hit me, dude. I want to do a fucking tune. Let's do this. If you don't dream big, you don't poop big."
Moving Forward With CMF2
This year, Taylor's big dreams seem to be centered largely around his new solo album, CMF2, and the just-released track, "Beyond." Along with new music, Taylor will also be hitting the road for several dates with his solo band this summer and fall.
"The reaction to my new set and the new material has been killer," he explained. "It's been a good time. By the time the show is over, we don't want it to end."
Along with performing his solo music live, Taylor includes songs from Stone Sour and Slipknot. As far as he's concerned, it's a good problem to have that he has so many songs to choose from.
READ MORE: Corey Taylor 'Couldn't Care Less' If He's Considered For Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
"We've done "Snuff" and we started doing "Wait and Bleed" toward the end of the original CMFT tour cycle," Taylor said. "The response was so great that we were like, 'Okay, let's grab a couple that would fit in with the vibe.' We did "Before I Forget" and "Duality" and people popped like crazy. That stuff fits in so well with the Stone Sour stuff that we do, it fits in well with the CMFT stuff that we do—especially the new songs from CMF2. Everything just vibes so well. People are loving it, it's pretty rad."
And when it comes to CMF2's "Beyond," Taylor told Meatball and the Loudwire Nights audience that it was a song he had been working on—and re-writing—for several years.
"It just, it was close but it was never there. Especially musically and lyrically. The arrangement stayed pretty much the same but for the most part, there were certain parts that I re-wrote from scratch, I totally re-wrote the lyrics. It wasn’t until I really decided I was going to really focus on that tune that I could really kind of take the time and find the best ways to make it the best song possible—and it really came together. As soon as we started putting it together like that and allowing the band to really kind of add their own spin on this stuff, it was no holds barred: Here we go, this is gonna be rad."
Watch Official Music Video For Corey Taylor's "Beyond"
Corey Taylor joined Loudwire Nights on Tuesday, May 16; the show replays online here, and you can tune in live every weeknight at 7PM ET or on the Loudwire app; you can also see if the show is available on your local radio station. Stream "Beyond" at this location and then check out Corey Taylor's full tour schedule.