What does Corey Taylor think? You all have asked us so much over the years that it's become a meme. Luckily we recently had the chance to sit down with Taylor for a chat in Los Angeles.

The rocker with a voracious appetite for music and a locked and loaded opinion on a variety of topics is set to return on Sept. 15 with his second solo effort, CMF2. And while we spoke with Taylor about his new album, his confidence in the music and his love for the band that he's put around him, the musician also offered up his thoughts on a number of other timely topics going on in the world today as well.

We learn a bit about the origins of his Decibel Cooper label imprint name, get some reflections on fatherhood now that his son Griffin is fronting the rising rock band Vended and find out what makes Corey say, "I will always have something to bitch about. I will always have something to write about, and I will always have something to rail against."

He also serves up some of his favorite collaborations he's done over the years, drops his non-metal DJ favorites and shares the one thing he wishes more people asked him about. So dig in below and find out what Corey Taylor thinks.

As someone who loves wordplay, I’m loving that you named your label Decibel Cooper and I’m hoping people get that reference.

You know, you’re the only one who has told me that you figured it out. Everyone else is like, “So Decibel, what’s going on?” And I’m like, “Oh, for fuck sake.” The cool thing is that it’s the name of my production company as well. So I was like, “Yeah, we’re just gonna franchise this the fuck out. It’s a great name.”

So beyond that, obviously it's a nod to D.B. Cooper, but is there a tie to his legacy with what you’re doing or just that it’s a cool name?

No, no, I just thought it was cool. But, so originally I was going to start a ska band called Decibel Cooper. I was really going to lean into the 2-tone, and then I realized I just didn’t have time to start a 12th band. So I thought, “Well this is stupid.” But I kept the name cause the name was fucking great. So when the time came to come up with a name for my imprint, I just thought, “Let’s keep the Decibel Cooper name going and see how far we can get away with it.”

Ok, you just blew my mind with Corey Taylor doing a 2-tone ska band. I’d pay to see that. But let’s go there. What was your entry point with ska?

It started with The Clash obviously, because The Clash, they just dipped their toes into so many different genres that they just blew my mind. They went from regular three-, four-chord punk to 2-tone ska, and when they leaned into some hip-hop and there was jungle. They just played with so many different vibes. They just inspired me musically so much. They’ve really been the band along with artists like Prince that they just had no boundaries. Those are the artists that I was inspired to be.

So when I got into ska or 2-tone, it was obviously The Specials. I love the fucking Specials. Madness were fucking great. There were so many bands that were just unsung back in the day that you look back and go there was so much great music. People don’t even realize that The English Beat, which then became General Public, that they started out as a ska band. “Mirror in the Bathroom” is a fucking incredible song. That right there … I just loved the stylings that was a marriage of reggae, punk and just pub music. I loved that it was creating something AND that it brought people together. That, to me, was just so attractive and it inspired me to want to start something like that.

I haven’t said no completely to doing it, but I got a lot going on (laughs).

The Clash, "Rudie Can't Fail"

Ok, well The Clash is a perfect example of a band that was all over the place musically and I can see you going that way. With your evolution of putting more and more influences into your music, where you’re at as a solo artist, is this finally where you can do what you want? The expectations are off as you’ve done heavy, you’ve done rock and now this can finally be a blank slate and anything you want it to be.

It really is. I’ll start weeping when there are no more worlds left to conquer. I feel like the confidence I got from making the first one and the fact that there was really no plan for it. Let’s just fucking see. I’ve written all the stuff but let’s see where it goes. That really gave me the confidence to go, “Okay, let’s really lean into this now. Let’s see where we can go with this.” And that’s really where CMF2 came from.

It’s still dipping my toes into all these different genres and pushing the boundaries but bringing in the elements that I’m known for as well and using them and incorporating them on songs that don’t necessarily lend themselves to that stuff. It’s just kind of playing around and meshing and creating exciting hybrids and seeing what people will think.

It was a lot of fun to do and there’s just so much excitement and energy that came from when we were recording it that I knew that we were on the right path.

Because you’ve done so many things, is it more of a challenge now to try not to tread back over previous ground or do you maybe go back and say, “Hey, maybe it’s time to revisit something as a touchtone or a jumping off point?”

I definitely try not to, even though I could easily do it, I try not to tread the same path too much. There are definitely elements that I love to play with and experiment with but when it comes to lyrics I want to make sure I don’t repeat myself there.

If there’s a certain vibe I’m looking for, I will play around with it and if it feels like something I’ve done before, I’ll strip it to the studs and try to start over or I’ll be, “Okay, we’re not going there.” It’s the reason why there’s a lot of songs I’ve recorded but never put out there for people is because they feel too similar to things I’ve done in the past. I never want to be the guy who goes, “Well those songs are really, really similar.” I always want the things that I put out, even if they feel familiar, I never want them to feel similar. There are moments in genres that can reflect one another, but they can never feel identical. You can lean into those spirits and try to create things that feel different and still have them differentiate themselves from each other.

Corey Taylor, "Beyond"

This band you’ve got now. Sounds tight, sounds great.

Dude, they’re AMAZING.

And I know there’s some crossover from Stone Sour with Christian Martucci on board. But what are you thoughts on the band you’ve pulled together for your solo work and is this “THE BAND” for you?

This is definitely “The Band.” I hand-picked these guys. They were dudes who I absolutely loved playing with. I loved spending time with them. I loved playing onstage with them. I loved creating with them. I just know that if I throw a style at them, they can play it. These guys, they’re not hired guns. But they are guys that have experience playing a million styles and being really able to excel at every style.

That’s one of the reasons why I picked them. I knew if I was going to do a solo thing, it was going to incorporate everything. At one point, I was going to play Slipknot, I was going to play Stone Sour and I was going to do these covers that maybe come out of left field. We can play around with it and have it reflect whatever, but I was going to play around when it came to this solo thing so I just needed people who were exceptional when it came to musicianship. And the stuff that they come up with creatively, it’s fantastic.

One of my favorite songs on here is “Post Traumatic Blues,” and I know that it deals with PTSD, which is something you’ve decided to align yourself with in your charitable pursuits. I wanted to give you a chance to talk about your involvement with PTSD and why that became something of personal interest for you.

“Post Traumatic Blues” was definitely inspired by the work that I do with the Taylor Foundation. I started the Taylor Foundation not only as a tribute to my grandfather but also to my grandmother. My grandfather was veteran of the Korean War and he came home from that war severely affected by PTSD. It triggered crippling alcoholism in him, which destroyed their marriage and it pretty much destroyed any relationship that my sister and I would have had with our grandfather.

It was to the point where for the longest time I didn’t even realize he was my grandfather. He was just this man that my mom brought me to visit who just lived in other people’s houses or lived on the street. It was sad. There was no support system back then. There was the VA and there was nothing else because people didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that our servicemen were coming home with incredible invisible scars that they couldn’t understand.

As time went on, I dealt with my own issues with trauma and I was able to meet with people who had served or people in law enforcement and emergency services where our music had really helped them. And I realized that something I was really starting to formulate was a passion to help organizations who are trying to help them. And I’m not talking about just national organizations as they tend to get the majority of the press. This is more about the local places, the real boots on the ground in all of these states that people may or may not even know about because nobody hears about them.

So the Taylor Foundation is really about not only just raising money for those organizations but also raising awareness about them and helping to boost their signal so that people in their area can know about it. These are groups that maybe take different creative ways of helping people who are dealing with PTSD. It’s mainly servicemen or veterans, current or former, people in law enforcement, people in emergency services and their families, because PTSD is something that affects the whole family. It’s trying to build awareness for families who are dealing with it, it’s trying help acknowledge it and accept it and make it so everyone can help each other.

We’ve been able to raise a lot money and distribute it to a lot of great organizations, and we’re doing some really great work.

Corey Taylor, "Post Traumatic Blues"

One of the great things over the last few years is seeing Griffin come along from that kid hopping onstage with Slipknot to now fronting his own band. I’ve seen you discuss the struggle of not being around as much as you’d like because of work when he was younger and trying to find that balance, and I think it’s something that a lot of fathers in everyday life can relate to as well. Can you talk about finding that balance in your life and getting to the point where you are in the relationship now?

It’s been a long time coming obviously. There were some decisions in my life that took me away from him even longer than I would have liked. I don’t have a lot of regrets in my life, but one of my regrets is that I wasn’t there more for him.

He and I butted heads for a while, but obviously you’re going to do that with teenagers anyway most of the time. But with Griff, it was the fact that I wasn’t there. I wasn’t there to answer a lot of questions. Now that he’s gotten older, we communicate a little better. And we understand each other a little more, which is great.

He understands, especially going on the road now, how much work it is. He sees and he feels how heavy it is when you’re not home, when you’re away from home and away from your family. So he understands what I went through cause there wasn’t a second of his life that I wasn’t thinking about him or wishing I could be there for him. Because he knows that now, it’s deepened our relationship, which is great.

He was just here. He came to Vegas and spent two weeks with us and we were able to go to Hawaii as a family, which was great. He’d never been and his sister had never been. My wife and I were able to take them and really have a great time as a family. And he really appreciated that — the fact that we include him and we want him there.

So I think that has given us so much more room to grow as father and son. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that I’m so proud of him for what he’s done. He knows that no matter what, I’ve got his back. It’s little things like that that helps. They’re never going to really truly understand how much you love them maybe until they have kids of their own. But you can come close, let’s put it that way.

I just thought it was so awesome that someone had caught you on a video side of the stage at one of his shows with just this huge smile on your face ….

Oh, I’m the worst, dude. I’m such a doting dad, and I’m sure people clowned me hard for it, but I don’t care, man. The great thing is that I have video from back when Griff was probably 10 or 12 of him standing on the side of the stage with me and giving me waters and stuff and he was my little security dude, and now I do the same for him.

If we’re ever at the same place and he’s playing, I’m at the side of the stage no matter what for his show just so I can watch him. I’m just so proud of him, and he’s so goddamn good.

READ MORE: Slipknot Members Can't Help But Smile Watching Their Sons Perform

This comes from one of our readers, but I liked the question, so I’ll ask …. Beyond your music and family, what inspires you the most in your life to push forward?

Oh man, good question. There’s not a lot of room for anything else (laughs). Family takes up the rest of it, and I’m constantly writing music and working on stuff.

I guess my whole thing, especially the last six years, it’s really important to me to make sure that the people that I appreciate, that they know it. I’ve definitely had moments in my life where I’ve been more selfish than most. I’ve also had moments where I’ve not made sure that the people who have helped me immensely in my life know [how I felt]. I wasn’t able to show that appreciation.

So I guess my new dedication, well it’s not that new — about six years now — is to make sure that the people I care about know it. No holding back, no censoring myself, no “it’s not the right time,” no. I just make sure that it happens and I make sure that it’s said because you just never fucking know.

I’ve lost so many people in my life who may or may not have understood how much I appreciated them. And I’m not going to let that opportunity ever go by again. I won’t bore anybody with hobbies, cause I’ve got enough of them to kill somebody, but what I’ve tried to incorporate is a sense of urgency in making sure that the people I care about in my life know it.

So we’ll take this in another direction since it’s been nice and touchy-feely here, but given that you are in a good place in life, does it become harder with age and peace to channel that anger and aggression that comes with some of your music?

Oh God, no! I’m still a fucking asshole. There’s still so many things that piss me off it’s not even funny. Just the state of the culture right now is so fucking awful. People are now talking to each other like they are tweeting, which is ridiculous. One of the things that I miss the most are facts — not just contentious opinion or alternative facts or whatever the fuck that shit means.

The fact that we don’t have any base level foundation for what is correct and what is not correct and that everything is open to opinion is just horse shit. And that those opinions are then taken by people who have been made to feel inferior by elitist pricks and they’ve now taken those opinions and they’ve cemented them as their own facts and they’ve passed them off to people who feel the same way. The fact that we have no baseline in reality now is terrifying. The fact that there’s nowhere we can go to find things that we can rely on and the fact that there’s no real urgency to do that.

The fact that there’s no real place to find something that is secure and is set in stone. Yes, there may be changes on the different data that comes in, but is something that feels secure. More people are more interested in their own drama and their own bullshit and their own version of conspiracies and ridiculous fucking propaganda that they refuse to see that what they’re doing is eating themselves. They’re eating their own culture. Whether it’s the right and their obsession with the talking heads or the left and their obsession with controlling language and controlling the way that we try to feel about each other and the way that you talk about other fucking people, regardless, it’s insane.

Because of that, I will always have something to bitch about. I will always have something to write about, and I will always have something to rail against.

Yeah, and you’ve also got the odd social conduct nowadays. It’s like people forgot how to act with throwing stuff at performers onstage that we’ve seen here lately….

Oh, it’s fucking ridiculous. This is one of the problems with social media. Now artists aren’t regarded as people anymore. Even if they never were, they were still regarded as something that is flesh and bone. They were something to obsess about, but at least they were a person.

Now, because of the feeling of being even more removed from the human experience, now, you might as well just be a fucking soda machine or a phone booth for fuck sake. You’re an object, and you’re going to be treated as such.

And the fact that people can’t understand how utterly dangerous it is to do shit like that, how utterly rude it is to treat people like that, how utterly incredible it is to think that you are so special that the show is just about you and not about anybody else around you …. the level of entitlement that is being brought out in people is fucking disgusting.

Everybody wants to just talk about how wrong it is, but nobody wants to talk about why. It’s because nobody’s looking at anyone as a human being anymore. They’re not looking at the artist anymore. They’re not looking at each other anymore like that. And until we bring the human element back into it, there will be no boundaries. That’s what it is. It’s a destruction of boundaries.

Now people see that they can be disregarded and they’re going to get a reaction and they’re going to have something that they can tweet about again, it’s just one giant sucking black hole that looks like a massive asshole just sucking the whole universe into it. It’s dumb.

Corey Taylor, CMF2 Album Artwork

Corey Taylor, 'CMF2'
Decibel Cooper/BMG

What’s the one thing people ask you about that you wish they’d stop?

I don’t know. It seems like it goes in phases. I don’t know. I guess I just have to open my mouth again in the wrong way and then people will just chase me on that. (Laughs)

Okay, then the flip side of that is what’s the one thing you never get asked that you wish you would?

I kind of get to talk about everything. Regardless of if someone even asks me, my mouth is big enough to handle so many different topics.

But here’s something I wish more people would talk about. The fact that growth in business has become more about an addiction than it is about real economic stability. I’ve heard this problem with people trying to defend capitalism for years. The problem is that the business people have convinced themselves that unless they’re showing growth or unless they’re showing a profit, a growing profit, that they’re not actually succeeding and that is absolutely incorrect.

Stability is still profitability. Stability is still success. I would rather have something stable than something that fucking climbs constantly and then it just goes right off the brink of destruction. That’s one of the reasons why we see people doing these mass layoffs. It’s one of the reasons we see people destroying the quality of the products that are coming out. It’s one of the reasons we’re seeing people become glutted on wealth and then they themselves become oblivious to what the human fucking condition is.

Look at all these billionaires talking out of their fucking ass about people and they have no idea what real life is. They’re walking around a landscape of money, wealth and bullshit and they can’t even understand what it is to fucking pay bills or to choose between feeding your kids and making a fucking car payment.

The fact that they’re defending capitalism against that is excruciating. It doesn’t make any sense and it sends the wrong message about what the American Dream should have been in the first place. When the American Dream was first talked about, it was about the opportunity to have a family, to feed your kids, to have a house and to make a living. End of fucking story. Now the American Dream has been bastardized into some fucking vile thought that whoever is richest last wins. It’s such horse shit, and I wish people would ask me about that so I could say it and piss off more of these fucking asshats.

I know you’ve probably been asked “best album” at some point, but what I want to know is through all of the collaborations, bands and projects, what was the most personally rewarding recording musically you feel you’ve done from start to finish?

I’ve been trying to think about this today, cause I’ve done so many projects and so many cool things over the years.

The songs that I did with Tech [N9ne] were amazing. Just the fact that he was down to let me go off and do my thing. “Wither” is just such a great song. People always get surprised when they realize how old that song is now. That thing came out like 10 years ago or something like that.

I’m pretty proud of a lot of stuff. One of the first collaborations I ever did was with Max [Cavalera] on Soulfly II when we did “Jumpdafuckup” together. The fact that he was asking to do a tune with me blew my mind. We were still very young. In fact, the first album, we were still touring on that.

They wanted me to come down to the studio and I basically wrote what I did on the road leading up to that recording session in Phoenix. I met him that day. We had a blast together and we just fucking banged it out and we just looked at each other like giddy fucking little kids going, “Fuck, this is so fucking cool.”

To me, it’s still one of the favorite things I ever did cause that song, it fucking pounds dude. Especially the last half of it is just so in your face. It’s some of my favorite flow that I ever wrote. Just all of it and all the crazy shit that we were able to do together. And Max is just such a great dude that the handful of times that we’ve had to do it live, it was just so much fun, man.

Soulfly Featuring Corey Taylor, "Jumpdafuckup"

We’ve seen some of your backstage antics and dancing and singing along to songs. One of our readers was asking, what’s the most un-metal song that you just love to turn up and crank as loud as you can and sing when nobody else is watching?

Aw dude. I turn it on whether people are watching or not. I don’t give a shit.

What was I playing for the boys? They tend to give me the speaker backstage at the Slipknot shows. They let me play DJ because they know I’m going to put on some weird-ass shit whether it’s Frank Zappa or the Bee Gee’s.

I did an ‘80s playlist, all early ‘80s that was just all new wave weird shit. Some fo them were looking at me like, “What the fuck is this?” I did a whole Flock of Seagulls thing and it wasn’t even “I Ran,” it was “Space Age Love Song,” which is an incredible song. I love that song. It’s one of those songs you can just sign along to and you just start smiling as you do it.

But then there was stuff like [Animotion’s] “Obsession,” which I always thought would be a great song for Slipknot to do a cover of because there’s percussion and riffs that you could really lean into and you could make it really creepy, right? But other than that, fuck, I’ll do the Chicken Dance. I don’t give a shit.

A Flock of Seagulls, "Space Age Love Song"

Our thanks to Corey Taylor for the interview. His 'CMF2' album is due Sept. 15 and is currently available to pre-order in physical packages or for iTunes. You can also look for Corey returning to the road for a headline tour in support of the new album on Aug. 25 in Denver, Colo. All dates and ticketing info can be found here. Stay up to date with Corey through his website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Spotify. And learn more about Corey's work with The Taylor Foundation here.

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