How Slipknot Learned to Love Each Other More After Deaths of Joey Jordison + Paul Gray
In many ways, The End. So Far marks the end of an era for Slipknot, though the band has ensured that the album title does not signify the end of their career. But at this point, there is some time for reflection, and during a chat with Apple Music's Zane Lowe, singer Corey Taylor was asked about the band's late former drummer Joey Jordison.
The singer shared, "As you get older, you start to appreciate what you do have and you'll lament the losses. You lament the fact that you never had to truly make peace with the people who you lost, and that's something that I've been doing just in my own life period, is reaching out to people who I haven't talked to in a while and really burying hatchets because that will just fucking weigh you down."
He adds, "Me and Joey, we had talked over the years every now and then, it would just be random, but we never said to each other what we needed to say to each other, at least I didn't say it to Joe, but that was the complicated thing about Joey, was the fact that he was so many different people in one person, but it was hard to get a beat on what was going on at any given time. He had demons that would've killed normal people. He was one of the true musical geniuses I'd ever met. He was just complicated."
Then adding another Slipknot member who had passed in late bassist Paul Gray to the conversation, Taylor continued, "Everybody likes to sugarcoat a lot of shit after the fact, but you don't realize that what you're doing is you're dehumanizing them. I can't do that because I lived with these guys. Yeah, and the goddamn tragedy of it is that we did everything we could to try and be there. Not only for him, but for Paul. I mean, we would rally and we would rally and we would rally, and it's just a shame, man. The world is less cool without him in it."
Elsewhere in the chat, Taylor says the deaths of the two original band members has impacted relations within the band as well. "I got to be honest, man, it wasn't until we lost Paul and Joey, and I'm talking about even recently, that we really all turned to each other and said, 'You know what? I need you to know how much I appreciate you. Even knowing that you're completely different from me as a person, and we have run in completely different circles for so long. I love who you are, and I love what we've done together,'" says Taylor. "That's the shit has brought us together now is the fact that we are embracing each other for who we are, instead of really being at war with each other because they weren't who I wanted them to be, let's put it that way. It's been huge, man. It's been big for us."
While the deaths of Jordison and Gray are two of the more sorrowful experiences that Taylor has dealt with over the course of the band's career, the singer tells Lowe that the present day finds him in "the best mindset of my life."
He explains, "My life is very uncomplicated right now. Let's put it that way, and I like that. To be sitting here right now with the state where my family is, the state where my relationship, my marriage is, where I'm at professionally, spiritually, I'm probably in the best mindset of my life, man. It's rad. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to know that I'm still pursuing the things that I want to do. I'm spending time with the people who I want to spend time with and I'm getting to do it on my own terms. That’s been a big thing for me, because in the past I was surrounded by people who would just push me in the directions that they wanted me to go, or they would for their own personal benefits, get me doing certain things or showing up to certain things or exhausting me by giving complete access to me, to people who didn't deserve it. Let's put it that way."
He adds, "That will push you down. It's one of the biggest triggers for depression is feeling like your life is not in your own control or whatever because life is what it is. But at the same time, if you don't feel like you've at least got a handle on it, it will drive you into the ditch. So for me, the biggest part has been reasserting my own grip on what is okay for me, what is okay for my family, what is okay for what I want to do in life and reconfiguring the energy that I put towards different shit."
Listen to more of Corey's chat with Zane Lowe in which he discusses the boundary pushing with the band's new album, his appreciation for Slipknot, his gratitude for the fans and the growing presence of drummer Jay Weinberg within the band. The chat can be viewed below.
Slipknot's The End, So Far album arrives this Friday (Sept. 30). Pre-orders can be made here.