Over a decade in the making, Corey Taylor’s debut solo album, CMFT – that’s ‘Corey Motherfucking Taylor’ – was a love-letter to the music of his youth, with tracks spanning everything from grandstanding arena rock to hardcore punk and straight-up smack-talking nu metal via glam.
Not willing to wait another 10 years to prepare a follow-up, metal’s favourite masked motormouth brings Hammer up to speed on what we can expect from impending second album CMF2…
How does CMF2 stack up against your debut?
“With CMFT, we had this stockpile of all these random songs, so it was like, ‘Let’s just go in and see what happens.’ CMF2 sees me going, ‘OK, that’s where I came from, where am I going?’ It’s darker, heavier, grittier… there’s still big anthems, but there’s melancholy moments. Tongue is still very much in cheek, but I think it engulfs the first album. Everything is 10 times bigger, more in-your-face; it’s catchy and the choruses are junk food as fuck.”
How dark and gritty?
“Not super-dark. We’re talking themes that resonate in my life, but also things I’m trying to connect to other people through. One song, called Post Traumatic Blues, is about PTSD, which is something I’m trying to help with my charity foundation [the Taylor Foundation]. But then there’s other songs I wrote, like, 20 years ago, about being stuck in a small town and trying to get out, written from a female perspective because at that time I was trying to get away from being all ‘me-me-me’.
“Sorry Me is one I wrote on an acoustic and had a few cello overdubs, creating a melancholy mood to walk through some of the ways I’ve let myself down in the past. These days it’s very chic to blame your issues on other people, but sometimes you need to own up to them to start to resolve those issues. Then there’s songs like We Are The Rest, which is a blatant anthem telling people on top to go fuck themselves.”
Has going out and touring CMFT acoustically had any impact on how you’ve written the follow-up?
“Pretty much everything I write starts out acoustically, even the really heavy, riffy stuff. I know if I can make it sound good on an acoustic, it’ll sound killer on an electric guitar. I could write an entire album in a day, I just find it so stupidly inspiring. It’s probably why I haven’t written an entirely acoustic album yet; I could do it so quickly it’s not a challenge.”
Does the number of styles you touched on with the first album make it easier or harder to decide what goes into your solo work?
“The worry now is, when people hear CMF2 they’re gonna go, ‘Well what isn’t a solo song?’ The breadth of it is so wide now, because we’ve touched on so much shit. There’s super-heavy riffy stuff, hardcore punk, a piano song that could have been on [1987 U2 album] The Joshua Tree – I give no fucks. We’re challenging people – and nobody does that now. Everything’s a fuckin’ dial tone, with the rare exception of, like, 10% of bands out there. If you’re not challenging your listeners, you might as well be flipping burgers.”
Coming up on 25 years since you first ‘arrived’ with Slipknot, what does CMF2 say about you?
“I’m looking at this as my third chapter. Starting out with Slipknot was a war just to keep my shit together, then as time went on it became about balancing two massive acts and to keep doing it for my own pure reasons. This third act will probably be the last 20 years of my career, presuming I make it another 20 years! For me, the third act is bringing together music from this wheel I’ve found myself in – songs from Slipknot, from Stone Sour, and to show people things and bands they’ve never heard before. I want to be a mash-up of Bruce Springsteen and Ozzy Osbourne.”
CMF2 is expected later this year.