"I was so nervous I had to slam Jack and Cokes": Corey Taylor on being drunk on Top Of The Pops

Corey Taylor now, and during his 2003 Top Of The Pops appearance
(Image credit: Posed shot: press, TOTP shot: BBC)

 You might imagine there isn't much that throws Corey Taylor off his game. The Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman is one of the most proudly outspoken, forthcoming personalities in the entire history of heavy metal, seemingly unshakeable in everything he does whether it's commanding 100,000 people to 'jump the fuck up' or surprising long-time fans with the musical variety of his solo work.

In a new interview with Kerrang!, however, Taylor reveals that there have been plenty of times where the singer's nerves have got the better of him - such as while making his debut appearance on hallmark BBC music TV show Top Of The Pops in March 2003. Taylor was appearing alongside a string quintet to play a unique version of Stone Sour's hit single, Bother. As it turns out, he needed a little, ah, Dutch courage ahead of the performance to help him through.

“I remember doing Top Of The Pops to play Bother, and being so fucking nervous that I had to slam Jack and Cokes just to settle myself," Taylor reveals. "So by the time I got on camera, I was, [adopts slurring, drunk voice]. I've missed a lot of moments like that, because I didn't allow myself to be in the moment.

“I don't know if I would have necessarily been annoyed about it as a young kid, as I would have been intimidated,” he adds. “When I was younger, I still was trying to figure out what all of this is, and it wasn't until after I quit drinking that I was able to become honest with myself and really look at what it is – which is temporary, for the most part. So you either take advantage of what you've got going on now, and embrace it and live in that moment, or you watch it fade away. I would probably have swore a lot, and they would have escorted me off the premises.”

Taylor releases his second solo studio album, CMF2, this Friday. Sadly, there's no longer a Top Of The Pops for him to perform any of the tracks from it on, though you can watch his 2003 Top Of The Pops performance below. 

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.