"He was absolutely fearless... not caring about what was selling, not caring about what felt safe": Corey Taylor on what David Bowie taught him as an artist

Corey Taylor and David Bowie
(Image credit: Pamela Littky | Larry Busacca/WireImage via Getty Images)

Corey Taylor has hailed the influence of David Bowie upon his own music and attitude, saying that the late English singer/songwriter's "fearless" approach to his art is something that he has drawn inspiration from. 

Slipknot's frontman was speaking on the Kyle Meredith with... podcast. Asked by the host what he's taken from Bowie in terms of inspiration, Taylor replies, "Oh his courage, dude, is ridiculous."

"Not only that, but I don't think he ever really got the credit that he deserved," Taylor continues. "Everybody called him chameleonic: that wasn't correct, because he was always ahead of the curve, he was ahead of the trend, he was always running with whatever was going to happen next, man, and people were trying to keep up with him. So to me it was almost this prescient idea, that he just had a really great idea of what was going to be next. I mean Ziggy [Stardust....] was a precursor to what, you know, punk became, Scary Monsters, that was a precursor to what was going to become New Wave. It all just fell into place, he just knew what was going to happen."

"For me, that's kind of the inspiration that I take from him, you know, not just the fact that he was a brilliant songwriter, and just absolutely fearless when it came to putting music together, but when it came to just, you know, putting something out and not caring what the trend was, not caring what was selling, not caring what what felt safe. That's what it is, it's 'It doesn't matter what feels safe, this is what's coming from my heart. So it may be different, it may be dangerous, but it doesn't matter, because it's coming from me'. And that to me, that's the the greatest lesson that I've taken from him, not only from him, but Prince, and just a host of different artists over the years who... they just went with their heart, they didn't care about what was selling, they were just like, 'Listen, you're either gonna dig this or you're not, after it leaves my hands it's up to you'."

In the same interview, Taylor also credits Ray Lamontagne and Ani DiFranco for inspiring his songwriting on acoustic guitar.

Watch the interview in full below:

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.