Corey Taylor has recalled the moment Slipknot gathered at his home on the day bassist Paul Gray died, in an attempt to come to terms with the tragedy.
And he says the experience in May 2010 was so “heavy” and “brutal” that he hopes no one else ever has to live through it.
Gray died in a hotel room in the band’s home town, Iowa, after an accidental overdose. He’d been struggling with addiction issues for some time. His passing sent Slipknot into freefall, from which they’ve only recently begun recovering with the recent launch of .5: The Gray Chapter, named after him.
Taylor’s feelings are recorded in the album track Goodbye. He tells MusikUniverse: “It’s about the day we lost him. We were all sitting in my house – me, Clown and Fehn has just come from the hotel where they found him. We got everyone to meet at my house; we were trying to keep them away from the hotel. The three of us, we didn’t listen – we went right down there.
“We got everyone configured at my place, and we just lost it. It was so heavy and so brutal, and I don’t wish that on anyone. It’s about all of us sitting in a circle, kind of staring at each other, not knowing what to say. We’d had our legs kicked out from under us.
“So that song is about him in a way, but it’s more about being in that situation, in that moment.”
Another track, Skeptic, is designed to commemorate Gray’s spirit, says Taylor. “It’s so about him – it’s my tribute to him and just how awesome he was. You’d meet him once and he’d make you feel like you’d known him for ever. He’d make you instantly at ease. He was a gift, man. He was just an amazing dude.”
Asked if Gray would be proud of the music, the frontman replies: “I hope so, man. I really hope so.”
The identities to Slipknot’s replacement bassist and drummer were all but confirmed this week after a disgruntled roadie released a tour itinerary showing the names of Jay Weinberg and Alessandro ‘Vman’ Venturella. Taylor, who’d previously said the band might never officially reveal them, now says it could happen in the coming months – but won’t commit to whether they’ll become permanent members.
“We’ll just have to see,” he reflects. “Nobody’s handed anything in this band – everybody earns what they get. I can tell you they’re doing great. They’re fantastic to hang out with, they’re great on stage and we’re having a good time.”
He continues: “We’ll probably end up telling the world next year. It was more important to get the important stuff out of the way – the album, the video, Knotfest, the first tour to re-establish the band. It’s not about the individual members, and that’s one of the reasons we’ve done it like this.
“Don’t make it about them. We’re trying to make it about the music and the show. People forget that’s the way it was at the beginning. That’s what we’re trying to get back to.”
Slipknot tour the UK with Korn and King 810 next month:
Jan 14: Dublin 3Arena
Jan 16: Sheffield Motorpoint Arena
Jan 18: Glasgow SSE Hydro
Jan 19: Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
Jan 20: Manchester Arena
Jan 22: Liverpool Echo Arena
Jan 23: London Wembley SSE Arena
Jan 24: Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Jan 26: Nottingham Capital FM Arena
Jan 27: Birmingham Barclaycard Arena