Corey: I think of Gray every day

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has paid tribute to late bassist Paul Gray as the fifth anniversary of his death approaches.

Gray was 38 when he died of an accidental drugs overdose on May 24, 2010. The tragedy brought Slipknot close to splitting until they regrouped and later dedicated fifth album .5: The Gray Chapter to his memory.

Taylor writes in Kerrang: “There’s not a day goes by that I don’t think about him. When I’m on the road, the live shows bring back our times together. When I’m home, this house and the pictures in it remind me of good times and bad.

“When I’m listening to music, I think about the two of us, cranking new and old tunes in his car or mine, rocking out like little kids and giggling because the stuff is so awesome.”

The vocalist regards Gray’s “energy and excitement” as the biggest gift he left to his colleagues. “If you weren’t feeling something musically or anything else to do with the band, he was the world’s best cheerleader,” Taylor says.

“After one conversation with him, you’d be so ready to play, tour, record or whatever that you’d be jumping out of your skin.

“Whenever I’m feeling jaded, I remember that. I remember this gift that he and I and the rest of Slipknot were able to build together.”

And he believes he had a special bond with Gray because they both experienced difficult childhoods. He says: “I learned so much from that man.

“He and I built a career out of passion, music, anger and art. We may have had our ups and downs, but he loved every minute of it. I know I did.”

Slipknot headline this year’s Download festival at Donington next month. Taylor’s latest book will be launched in time for fans to have it signed at the weekender.

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.