Corey: I think of Gray every day

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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.