Slipknot’s Corey Taylor: I let booze get in the way

Corey Taylor
Corey Taylor (Image credit: Getty)

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has opened up on his battle with alcoholism that plagued his early career.

He’s been sober since 2006 but speaking to Anthrax leader Scott Ian on his Never Meet Your Heroes SiriusXM radio show, Taylor reports there was a time when he thought that without alcohol, he wouldn’t be able to go onstage.

Taylor says: “There was a huge war going on in my head, and that kind of fed the booze.

“That fed a lot of my issues with drinking and shit because I had given up drugs when I was a teenager so that wasn’t an issue for me – but the booze was really the anchor that I still had.

“I had bullshitted myself into thinking that I couldn’t go on stage without it like, ‘It’s good luck.’ Such addict bullshit.”

Taylor points to his work with Stone Sour, particularly the track Bother from their self-titled 2002 album, as a moment in his career that fed his ego and turned him into a “douchebag.”

The vocalist continues: “Bother really was me trying to prove that I could still contribute something. I’ve never been as good a guitar player as anybody in Slipknot and I’m OK with that – but the stuff I was writing was so much more the Stone Sour side of stuff that suddenly it was filling this void that I didn’t even realise that I had.

“That really allowed me to feel good about what I was doing but then that fed the ego and I just became that lead singer douchebag, which honestly I wish I wouldn’t have been but at the same time I’m glad that I went through it, because I wouldn’t be who I am now if I hadn’t.”

Reflecting on his personality while drunk, Taylor says he could be “vicious” with a “dark attitude” and adds: “To this day, there are still a lot of friends of mine who are like, ‘If you ever fall off the wagon don’t call me.’

“So I know it’s in me, and I think that’s the difference between me and a lot of other people is the fact that I can at least admit it.”

He continues: “I just let booze get in the way for a while and then I kind of pulled myself out of it. I feel like I’m doing my best work now, to be honest.”

Slipknot have several live dates scheduled throughout the remainder of 2016, with their next live show taking place in Columbia this weekend.

Slipknot remaining tour dates 2016

Oct 22: Bogota Hipodromo De Los Andes, Columbia
Oct 26 Auckland Vector Arena, New Zealand
Oct 28 Brisbane Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Australia
Oct 29 Sydney Qudos Bank Arena , Australia
Oct 31 Melbourne Rod Laver Arena, Australia
Nov 03: Taipei New Taipei City Exhibition Hall, Taiwan
Nov 05-06: Tokyo Knotfest, Japan

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.