Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has slammed the misconception that people who listen to heavy metal are less intelligent than fans of other genres.
The vocalist says there’s plenty of proof that many “higher intellectuals” are metal fans.
Asked about the stereotype that says people into metal are not capable of intellectual thought, Taylor tells Spin: “I don’t know who keeps perpetuating that stigma. I can probably send you links to eight different studies that show that higher intellectuals listen to heavy music when they study, find it stimulating, enjoy the challenge of listening to it.”
One study that backs up Taylor’s claim was carried out in 2008 by experts at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University. The professor who led the study, Adrian North, told the Guardian: “The general public has held a stereotype of heavy metal fans being suicidally depressed and a danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things.”
Explaining that metal fans are similar to people who listen to classical music, North added: “We think the answer is that both types of music, classical and heavy metal, have something of the spiritual about them. They’re very dramatic – a lot happens.”
Taylor also addresses a recent Gawker article by Sam Biddle which claimed that “the face of resurgent mainstream white hatred in the US listens to Slipknot.”
The article focused on supporters of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, against whom Taylor has been outspokenly critical.
After Taylor responded to the article on Twitter, Gawker apologised.
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He says: “I think it was an editor’s choice, ‘Who’s a big metal band? OK, Slipknot.’ I think Gawker tried to use a stereotype to hone in on a problem but it blew up in their face, completely minimising the thing they were trying to say.
“Here’s where people get it wrong – the metal fans that come to our shows are some of the most open-minded, encouraging, embracing, protective, and progressive fans I have ever seen.
“Trump’s message is so anti-Slipknot it’s not even funny, because we have always tried to get people to stand together, and everything he does is so divisive.
“Trying to get people to equate Muslims with terrorists is just trying to control and manipulate one more group of people. His stances on Muslims and Latinos and his absolute silence on Black Lives Matter prove that he is unprepared to bring people together.
“He is prepared to tear them apart so he can control them.”
While Taylor tends to steer clear of politics in his lyrics, he’s been outspoken on certain issues. Most recently, Slipknot showed solidarity with the LGBT community by teaming up with North Carolina equality movement Equality NC ahead of their gig in Charlotte this week.
Taylor adds: “The reasons I try not to be political when I sing are I try to relate to people in a way that is not beating them over the head with a message, and what I write represents the rest of my band as well, and it’s not fair for me to try and force a message on guys that I enjoy playing music with.”
Slipknot’s tour with Marilyn Manson continues tonight in Des Moines, Iowa.
Slipknot remaining 2016 tour dates
Aug 05: Des Moines Wells Fargo Arena, IA
Aug 07: Denver Pepsi Center, CO
Aug 09: Salt Lake City USANA Amphitheatre, UT
Aug 11: Auburn White River Amphitheatre, WA
Aug 13: Concord Concord Pavilion, CA
Aug 14: Inglewood The Forum, CA
Aug 17: Chula Vista Sleep Train Amphitheatre, CA
Aug 19: Albuquerque Isleta Amphitheater, NM
Aug 20: Phoenix Ak-Chin Pavilion, AZ
Aug 21: Las Vegas MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, NV
Aug 25: Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion, TX
Aug 26: Houston Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, TX
Aug 27: Austin 360 Amphitheater, TX
Sep 25: San Manuel Ozzfest Meets Knotfest, CA
Oct 15-16: Toluca Knotfest, Mexico
Nov 05: Tokyo Knotfest, Japan