Taylor: Slipknot fans helped us go on without Paul

Corey Taylor says Slipknot’s fans convinced the band to record a new album after the tragic death of bass player Paul Gray.

Frontman Taylor says the group wrestled with the emotions surrounding making new music without Gray, who died in 2010 after losing his battle with drug addiction.

But when Slipknot returned to live action for a string of Sonisphere appearances in Europe in 2011, the fans helped Taylor and co make up their minds about recording what would become .5: The Gray Chapter.

Taylor tells BluntMag: “There really was that question of, ‘Do we want to continue?’ And starting with those shows, it really helped us get back on our feet — and the fans were able to be there with us.

“That was the first stage of it. We started to see the future a little stronger. ‘Okay, we still like doing this, so what’s next?’

“Paul was such a big part of this band, not only as a major contributor and one of the ‘chiefs,’ but he was also one of the biggest lovers of this band. He would get stoked about the music in a way that I’ve never seen; whether it was his that he was writing or music that other people were bringing in. He could see the potential in everything — and without that there, obviously it kicked the crap out of us.”

It was in 2013 that Slipknot first talked about returning to the studio, Taylor adds.

He says: “I sat down in the garage after having a conversation with Clown and just decided that it was time for us to start. It was the big white elephant in the room that nobody wanted to talk about, that we needed to do another record.”

Last week, percussionist Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan said he still feels Gray’s influence when creating new artwork for the band.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.