Save for the few maggots who scour Internet fan sites and those lucky enough
to sneak backstage during recent Ozzfest tours, the faces of the members of
Slipknot have remained a mystery. For a third of the band, the days of
anonymity may soon be over.
Three of the band's nine guys are showing more skin than they, as Slipknot
members, have ever done before with two side-projects: Stone Sour and
Murderdolls. Singer Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root spearhead Stone
Sour, who recently shot a video for "Get Inside" at the Whisky a Go Go in
West Hollywood, according to their publicist. And in the clip they appear
sans masks (see "Slipknot Members Will
Unmask For New Video").
The song appears on Stone Sour's upcoming eponymous LP, due August 27, which
also features Slipknot DJ Sid Wilson on three tracks. But maggots looking
for more frenzied death metal to tide them over until the follow-up to
2001's Iowa had better look elsewhere, since Taylor and Root are the
first to admit that Stone Sour are no Slipknot standby.
"As soon as this mask comes off, it's not Slipknot anymore," Taylor said.
Slipknot make Stone Sour, who take their name from a whiskey cocktail made
with orange juice and sour mix, seem tame by comparison. Given Slipknot's
pummeling sound, that can be said of most bands, though even Stone
Sour's aggressive, melodic rock. For a taste of what's in store, give a
listen to the wistful Taylor-crooned "Bother," which appears on the
soundtrack to "Spider-Man" as well as on Stone Sour.
"If you're in a band, why do another band that sounds the same as the other
band?" Taylor said. "Branch out and do something different. There are things
in this band that I can't do in Slipknot. And if I can't do them, I'll lose
Prior to Slipknot, Taylor formed Stone Sour in 1992 with drummer Joel Ekman.
After sifting through several guitarists, in 1995 Stone Sour enlisted the
services of Root, who shared ax duties with Josh Rand. In 1997 Taylor quit
the band to join Slipknot and the members went their separate ways. Root
followed Taylor the following year, and bassist Shawn Economaki eventually
became Slipknot's stage manager, while Ekman started a family.
In 2000 Rand told Taylor that he had been working on some songs, and the two
soon got together to flesh them out. After re-forming with the old Stone
Sour guys, the result of the collaboration became Stone Sour.
Although going unmasked could be construed as an attention-getter akin to
Kiss losing their makeup in 1982, Taylor explained that it just wouldn't
make sense to bring the masks along to the other gig. It would be like if
Iron Maiden's Bruce Dickinson went off on a musical tangent and brought band
mascot Eddie along with him. It's just not done.
"I've gotten a lot of questions from kids asking me if I'm going to wear the
mask onstage, and I'm like, 'No, what are you talking about?' I'm not going
to make [Stone Sour] Slipknot Jr. As much as I love Slipknot, I don't want
that to carry over into what I do for Stone Sour. I want both bands to stand
on their own."
While Root and Taylor shed their synthetic skins, drummer Joey Jordison has
taken to the cold cream to reveal the face behind the white grease paint he
sports in Slipknot. With Static-X guitarist Tripp Eisen, Jordison heads up
the gothic horrorcore quintet Murderdolls (see "Slipknot's Corey, Joey Ready Side Projects"). The
influence that silver-screen screamfests have had on the group is readily
apparent on songs like "She Was a Teenage Zombie," "Dawn of the Dead" and
"B-Movie Scream Queen." Marilyn Manson was expected to contribute vocals on
one of the songs, but instead he'll just appear in the video for "Dead in
Hollywood," their publicist said.
Those tunes, along with 11 others, are slated for the Murderdolls' debut,
Beyond the Valley of the Murderdolls, due August 20. They'll take
their freak show on the road for a small string of dates beginning July 30.
The extracurricular activities aren't a sign that school's out on every
metalhead's favorite nine-piece. Slipknot have just been on hiatus, and
they're actually playing four festivals in the U.K. beginning August 23.
Taylor thinks the time away from his band will have a therapeutic effect as
well as a creative boost.
"It's good for us to go out and do stuff," he explained, "so when we come
back to Slipknot, we'll once again discover why we love it in the first
Stone Sour track list, according to Roadrunner Records:
- "Get Inside"
- "Cold Reader"
- "Blue Study"
- "Take a Number"
- "Idle Hands"
Murderdolls tour dates, according to Roadrunner Records:
- 7/30 - San Diego, CA @ Epicenter
- 7/31 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim's
- 8/1 - West Hollywood, CA @ Whisky a Go Go
- 8/2 - Phoenix, AZ @ Mason Jar
- 8/4 - Albuquerque, NM @ TBD
- 8/5 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre
- 8/7 - Indianapolis, IN @ Emerson Theatre
- 8/8 - Detroit, MI @ Shelter
- 8/10 - Des Moines, IA @ Harry Mary's
Joe D'Angelo, with additional reporting by Iann Robinson