Corey Taylor isn't going to waste his time composing another Grammy acceptance speech. In fact, the Slipknot/ Stone Stour frontman isn't even planning on attending the awards on February 8 — even though Slipknot's track "Before I Forget" is nominated in the Best Metal Performance category, facing stiff competition from Rammstein, Mudvayne, Shadows Fall and Ministry.
"I'm not going to the f---ing Grammys, dude," he said last week. "This is the eighth nomination for me. I cared the first two times. Now, I don't. The one time I got my hopes up I was crushed, so maybe I'm just disgruntled. But I don't care. A Grammy's a Grammy. Men at Work won a Grammy, and then they disappeared. The main thing for me is to just keep making music. I want to be around for 20 years. Putting all my f---ing hopes and dreams on some statuette that'll probably sit in my bathroom? That's not what I'm about."
What Taylor is about these days is Stone Sour, his long-running side project with 'Knot guitarist Jim Root. He'll be flying out to Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl's Los Angeles studio on January 22 to begin recording the as-yet-untitled follow-up to the band's self-titled 2002 debut, which has sold more than 500,000 copies. (Slipknot's hanging up its vomit-coated masks for 2006, after two years of nonstop touring.)
Taylor and his fellow Sours wrote more than 30 songs for the effort — some during the recording of Slipknot's Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) — and they'll put 18 of those tracks (none of which have working titles) to tape with help from producer Nick Rasculinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver).
"This is the first time that [guitarist] Josh [Rand] and [drummer] Joel [Ekman] and [bassist] Sean [Economaki] get to go through the whole experience," Taylor said; Stone Sour's first album was Taylor and Root's handiwork and caused some contention in the band and among its fans (see "Slipknot Slide Past Breakup Rumors And Begin Work On New LP"). "The first time around, there weren't any expectations. We were going to do our thing, put our art out there and just see what happened. And people really dug it, and there's a lot of anticipation for this, so we're stepping it up. We've got so many different styles going on right now that it's really cool. We were just like, 'What can we do to top the first album? What can we do to take it to the next level?' And I think we have. The material on this [album] is so much stronger than the first album, it's almost a pity."
Taylor said Stone Sour's fans can expect some "very atmospheric stuff," along with the "the hard rock and the heavy stuff" that'll saturate the outing. "It's a lot more melodic this time around, a lot more from the spirit of what the band started with in 1992," he continued. "It represents so much more of what we do. There's a really beautiful piano tune. There's a song that's borderline funk that's really cool — I'm really digging the hell out of it. It's like a cross between the theme song from 'Shaft' and I don't know what. It's melodic as f---."
Taylor promises a more "contemplative" album, and said he wrote one track for his wife. "It's a real love song about how she helped me get through being an alcoholic for so long. She really saved my life."
The album, which the band hopes to have out sometime this summer, will be preceded by tons of touring and chased with a full U.S. trek. But before heading to the studio, Taylor will perform one more time: not with Slipknot, but former Slipknot member Josh Brainard. The duo is called Audacious P, and yes, they're a Tenacious D tribute band. They'll be performing covers — including an acoustic rendition of Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years" — during a benefit for to aid victims of muscular dystrophy on January 21 at the House of Bricks in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa.
Before Slipknot announced they would be taking 2006 off, Taylor said the band was offered the headlining spot for this summer's Ozzfest.
"We were out on the road for two years, and we did the entire 2004 Ozzfest," he explained. "It [was] time for some of us to take a break. They offered us a lot of money, but it wasn't about that. If you burn up the audience, they're not going to come back. How much more can you do, on an album that came out two years ago? I'm much more interested in doing Stone Sour these days.
"Now, if they asked me to do Stone Sour on Ozzfest, that's a different story."