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Hell Awakes: Slipknot Make Their Return

Through the loss of Paul Gray to the departure of Joey Jordison, Slipknot have been to the brink. In this world-exclusive interview, we discover that this machine is up and running again...

Obviously, there are more difficult jobs in journalism. It’s not like we’re getting tear-gassed by riot police and threatened with arrest, forced into exile for telling the truth or, God forbid, being taken hostage. It’s not even as if there are any restrictions on what questions are asked, and the famous Sunset Marquis, just off LA’s Sunset Strip, is hardly Guantanamo Bay – although our subject, Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor, is more than familiar with orange boiler suits. He likes to talk, too, as long as he can smoke – something he asks permission to do even though we’re in his room.

There are, however, some difficult questions to be asked. It’s been an interesting year for Slipknot (when isn’t it an interesting year for Slipknot?) and, having healed enough from the death of bassist Paul Gray to begin making their first new music in six years, the band shocked their fans around the world by announcing on December 12 last year that their drummer of 18 years, Joey Jordison, had been removed from the band, against his will, and that the nine were down to seven. Perhaps this plush hotel room would be more comfortable if we first addressed the large elephant that’s making a mess of the carpet. Namely, what the fuck is going on?!

“I can’t talk too much about it because we’re going through the legalities of everything right now and settling everything,” says Corey, “but it’s when a relationship hits that T-section and one person’s going one way and you’re going the other. And try as you might to either get them to go your way or try and go their way, at some point you’ve got to go in the direction that works for you. This is me speaking in the broadest terms, with respect to Joey. I guess to sum it up, it was one of the hardest decisions we ever made. We’re all happy right now and we hope that he is. I’ve known him since ’91, and that was before we were in bands together, and he’s incredibly talented; he’s just in a place in his life, right now, that’s not where we are... in the nicest terms.”

There’s been a lot of rumours that his leaving was drug-related. Can you comment on that?

“There’s only so far that I can give an explanation. For me, that has to be a sign of growing up, because before I would’ve just railed at whatever I thought the supposed evil was, but now it’s like, how do you explain to the fans? And that’s the hardest part, because no matter what explanation you give, it’s not gonna make them happy. I’m sure there are fans out there who have their own theories about it...”

Not just theories, but conspiracy theories! You caused 9/11, too!

“Oh, I know!” sighs the singer. “And it all seems to be coming towards me, which just sucks! It is what it is, and it all kind of amplified after that Jim thing went down as well. Which, again, is just one of those cases where you have got certain people who want to  do one thing and everybody else wants to do something else. What do you do? You can only try to make things work for so long before it becomes necessary to make a decision. It sucks and I know I get blamed for a lot of it, but if that’s the way it is, then so be it.”

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