There aren’t a lot of things that scare Corey Taylor, but like many artists, the tragedy at Astroworld has haunted him.
In November, 10 people were killed at Travis Scott’s music festival in Houston, Texas, during a massive crowd surge. Attendees were packed so tightly that many couldn’t breathe or move their arms. Some 300 people were injured and treated at the festival while 25 were taken to hospitals. Nearly 400 lawsuits have been filed over injuries and deaths at the concert, including many against the rap superstar and Live Nation.
Soon after, the metal frontman addressed the heartbreaking disaster during a Slipknot show, NME reported. He spoke to the crowd about the importance of looking out for one another.
The 48-year-old is immersing himself in new projects. He’s playing a rowdy trucker named Taco Tuesday in the thriller “Rucker” and is gearing up for his band to release new music. He’s also eager to kickstart his newest role as a filmmaker.
The vocalist spoke to Fox News about what fans can expect from Slipknot in 2022, working alongside his wife in “Rucker” and how Astroworld impacted him.
Fox News: Slipknot is releasing a new album sometime this spring. What can fans expect? How will it be different?
Corey Taylor: This album is really, really good. I feel like we’ve kind of hit a groove on the last album, “We Are Not Your Kind.” We were really able to experiment with some cool textures and musical vibes that we hadn’t played with in a long time. For me, I feel like this was an extension of what we were trying to do with “Vol. 3.” There’s a lot of great musical vibes that people are gonna really freak out on, but there’s still so much great heavy stuff. People are really gonna dig it. I actually like this album more than “We Are Not Your Kind.” I can’t wait for people to hear it.
Fox News: What’s a misconception you feel people still have about Slipknot? What’s the reality?
Taylor: Oh God, I mean, where do you even start? There are so many. People to this day still think we’re this satanic band, and we’re demonic and all this weird crap. It’s so easy for people to think that and then try to dismiss it. A lot of people still think this is all a gimmick. They don’t understand that this is art and the music, for us, has always been number one.
It’s not about shock. It’s not about anything else other than just having something exploratory and having something that the audience can be intrigued with. Something that pulls them in, even if it is shocking. If it was anything other than just pure art and music, people would’ve left us behind a long time ago. It’s because we immerse ourselves into the art, the music, the lyrics, the visuals – just everything. That’s the reason why our fan base is actually bigger than it has been in years. To me, I think that’s the biggest misconception … there’s so much more to what people see and hear that you don’t know where to begin.
Fox News: What has kept you going as an artist?
Taylor: The need to top myself. But also, the need to try different things. You never want to get stuck in a rut and feel like you’re thematically repeating yourself. You want to keep challenging yourself as a writer, a performer, a musician. And that’s one of the reasons why I have so many different projects because there’s so much music I want to make.
If I could keep it all in one band, I would. But sometimes, you have to do other things. That’s also one of the reasons why I love Slipknot. We’ve been able to achieve so much by pushing our musical boundaries. It’s made our options kind of limitless. People want that heavy stuff, but they also love it when we take left turns and try different things that really push the idea of what we do. To me, as a songwriter, that’s one of the biggest reasons why I still love what I do.
Fox News: Like many artists, you paid tribute to the Astroworld victims in November. How did this tragedy impact you as an artist?
Taylor: It’s one of the things that scares you as a performer. The last thing you want is for anything to happen to your audience. We as a band, as an organization, we’ve always gone above and beyond to try and make sure that our fans are OK. Even back in the day when we were crazy and kind of doing insane stuff, if anything ever happened to our fans, we immediately stopped the show and made sure they were OK. We never carried on. We always made sure that security was the priority. Number one. That hasn’t changed to this day. It’s the one thing we try to focus on.
The issue that arose at Knotfest Mexico [in 2019] was because there was an unsafe situation in the audience. We and our security did not feel comfortable going back out there knowing that people might get injured. There was a broken barricade that we couldn’t fix. We physically couldn’t fix it. So we had to shut down. And because we did that, most people left. There was a riot, but nobody got hurt. They were taking it out on the instruments and the grounds and whatnot. But that’s the difference between us and a lot of other bands. We wouldn’t have felt good carrying on, knowing that our fans might be in danger. It really comes down to what your priorities are.
Obviously, I don’t know any of the people involved [in Astroworld]. And I don’t know anything more than what I’ve read in the news online. So I can’t make any judgments. All I can talk about is where we are [as a band] and where I am. And I can just say that I hope that something like this never happens at any one of our concerts.
Fox News: Why did you want to work in a film like “Rucker”?
Taylor: It’s more than just the story, although the story was rad. But it was more about getting to work with [writer] Aaron Drane again, which was really cool. He and I met and got along really well in “Fear Clinic.” Over the years, we stayed in touch and when the time came, he was making this movie with [director] Amy [Hesketh]. He hit me up just to see if I would be a part of it. And lucky enough, I had enough time to do it. So he sent me the script and I dug it.
The story almost feels like one of those urban legends you hear about, something based on true events, you know? A truck driver who gets away with murder because he doesn’t stay in one place. It reminds you of the I-95 serial killer. And then it adds that extra layer of the long-lost daughter that maybe he knew he had. And then there’s this weird family reunion. It was cool to watch all of that come together. There are moments of levity, but then there are also some really dark moments that played so well, especially with the characters and the actors doing it.
Fox News: Fans have been praising you for your appearance in the film. How does it feel to get that kind of support for something like acting?
Taylor: It’s pretty rad. I’ve never considered myself to be a real actor, you know? I’m one of those people who, because of what I do, get offered extra stuff. So for me, when I do it, I take it very seriously. I’m not a method actor or anything, but I do enjoy it.
And maybe that’s why people take it seriously when I do it, because they know I only do things that I enjoy. I only do things that I’m going to take very seriously. And on this set, we were in and out. We had a lot of fun. And my wife got to be in it too, which is rad. I mean, she got to be a murder victim which bummed me out *laughs*. But it was cool for us to have this experience together.
Fox News: What was it like working with your wife?
Taylor: She was so nervous. She still won’t watch it. But I’ll always tell her if something’s super cringey … We get along so well to the point where we can do anything together. It’s one of the reasons why we tour together when I do my solo thing. It’s one of the reasons why we work on projects together. And it’s why I was so stoked for her to be able to get this part. It was cool to watch her. And she did a really good job, whether she thinks so or not. When you’re with someone who is cheering you on the entire time, and you’re cheering them on, it makes everything easy.
Fox News: Since we’re talking about horror, what scares you the most and why?
Taylor: Oh sharks, 100%. Sharks scare the ever-living out of me. Like for real, I’ve been scared of sharks since I was a kid. My mom took me to see “Jaws” when I was very, very little, and that just imprinted on my brain so much that even swimming pools make me weird. But I have swum with sharks twice because I’m a maniac, and I’ve seen every gnarly shark movie that’s ever been made. I was in “Sharknado” for Christ’s sake. That’s me fighting this fear as much as possible.
Fox News: What’s one thing you would like to accomplish this year that you haven’t done yet?
Taylor: I’m working on the production of the first movie that I ever wrote called “Zombie vs. Ninja.” I wrote it a couple of years ago. It’s a slow start going through this process and getting that up from the ground. But we have a director, we have financing, and we have a full production behind it. We have a special effects team. I’m gonna score it.
All we need to do is cast it and book it. We’re gonna go for it. That’s one of my biggest dreams, to see a movie of mine from start to finish … Hopefully this year we’ll be able to get a shot at this.
Fox News: Are there going to be any sharks?
Taylor: No, not in this one *laughs*. Hopefully not in anything I do. If you ever wanted to see real terror, hire me to be an actor in a shark attack movie. I don’t even know if I’d be able to get in the water. It would have to jump up into the boat to get me because there’s no way. It just freaks me out. I don’t know, I don’t know if I can do it.
“Rucker” is now available on VOD, and available on Blu-Ray & DVD on February 3. The Associated Press contributed to this report.