For the third segment of the at-length discussion of all things Metallica with Corey Taylor, the frontman begins with revisiting the very first time that Slipknot got to the opportunity to play live with the thrash icons.
As chance would have it, Metallica would join the Tattoo the Earth tour that back in 2000, when a then still budding Slipknot was cementing their own legacy as rock next emerging mainstays. Metallica would only join the tour for one show in East Rutherford, New Jersey and helm one of the very few headlining spots over Slipknot - making for an especially memorable first encounter between the two bands.
Taylor shared that the meeting happened right as Slipknot was at a pivotal point in their careers. The nine were closing out their self-titled cycle and had reached a point where their live show and their momentum, made it so that few artists wanted to take the band out on tour - thus Slipknot took the lead themselves and created their own space helming counter culture caravans like Tattoo the Earth.
Taylor also recalls getting the opportunity to meet James Hetfield and Jason Newsted. In awe of being in same room with such giants, Taylor also remembers that the romance of the connection was with an asterisk as Slipknot actually helped themselves to Metallica's backstage beers.
The bands would meet again on the road in 2004 when Slipknot was actually selected to support Metallica for a important European trek while the band was out in support of their St. Anger record. As for Slipknot, Taylor explains that his band was yet again at a pivotal point with the release of Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), and found themselves in a phase of rebuilding. Moving forward with different management and on the mend with working relationships, Slipknot ultimately was taking a few steps back to reset and ultimately ascend higher than they ever had before.
However, Slipknot realized how daunting it was to open for a band like Metallica. Comparing the task to that of opening for Slayer, Taylor explains that either the fans are going be receptive, or they aren't at all. That kind of polarizing outcome is what Slipknot had to face touring with Metallica and ran with it. In fact, Taylor would recall the final show of the tour, when Metallica, the entire band and crew, all came out onstage for Slipknot's finale in "Spit It Out". Not only were Metallica in masks, but Lars actually jumped up on clown's rig and started playing percussion. It was a moment in metal music history and a particularly special moment in the Slipknot archive and captured on the band's 2006 DVD, Voliminal: Inside the Nine.
Taylor also recalled the historic 2004 Download Festival appearance that as become the stuff of metal music lore. Lars Ulrich was not able to make the Metallica gig that day and the band, with some 100,000 fans waiting, needed to find a fix. In addition to Slayer's Dave Lombardo, Joey Jordison sat behind the kit and played the majority of the set with his idols. It was a moment that his Slipknot compatriots got to share with him, standing behind the drum kit and watching their friend fulfill a lifelong dream.
Playing in the mask, there was some symbolism there in that not only did Joey hold his own, but he was signifying the arrival of the next generation of greats that were ultimately inspired by Metallica - being able to watch it happen live is what made that particular show one that will go down in the books as especially important.
Watch part 3 of The Metallica Blacklist deep dive with Ryan J. Downey and Corey Taylor below.