Just ahead of the arrival of Slipknot's eagerly-awaited seventh studio album, The End, So Far the band's well-spoken, ever candid frontman Corey Taylor guested with Zane Lowe of Apple Music 1 to take an exploratory dive into a project that flirts with the notion of finality both in concept and execution.
Speaking to the experimental elements of the album and Slipknot's propensity to color outside the lines creatively, Taylor explained that the concern isn't whether or not to push the envelope, but rather if they have pushed those boundaries enough. For Lowe, a self-professed life-long fan of the band himself, the host explained that the magic in experiencing The End, So Far is coming to the realization that maybe you never really knew who Slipknot was to begin with - as the band that seems to consistently unearth new creative road to run.
Discussing the kind of declaration made in the title of the album, Taylor detailed how he is really given the freedom to run with that aspect of the project and how it is paramount to avoid the cliche of an album title weighed down with predictability. Embracing a sense of ambiguity, an element of mystique, Taylor shared that The End, as it pertains to Slipknot, is less about finality and more about transition - referencing the different stages of their career and offering a segue to what lie ahead for the masked nine.
Among the themes that resonated throughout the conversation, the notion of evolution and maturity proved especially prevalent. As it pertained to the idea of transitioning into a new chapter of their career and reflecting on just how far the band has come despite such insurmountable odds, Taylor shared that Slipknot is still fully committed to the spectacle that became synonymous with the band's stylistic signature, but also understands the necessity to build something that is more sustainable - a huge revelation from a band that built their brand on volatility.
The frontman would further detail how loss and the inevitable hardships that come with life ultimately compelled the band to come together the best way they knew how - through music. He detailed the pivotal nature of .5 The Gray Chapter and how that album was the result of really needing to get some shit off their chests. Taylor continued by sharing how We Are Not Your Kind was a vehicle for his own personal trauma - an intersection of creativity and catharsis that afforded a fruitful template to work within, bolstered by a band that was rejuvenated to write and record at their peak.
Arriving at the present and the inception of The End, So Far, Taylor referenced a sense of liberation in that Slipknot is far removed from needing to do, or prove anything. Compelled only by their own collective creative itch, Taylor shared how this album is less personal purge and more about further exploring the world around him.
Running with the idea of segmenting the stages of Slipknot, for Taylor specifically The End, So Far marks the evolution of Corey Taylor, the writer. Having well established his prowess as a frontman and his range as a vocalist in various eras of his tenure, the most current iteration of Taylor underscores the power of his pen. He explained how the album challenged him to tap into his environment for source material and use his words and his voice to connect with the shared trauma of his community, rather than his own. In much the same way Slipknot has always felt confident to challenge their fans sonically, Taylor says thematically this album allowed him to explore new terrain in a way that strengthened his pen and gain a better vantage point of the world around him.
Exploring the allegory of "FInale" and the lyrics "I know it's a shame, but I gotta stay
'Cause I like it here", Taylor shared that in much the same way the music was a journey, the theme needed to compliment that. A sort of retrospective in song, the album closer functions as a punctuation of the existing act of Slipknot and offers an air of auspiciousness at what is to come.
The conversation offered illuminating takeaways. From on the unlikely odds of a band from Des Moines, IA changing the culture of heavy music forever, to the decades worth of triumph and tragedy that has tested Slipknot's resilience. Taylor and Lowe weighed the tragic losses of both Joey Jordison and Paul Gray and assessed the maturity - both personally and professionally - it has taken to stand the test of time. The conversation not only reiterates Taylor's candor and charisma, but underscores the story of Slipknot thus far with a hopeful outlook on what is on the horizon.
Stream the complete interview with Zane Lowe and Corey Taylor via Apple Music 1 - HERE.
Watch the clip from the conversation below.
The End, So Far drops September 30th via Roadrunner Records. Order the album – HERE