What Corey Taylor's Former Bandmates Have Said About Him

Ask the average metal fan (or rock fan, in general) the first person they think of when the band Slipknot is mentioned, and they'll invariably tell you it's Corey Taylor, the band's longtime lead vocalist. And while Taylor admitted in a June 2023 interview with Rock Antenne that it doesn't seem likely a reunion is possible at the moment, the Iowa native was, for several years, also the singer and band leader for another successful group — the far more conventional hard rock-influenced (and currently on indefinite hiatus) Stone Sour. 

Equally capable of singing melodic vocals and angrily screaming his throat out onstage and in the studio, Taylor is also known for his outspoken nature, as he can be brutally candid about a variety of topics, may it be musicians who don't like him or his band(s) or his very own current and former bandmates. Likewise, some of Taylor's former Slipknot and Stone Sour bandmates have opened up in interviews about the singer, his talents as a frontman and songwriter, and how he is as a person in general.

Joey Jordison

Joey Jordison left Slipknot on what seemed like less than amicable terms, claiming later on in an interview with Metal Hammer that he was fired via email and unfairly accused of substance abuse around the time of his dismissal. He was clearly hurt by his sacking, but he moved on to projects such as Vimic prior to his untimely death in 2021.

Aside from playing drums on Slipknot's "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." demo album and their first four official albums, Jordison was also heavily involved in the band's creative process, helping write some of its most recognizable songs. As such, he definitely knew what he was talking about in a 2005 interview with FaceCulture, where he explained Corey Taylor's role as Slipknot's primary songwriter. "Corey will have a vision of how the song makes him feel, and he'll adapt that to his emotions and how he's feeling, so sometimes he'll have a bunch of lyrics written that'll fit with our music or sometimes ... he'll write them after the song's already done," the drummer said.

Jordison also offered some succinct, yet noteworthy praise for Taylor's creative abilities. "He usually is his own monster," he continued. "I'm a big fan of his lyric writing."

Paul Gray

Before Paul Gray's tragic death in May 2010, the bassist was an integral part of Slipknot's rhythm section, and one of only three members from the original lineup still with the band at the time of his passing. He was also the only one of those three who maintained the same role throughout his tenure with Slipknot. In a press conference held shortly after Gray's death, Corey Taylor paid an emotional tribute to his late bandmate, telling reporters, "The only way I can sum up Paul Gray — is 'love.' Everything he did, he did for everyone around him. Whether he knew you or not. And that's what he's left behind for us — his absolute love."

Likewise, Gray showed lots of love for his bandmates in a clip posted to Slipknot's YouTube channel less than a week after he died. Asked to describe Taylor, the bassist had high praise for the frontman, both as a musician and as a human being. "[Corey] brings some of the ... best vocals I've ever heard ... and some of the best lyrics I've f*****' read, and one of the greatest f*****' human beings I've ever met," Gray said. 

Anders Colsefni

The name Anders Colsefni might not ring much of a bell to the casual Slipknot fan, but before Corey Taylor joined the band, he was the lead vocalist on their 1996 demo album, "Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat." Taylor's arrival led to Colsefni's demotion to co-lead vocalist/screamer and percussionist, and as he told Dose of Metal in 2011, he initially had no problem with this arrangement because he recognized the newcomer's talent. "Corey was a much better singer than I, so they brought Corey in to 50/50 the vocals with me (with him being the actual frontman) while I also continued with the drums and percussion," Colsefni said, adding that he quit Slipknot soon after because he no longer felt comfortable in such a diminished role. "I just felt like an idiot flopping around onstage with a ridiculous outfit, acting like a caveman," he admitted.

Twelve years later, Colsefni — while promoting a tour with Mushroomhead vocalist Waylon Reavis — said in a statement to Blabbermouth that despite his demotion and ultimate exit from Slipknot, he remained good friends with Taylor in the many years since then. "It may come as a surprise to many maggots, but it is actually Corey who I have maintained an ongoing friendship [with] since my departure from the band," Colsefni explained. "There has only ever been a kinship between us. I consider Corey a true brother and he has always had my back, and I his."

Jim Root

Although Jim Root passed on joining Slipknot after he was initially invited to replace original guitarist Donnie Steele, he's been in the band without interruption since 1999, when he replaced yet another long-ago Slipknot axeman, Josh Brainard. That, however, isn't the case with Stone Sour, as Root was fired from Corey Taylor's other main band in late 2013. Speaking to Guitar World (via Metal Injection) in 2014, Root accused his former Stone Sour bandmates of focusing too much on radio-friendly music, adding, "There's at least one guy in the band that's only concerned about money."

Those were strong words indeed from a longtime mainstay of Taylor's two primary bands, even if he didn't identify anybody by name in that last comment. However, Root would clarify years later to Metal Hammer that he and Taylor were getting along much better since his exit from Stone Sour, and that things might have gotten much worse between them had he stuck it out. "Corey and I are much closer now. It's the best thing, me leaving Stone Sour. We would have just ended up killing each other and driving each other crazy. I can't spread myself that thin," the guitarist said, also pointing out that his former bandmates were probably tired of his attitude at the time of his departure.

Joel Ekman

While Joey Jordison was keeping time for Slipknot, Joel Ekman was doing the same for Stone Sour, playing drums for the melodic hard rock act until he left the band in 2006 to care for his son, Isaac James Ekman, who was then severely ill with brain cancer. Isaac died soon after his father exited the group, but the drummer continued making music, naming his next band after his late son and discussing his days making music with Corey Taylor and the rest of Stone Sour in certain interviews.

Speaking to Pakistan's FM 91 in 2013, Ekman responded to a question where he was asked about the moment he knew he was going to make it as a musician. Not surprisingly, he mentioned an early gig where he realized he was working with someone as talented as Taylor. "After I met Corey Taylor in '92, we had played a show at a place [in Des Moines, Iowa] called The Runway," the drummer explained. "it was early, early Stone Sour years ... I think that was the moment 'cause good singers are so hard to find and I felt like I finally got a good singer. And when I heard the crowd and we got done playing, we all looked at each other like, 'Wow, this is serious.'"

Christian Martucci

It took some time for Stone Sour to find a replacement for Jim Root on lead guitar, but in March 2015, it was finally confirmed that Christian Martucci had gotten the job. Since then, he's also played guitar for Corey Taylor's solo band, though it's worth mentioning that before he joined Stone Sour, he wasn't too familiar with the frontman's work — or with the band that first made him famous. Back then, he was mainly involved in the punk scene, and he was playing in a cover band at the time he was first introduced to Taylor.

"Our bass player, Jason, was friends with Corey, and a lot of people probably aren't going to believe this, but I honestly don't care ... I had only heard of Slipknot. I didn't know any of the members of the band," Martucci told EveryoneLovesGuitar in a 2019 interview. Later on in the interview, the guitarist went on to recall the first time Taylor actually jammed onstage with his band, and how impressed he was with the frontman's skills. 

"This guy got up and opened his mouth ... we did a Black Flag song and I was like, 'Oh my God, this guy sounds awesome!' And we kinda struck up a friendship there," Martucci said, also noting that drummer Roy Mayorga — who would join later Stone Sour as Joel Ekman's replacement — was his bandmate at that time. "He must have liked whatever he heard that night because systematically, three of the people on that stage ended up in Stone Sour."

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