While Corey Taylor is primarily known for his work as Slipknot‘s frontman and has been known to strap on an acoustic guitar for his solo shows, those recently checking out the “Beyond” video will notice that he actually takes on some lead guitar work. In fact, Taylor plays multiple instruments across the new CMF2 album, including some you may not initially realize.
In a chat with Grammy.com, Taylor reveals that he has a history of being active with multiple instruments, but has mostly in the singer role throughout his professional career, feeling he had to make a choice for live performances.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but when I started Stone Sour back in ’92, I played rhythm and lead while singing. It was largely because everybody that we tried out just wasn’t good enough, and that was the story of my life, really,” said the singer.
“When I first started playing music, it was almost a catch-22. I was always better than the drummer that we had in the band. And when I was playing drums, I was always better than the singer that we had in the band. It was one of those instances where it was either shit or get off the pot. I had to pick one. Finally I was like, I’d rather sing. I feel really good when I sing. Not that I don’t love playing drums, and I still play drums. But I would rather sing because, to me, the challenge is finding those ways to emote and do those things.”
Taylor says the same dilemma applied to his guitar playing. “I didn’t necessarily want to be the lead guitar player, but at the same time, I’ve got these songs that I really love and nobody’s playing them the way I want them to be played. So I have to do that. Then once I discovered people like Jim Root and all the other people that I’ve been blessed to work with, I’ve been able to give up that.”
Corey Taylor, “Beyond”
But, as has been documented, Taylor has found that his solo career has afforded him more of a blank slate to do what he wants. And for the new album, that meant taking the lead guitar on “Beyond” even with guitarists Christian Martucci and Zach Throne in his solo band.
“When I demoed “Beyond” and I wrote that solo, it was one of the coolest solos I’d ever written. It’s short, it’s concise, it’s melodic, it’s got a hook of its own. I knew that if we recorded it I wanted to be the one to do it,” says Taylor. “It’s just one of my favorite solos which is one of the reasons why it’s the one that I do on the album.”
It should also be noted that Taylor is credited with playing mandolin and piano on the new album as well, but that’s not all he did on the record. Elsewhere in the chat, Taylor had a bit of modesty when it came to his contributions on CMF2, leading to a few “special guest” credits to downplay things a bit.
While Fred Mandel and Roger Manning are actual guests on the new CMF2 album, two other credited performers are actually Taylor aliases.
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“Richard Manitoba was one of my hotel aliases that I used in the past,” says Taylor, noting a nod to Handsome Dick Manitoba of The Dictators. “I was a massive Dictators fan when I was a kid, and then Pebbly Jack Glasscock was a baseball player from the 1940s. That has been my email name for years,” reveals Taylor.
“The reason why I was almost forced to use those is because [producer] Jay Ruston refused to not credit me on the album for all of the stuff that I had played. I didn’t want my list of musical credits to look like, ‘Oh, look, he’s just got to have credit for everything.’ And he was just like, ‘We’ve got to put something on here.’ I was like, ‘God dammit.’ So I gave him those aliases. And he ran with it.”
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