Corey Taylor on 'Iowa' Recording: 'It Was the Darkest Time in My Life'

Slipknot singer notes that "there are limits to how far you can push yourself."

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Corey Taylor has been speaking with Full Metal Jackie (via Blabbermouth) about the notoriously difficult recording process for Slipknot's second album, "Iowa." As Taylor notes, the recording process taught him that "there are limits to how far you can push yourself."

"You know, when you go that far off the reservation and you see that there is definitely an abyss that you can stare into, it makes you pull back a little bit and go, 'Whoa, hold on a second. I go any further, that's a permanent vacation.' So, for me - and I can't speak for the rest of the guys, but I know for me - it was definitely, probably the darkest time in my life that I was able to transition and turn into some insane and wonderful lyrics. But you can't spend a lot of time on that edge, or it gets to be something that's a little too enticing.

"So, for me, I guess I learned to visit that edge, but don't live on it. Because that's not life. When you're constantly walking that edge, you're just kind of just trying to figure out what side of the fence you're going to fall on. And I didn't want to be that, I wanted to get more out of my life than just seeing how far I could push the envelope. So the thing that I learned the most was be able to kind of tap into that darkness, but don't live in it, don't exist for it. There are better things in life that you have to live for."

Taylor also noted that it's important to take a step back from song writing if you are not "feeling it:"

"For me, the real lesson that I've learned is that if you're not feeling it, get away from it. So I only sit down and write lyrics when I feel that inspiration coming on. It may take a little longer, but it definitely feels better. So I've had to really teach myself that when you're not feeling it, you shouldn't write anything down, because you're going to end up coming back and re-writing it later. Whereas if you write when you're feeling something, when you're really in the streak, then that's when you're going to get your best stuff.

"So I've had to really make myself, give myself timeouts and get away from stuff, keep myself entertained. I either hang out with family or sit down and watch TV and kind of unplug for a little bit and then go back to it. I think that's the best way to be the most creative and to have the most poignant thoughts that you can get down on paper."


26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "I wanna slit your throat and **** the wound". Yeah, I think this could be defined as "dark".
    I heard he cut himself all over for the title track and just stood there, recording his vocals while bleeding out.
    I think he also cut himself for some of the other tracks, like (515) for example.
    A lot of what he says shows a pretty intelligent, introspective person. Corey is awesome. Also, in regards to what he's saying about lyrics, just listen to Skin Ticket..
    thats because Corey IS an extremely intelligent and introspective person
    IT's nice that quite a lot of band members are actually more forward thinking than those of the pop genre. Here, Corey talks about his dark times, where you can see how it affected his song-writing, others (mainly in the pop genre) talk about how they're better than everyone else... So glad I don't listen to the latter...
    There are some songs on that album that actually make me physically sick to my stomach. We can definitely tell he was in a dark place recording that. Whether the music was better or not is subjective, but I'm personally glad that he was able to push through and didn't have to keep living like that. No one deserves that.
    I feel this is the best album by Slipknot, the raw power and emotion that comes through my speakers is unmatched by their other albums
    well I agree with the best album. It showed better variety and writing as the first, but the first album had as much punch to it.
    iowa is one of the most angry, most intense albums ever recorded. and i wish slipknot would have just called it quits then. i hate that corey taylor is saying he "taps into his darkness." he sounds like ****ing dexter and to be honest-nothing has lyrically compared to iowa since iowa. he and jim root seemed way more into stone sour until paul grey died (rip.) i sorry this is turning into a rant. but then they had the audacity to play the mayhem fest without jim root or paul grey. weakest slipknot performance i have ever seen live, especially compared to the shows right before paul died. it was a sham i tell you! and now with joey jordison gone (i know, he didnt write ALL the music) but with him and paul gone it kind of seems like slipknot is pointless. it was about family and togetherness and being pissed off TOGETHER-now it is about their careers and what they think the fans want to hear. and MONEY!!!! which is bullshit in my opinion. i guess i am just really disappointed with slipknot and what they have meant to me over the years. sorry for ranting, guys.
    Personally, I never saw that. Sure, he hasn't made anything as heavy or intense since Iowa, but that's just because he hasn't been in such a dark place since. That tells me that he's really making music based on his life and not faking through it, which is what I personally like to hear. I like the guy and would hate it if he had to keep writing songs like the ones you hear on Iowa. Sure it sounds awesome, but you know it isn't necessarily a pleasant experience going through that to record something so dark.
    im not saying they should fake it, im saying they shouldn't be a band anymore. (the last time i saw them live seemed a little "put on" if you know what i am saying). i am sorry i gave the impression he should fake it-i am happy he is happy. no one wants to be in "that place" all of the time...or ever again in some cases. personally as a slipknot fan i have not "connected" with anything they have put out since iowa. there is one song off of volume 3 i liked. don't get me wrong, i appreciate what they have built and have purchased every album in hopes of re-connecting. it just hasn't happened. i just feel like they should be done. my opinion. down vote all ya want.
    Plenty of people other than you would disagree. He loves making music and a lot of people, me included, love listening to it. Telling anyone to quit music that loves what they do isn't right in my opinion.
    Jacques Nel
    I think I actually understand and agree in a way with what you're saying, but from another prospective. But I'm rooting (no pun intended) for them to prove everybody that thinks they can't make it without Joey or Paul wrong and make an album that can keep up with the likes of IOWA. It's just difficult to have faith in that, because from that interview I read with Jim Root, Paul actually wrote a big portion of the music for SlipKnot, and Joey was a big part of their signature sound. So we are left wondering how much can you chip away at the core without losing what you had in the first place.
    Grey wrote a big portion of Subliminal Verses, during his dark time battling and attempting to overcome addiction. I am pretty sure the rest of the albums were more balanced out with the music, and Corey Taylor handling most lyrics.
    I don't know where you were at, but that Mayhem you mention, I was at one of the shows, and Jim Root was there. Oh, and great performance, which I can compare, because I seen them with Paul Grey too.
    wow so edgy. Hard to believe this is from a grown man and not a teenage girl