Corey Taylor: 'Too Many Young Musicians Are Relying on Computers When Performing Live'

"The thing they should really learn how to do is to do it live, do it for real, do it on a stage, make mistakes, play in front of five people," says Slipknot / Stone Sour frontman.

Ultimate Guitar

Corey Taylor has been talking with IndiePower (via Blabbermouth) about the state of the modern touring circuit.

As the Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman notes, he feels that young bands are too reliant on technology when playing live these days, which prevents them from learning their chops:

"I say this to all new bands: the thing they should really learn how to do is to do it live, do it for real, do it on a stage, make mistakes, play in front of five people - you know, remind yourself why you wanna play music in the first place. 'Cause too many people just shove it into a computer these days and let the computer do the work for 'em instead of really learning their chops and cutting their teeth. So, learn how to do it for real and then do it for an audience."

He also notes that, after 20 years in the music business, hearing crappy music still drives him to create:

"Hearing all the crappy music that's out there inspires me just enough to wanna make new music. You know, I mean, as long as you still do it for the same reasons that you did when you were 13, inspiration could come from everywhere. I mean, we all still get very passionate about where our lives are, we all still experience loss, regret, pain, so, I mean, life is enough of an inspiration for anybody."

44 comments sorted by best / new / date

    He does have a point, especially in more pop music. Most don't bother singing, they have auto-tune for them.
    A more appropriate headline would read something like: "Corey Taylor believes young bands should be able to reproduce their music live, before relying on technology"
    He's starting to sound like a grumpy old man. "In my day, we only used Pro Tools and sequencers in the studio you little sissy sharts!"
    Ironic considering the fact that his own band has a DJ performing live.
    Reminds me of last weeks snl skit where they made fun of dj's who play shows and just hit a button and everyone in the crowd loves it. Andy Samburg does a jenga puzzle, sand art, and reads a book during his "live performance". Lol
    Well, not trying to catch all the downvotes, but all the electronic stuff 'played' in Slipknot, both by Craig and Sid, is pre-recorded. True, they do a lot of shit live, it's not just the play button, but still, it's funny the singer of a once-nu-metal band points out the easy use of electronics.
    I'd say he's talking about the semi-playback acts that are out there. You know... Having a drummer and playing the drum track at the same time in case he makes a mistake, or having vocal track and just doing semi-lip-sync thingy (I just remembered that Psy is doing that ALL the time and it bothers me that he calls it "live" show, even though I don't listen to it). Don't even get me started on the guitar. It's OK to have backing track for some shows, as long as it doesn't mean covering your crappy technique.
    How often does this happen though? I've seen it sometimes for large bands, but for smaller newer bands, which this article is directed towards, I've never actually seen backing tracks used to cover up mistakes.
    I was wondering the same thing...doesnt Slipknot have a "Sampler" and DJ?
    "He also notes that, after 20 years in the music business, hearing crappy music still drives him to create." So in other words, he is completely self-motivated.
    The Spoon
    I was at a show last night where the guy was an incredibly proficient acoustic guitarist but also incorporated beats and backing tracks with his music using a laptop. Dude had more chops than any guitarist in Slipknot and still uses a laptop live. If anyone is interested, his project is called So Much Light.
    I think what hes trying to say is regarding lip-synching and "air-guitar-with-a-real-guitar" acts. Some bands young and old seem to believe they sound too horrible live and instead of playing live, they put a cd in the mixer and act like theyre playing. I do agree if that is what hes trying to say. If UG got it right and arent trying to bait readers with misleading titles(very unlikely) then hes talking about using computers in gigs. If this is what hes talking about, then Id highly disagree. Computers are as much instruments these days as actual amps and keys. you can get by with using something like "Guitar Rig 5" or a DAW with some synth patches. And sometimes a partcularly cool track has too many synth sounds to play live so a band has to playback alot of of it and physically play specific parts(see Galneryus).
    More young fans need to rely less on their phones and watch the fuggin concert more
    More young fans should go to shows and experience it any way they want to and not care what others think of them. Devil's advocate...
    " it live, do it for real, do it on a stage, make mistakes, play in front of five people..." " at least one or two people in your band(s) a year..."
    Some people are better at composing than performing. And in this day and age, it's just not possible to write music and get it heard without playing it in front of an audience. If that means playing a recording while you dance on stage, so be it. As long as the audience is entertained, I don't see what the big deal is. Rock fans make such a big deal out of how "real" everyone's music is.
    Guns N' Chains
    Because that is the essence of Rock least it should be. ANYONE can pop in a tune and dance on a stage. To me, that is NOT a musician. One must compose and/or perform their material (Someone else may have written the song thus they did not compose it) be it vocalist or instrumentalist to the best of their abilities. I bet Beethoven didn't/wouldn't record his material and then just hit a play button. He got up and performed it live. That is part of the beauty, challenge and fun of it. Sure it is helpful to use a backtrack here and there to get the full affect be it layered vocals, studio effects, or what have you that add to the song/performance. But that should be limited and used only when absolutely needed. A drum or guitar recording shouldn't be playing the song for you. Sorry, that's just how I feel.
    But then by this definition people in an orchestra, playing a film score for example, aren't musicians. The director isn't playing the music and the performers didn't write it.
    Guns N' Chains
    That's why I said: "One must compose and/or perform their material (Someone else may have written the song thus they did not compose it)"...The person playing the song may not have wrote it...but they are still performing that piece of music. It would then be either a cover or performing someone else's work (If a song writer wrote the song for the person to perform). Both would be a musician.
    My band uses a backing track for drums and synths/sound effects. As we don't have a drummer, and no one to do the synth stuff we have no choice. I don't think its such a bad thing though, people don't really seem to mind. I guess it does sort of cheapen the traditional live 'look' but times are changing, we make next to nothing from our shows as it is, adding 2 competent extra members would give us a loss. I dunno its all well and good Corey freaking Taylor saying that, if we were in his position we could make every bleep live if we wanted, but in reality its a tough business and backing tracks/computerised effects can sometimes help.
    matteo cubano
    if you read this article, the quote in the title is nowhere in the interview quotes they have. i think they're misinterpreting what he's saying. i mean slipknot uses tons of samples, stone sour even plays the intro to gone sovereign from the album (guitar, drums, bass, vocals) when they do it at their shows. i think he means people aren't learning how to play based on how much we can do on the computer to make it sound like we can play perfectly even though we don't
    Yeah you're probably right, its a bit ambiguous exactly what he means. Another UG article trying to whip up some sort of frenzy I guess. I just wanted to defend the use of backing tracks I guess cause its not always just a repetitive drum loop pattern over some awful pop mess. Hell I saw Tesseract the other week and they used LOADS of backing stuff - drums, guitars, sound effects and most notably vocals, didn't take anything away from the performance though they were awesome.
    i wonder if hearing his own crappy music inspires him? people complaining about computer music today are the same kinds of narrow minded people who complained about synths in the 70's, multi-track in the 60's, rock and roll in the 50's and recording in general in the 30's. shut up and do what makes you happy. unless what makes you happy is complaining about the changing times.. then just shut up.
    More gear on stage = More shit to worry about! Keep your setup simple. Especially with guitars. Good tube amp, good speakers, good guitar with good pickups, let your fingers produce the sounds! that's how our guitar heroes did it in the 70's, that's why they played with so much feel.
    To be fair, not everyone wants to sound like a 70s guitar hero. Sometimes they just wanna use a ton of effects and crappy equipment to get their sound, or lack thereof... depending on whose side you're on.
    also, those 60s and 70s guitar heros were always looking for new effects and sh*t, and those songs that made them famous commonly had something extra in them. (wah, flanger, octave pedals, FUZZ, chorus, phasers, compressors were all used at that time by countless players). Not to mention echo
    I can't take anything this guy says seriously. He performs in a jumpsuit and Halloween mask how does it feel to know the only reason you have a record deal is because of a gimmick not actual chops or talent.
    No Mr. Taylor, **** you. You need to take some more lessons and learn about electronic music. Not the fake bullshit EDM that Andy Sanberg made fun of on SNL, but the really good stuff.
    I bet when Slipknot started they had more members than fans. They don't rely on technology, they just rely on a boat-load of members...
    I recently attended a concert that had two opening acts, and both of them had macbooks on stage with them. To be fair, they were opening for Fitz and the Tantrums, a neo-soul/pop group, so MIDI-pads and the like aren't that surprising.
    It's still kind of boring though. I hate not being able to tell for sure what the musicians are actually doing, or if they're doing anything at all. It's a shame it's not just limited to pop music; a lot of the times rock bands are no different.
    I have yet to see a live band that uses backing tracks more than absolutely necesary. I know one that used a bas track, since they didnt have a basist, and loads of them use them for synth parts, but i have never seen a band play on playback. That only applies to small bands that are just starting out tho.
    I saw Volumes a few years ago and they only had one guitarist for the set. The songs use several guitars and most of them were on a pre-recorded track. Didn't take away from the show one bit though, sounded awesome and the guitarist also played great. However, they had a downtime of about an hour due to tech-difficulties ... Which if I had to guess, had something to do with their macbook