Corey Taylor: 'Geezer's Playing Is the Key to Black Sabbath's Heaviness'

"Black Sabbath covers sound wrong because Geezer is the spice in the mix," Slipknot singer explains.

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Slipknot singer Corey Taylor was present at last Saturday's (November 10) Bass Player Live event in Los Angeles among musicians paying tribute to Black Sabbath bassist Geezer Butler. Asked by Artisan News to comment on the bassist's input in Black Sabbath over the years, Taylor dubbed Geezer an underrated member of the band, especially when compared to kudos Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne get from the metal community. "This is a long time coming, as far as I'm concerned," Corey said about Butler's honoring. "Black Sabbath created a template for what heavy metal is and - everyone gives credit to Ozzy, everyone gives credit to Iommi, but Geezer's bass playing was so key to the heaviness of that band, still is, to be honest. Whenever anybody does a Black Sabbath cover, it always sounds wrong because Geezer was the spice in the mix like that." More prominent rockers chipped in their thoughts on Geezer's impact, with Megadeth's David Ellefson saying that he originally thought Butler used a pick to achieve the unique sound. Sebastian Bach of Skid Row fame noted that Geezer is a true "bass star," praising the latest Sabbath effort "13" as their "best one ever." Jason Newsted named the fact he is performing at the even before "the man himself" a "pinnacle" of his career, while Zakk Wylde decided to focus on Butler's lyrics, praising them as equally crucial as the playing style. Green Day's Mike Dirnt might have summed it all up in a best way. Asked about what Geezer meant for bass, Mike replied, "He is the bass." Check out the full report below.

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26 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's nice to see the bass & the player getting the recognition they deserve. Vastly underrated instrument indeed.
    ^ This, as a guitarist i admit, i used to rag on about how the bass was pointless, till the day our bassist couldnt make it to a band practice (3 or so years ago now) and then we actually noticed how empty it sounds without a bass. I started playing for a while with another band and i gotta say, it can actually be pretty fun and fulls the sound
    Same thing with me. I record everything by myself at home, and doing all of the instruments shows me the importance of the bass to provide the fullness of a song.
    "Whenever anybody does a Black Sabbath cover, it always sounds wrong because Geezer was the spice in the mix like that." With the exception of Primus covering "N.I.B.", I agree. Les Claypool is not to be ****ed with.
    Since the early days of Rock--when the electric bass was a new instrument, and it was unclear if it would be taken seriously as an instrument--we had great bassists like Macca, Casady, Entwhistle, and a little later on the heavier side of Rock, Geezer to show us that Rock bass was never intended to be a root-note-rumble in the distant background! It's nice to see people finally mentioning that! There was a time when I couldn't imagine Metallica without Cliff. I was wrong, it can happen. But still, Maiden without Harris?
    Why does Sebastian Bach sound like a tranny?
    I dont agree with Corey Taylor. There are few good examples of good Sabbath covers that I personally think are better than the original. Like this :
    Damn I actually think Lanegan sounds like crap on this! Band sounds good but the original vocals totally top this, but again that's a hell of a tough vocal to tackle. Most of vol. 4 and the next two are hard to sing, Ozzy seemed to wake up one day and have this crazy range for a few years
    This. Ozzy's vocals on the Sabotage album are simply amazing, Megalomania and Symptom are mind-blowing for his vocals.
    Sorry, Euphenic, no - but it's an OK version. You can't beat the original.
    I can't stand this nerd. Grohl lost points working with him.
    So whats heavy Corey? Slipknot or Black Sabbath. Im confused as you use the same term for both.
    To me, Black Sabbath's sound comes from a perfect blend of the talented musicians involved. If Geezer wasn't in the mix, then Black Sabbath wouldn't be the same Black Sabbath. And I agree that he's certainly an underrated lyricist!