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Arts & Music

Newly-inspired Stone Sour playing 98 Rockfest in Tampa

Tribune correspondent
Published:   |   Updated: April 25, 2013 at 11:41 AM

If Corey Taylor had his creepy Slipknot mask on, fans wouldn't have witnessed the ear-to-ear smile plastered across his face as he belted out the Cheap Trick classic “Surrender” while fronting the Sound City Players last month at South By Southwest.

While playing “the” concert at Austin's massive music festival, Taylor was flanked by Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielsen and Sound City leader Dave Grohl.

“Surreal doesn't quite describe the sensation,” Taylor said while calling from Nashville. “It was incredible. I'm singing a brilliant Cheap Trick song that everybody knows while Rick Nielsen is playing along. And I'm singing along with (Foo Fighter drummer) Taylor Hawkins. It was awesome since I was never at South By Southwest before. When would I have had the time?”

Taylor, 39, joined Slipknot in 1997, which broke two-years later and has been crazy busy ever since. Aside from leading the cartoonish metal band, Taylor is Stone Sour's singer-songwriter. Stone Sour, which will be part of the 98 Rockfest Friday at the Forum, formed in 1992.

“So many people don't realize that Stone Sour preceded Slipknot,” Taylor said. “That was my band before I connected with Slipknot and the roots are deep with Stone Sour. I love being out with this band. It's a different band than Slipknot and I think when you make music, you need to stretch and move in different directions.”

Stone Sour's sound dramatically differs from Slipknot's brand of shock rock/rap/metal. Stone Sour has a gritty, dark sonic attack, which is reminiscent of Alice In Chains.

The band is touring behind a pair of discs, “The House of Gold and Bones pt. 1 and 2.” The concept albums are comprised of nihilistic, unrelenting metal. The visceral tracks are melodic and deep.

“I don't know if we're making up for lost time or what but we were really inspired,” Taylor said. “I love being in this band. We wanted to take some risks with these albums. We felt like we were getting pigeonholed. I wanted to make something grand. I wanted to take that extra step. There was no holding back with these two albums. It just flowed.”

Much of the first album, which was released in October, is exposition but the disc ends with a cliff hanger that is picked up in “Volume 2,” which dropped April 9.

“You don't get stories like this or concept albums anymore,” Taylor said. “I think I'm getting old school here but it's fun.”

Taylor intends to step into Rob Zombie territory and make movies. The flicks would be based on his concept discs.

“How cool would it be to do something big and cinematic like 'The Wall,” Taylor said. “I would like to make these artistic but dark films.”

So Taylor is crazy busy but he is confident that Slipknot will reappear at some point. “I haven't forgotten Slipknot,” Taylor said. “I'm on break from the band and doing other things now but it'll happen again. It's just that I'm having a blast with Stone Sour. I'm long overdue to spend this kind of time with this band. We have so much to offer. I'm tapping into that right now and I'm going to stay with it for awhile.”

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