Slipknot’s Corey Taylor Gets Emotional About Being Recovery Role Model

By Victoria Kim 09/21/17

The 43-year-old singer was honored at a recent Rock to Recovery ceremony for using his platform to make a positive influence. 

Corey Taylor
Photo via YouTube

Corey Taylor, of the heavy metal bands Slipknot and Stone Sour, was presented with the 2017 Icon Award at last Saturday’s (Sept 16) Rock to Recovery 2 in Los Angeles.

Taylor was honored for being a recovery role model and speaking up about his long history of drug use and eventual recovery.

The heavy metal frontman reflected on eight years of recovery. “You put a lot of shit in perspective,” he said. “Your trial and error becomes your way of life. Who you are is a question every day.”

Taylor was personally helped by Rock to Recovery, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving people in recovery a space to express themselves and create music together. “[Rock to Recovery] takes away the stigma of trying to be a better person, trying to be a stronger person,” said Taylor in his acceptance speech. “It takes away the feeling of being alone, surrounded by people who are doing the exact same stuff that you do.”

“It lets you enjoy it again, which is a fucking hard thing to do when you’re force-fed an idea that it’s only cool if you’re fucked up. It’s not. It’s actually better once you get your head together, or try to.”

Taylor lost fellow Slipknot bandmate, bassist Paul Gray, in 2010 to an overdose of morphine and fentanyl. Taylor himself had an early start to his drug problems, picking up his first drink around kindergarten age.

“I had my first drink when I was five years old,” Taylor recalled. “Did my first drug when I was 11. And it was just all fucked up from there. I lost a lot of friends… One day at a time. And every day is a gift.”

Taylor has been open about his past issues that coincided with his drug use. In a May episode of Viceland’s The Therapist, the Slipknot vocalist candidly discussed being sexually assaulted at the age of 10, as well as his past suicide attempts. He says it’s worth baring his deepest traumas and insecurities if it will help just one person. 

“If there’s any way that I can help people who have had to deal with much worse to help themselves, then I’m going to do that,” he told Rolling Stone earlier this year.

Last October, he gave more insight on Never Meet Your Heroes, a SiriusXM radio show hosted by friend and guitarist Scott Ian of the band Anthrax.

There was a huge war going on in my head, and that kind of fed the booze,” Taylor told Ian on the show. “That fed a lot of my issues with drinking and shit because I had given up drugs when I was a teenager so that wasn’t an issue for me. But booze was really the anchor. I had bullshitted myself into thinking that I couldn’t go on stage without it like, ‘It’s good luck.’ Such addict bullshit.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr