Slipknot's Corey Taylor Opens Up About Addiction

By Dorri Olds 10/27/16

“To this day, there are still a lot of friends of mine who are like, ‘If you ever fall off the wagon don’t call me, dude.’”

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Slipknot's Corey Taylor Opens Up About Addiction
Photo: YouTube

Corey Taylor, the lead singer for two metal bands—Slipknot and Stone Sour—recently spoke openly about alcohol addiction on the SiriusXM radio show, Never Meet Your Heroes. It’s a new program hosted by Taylor’s longtime pal, guitarist Scott Ian of Anthrax. 

“There was a huge war going on in my head, and that kind of fed the booze,” he told Ian. “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 the 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.”

Taylor, sober since 2006, has a long history with substances. Last year, he told Loudwire that he began with smoking cigarettes at age 10, then quickly moved on to pot and by 13, he was using cocaine and speed. By the time Taylor reached 15, he’d already overdosed twice. Three years later, Corey attempted suicide with pills. Luckily he was found in time and rushed to a hospital.

In 2003, Stone Sour's hit song “Bother” came out and Taylor’s lyrics sounded like a man at his bottom: "Wish I was too dead to cry ... I’ll keep slipping farther ... I gave up trying ... Wish I’d died instead of lived."

He told Ian, “‘Bother’ really was for me, that was me trying to prove that I could still contribute something. I’ve never been as good a guitar player as anybody in Slipknot and I’m okay with that, but the stuff that I was writing was so much more the Stone Sour side of stuff that suddenly it was filling this void that I didn’t even realize that I had. 

“So that really kind of allowed me to kind of feel good about what I was doing but then that fed the ego and I just became that lead singer douchebag, which honestly I wish I wouldn’t have been but at the same time I’m glad that I went through it, because I wouldn’t be who I am now if I hadn’t.”

Describing life before sobriety to Ian, Taylor said, “This switch would kind of go off in my head and I would either be just completely oblivious to who I was or who I was talking to or I would just be vicious, really selfish, really just dark attitude, shitty, selfish, just bullshit, just ego shit.”

He admitted that he is a much better person when he’s not drinking. “To this day,” he told Ian, “there are still a lot of friends of mine who are like, ‘If you ever fall off the wagon don’t call me, dude.’ So I know it’s in me, and I think that’s the difference between me and a lot of other people is the fact that I can at least admit it.”

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Dorri Olds is an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Woman’s Day and several book anthologies. Find Dorri on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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