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When Stone Sour's Corey Taylor and Josh Rand played Roadrunner Records executives the music they had recorded for their conceptual "House of Gold and Bones" project last June, a vision quickly locked in place.
Two albums. One campaign. A whole lot of content--beyond the music, too--that was designed to become more than just the sum of its parts.
"We did it right," Taylor says, and he's not kidding. "House of Gold & Bones: Part 1" debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard 200 in October, spawning the No. 2 Mainstream Rock hit "Absolute Zero." The just-released "Part 2," meanwhile, debuts at No. 10 this week (following top five debuts in Germany and Australia), while its single, "Do Me a Favor," is already top 10 at Mainstream Rock.
"It's exceeded our expectations to say the least," says Taylor, who, with Stone Sour guitarist Jim Root, doubles up in Slipknot.
Roadrunner senior director of marketing Chris Brown acknowledges that for the label, it was a challenge "to figure out the best way in this climate of how to release two records." Ultimately, he says, the determination was to let the piece--which Taylor describes as "a morality play I was able to twist into this crazy, sci-fi fantasy world where anything is possible"--come out on two albums but still treat it as a single, integrated project. Brown adds that bringing it out with special packaging that allows physical buyers to house "Part 1" and "Part 2" together generated more excitement.
"Absolute Zero" has also been bolstered by an animated video by Phil Mucci and, Brown notes, "really dives into the story." The next single--which is still being determined--will come from "Part 1," and future releases will ping-pong between the two albums.
A four-part series with Dark Horse Comics telling the albums' story recently launched, while the group is headlining the Revolver Road to the Golden Gods tour and will play festivals in North America and Europe into the summer. In 2014, Taylor says, Stone Sour is "plotting and planning a world tour that is very special," with two-night stops that will feature each album played in its entirety. Taylor is planning a two-part feature film adaptation of the "House of Gold and Bones" story.
"I know the people I want to cast in it," he says. "I know the people I want to produce and direct it. Hopefully I can get it done."
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