Corey Taylor likes a good ghost story. Especially when they happen to him. So the Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman had no trouble taking that route on his second book, “A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to Heaven (Or, How I Made Peace with the Paranormal and Stigmatized Zealots and Cynics in the Process),” despite the skepticism he knew he’d encounter.
“I have a lot of friends who have either seen some stuff or not seen some stuff, so they’re either believers or not,” Taylor tells Billboard. “And I found myself kind of in this discussion where it was like, ‘Yes, I’ve seen all these things. I believe in ghosts because I know, because I’ve seen them, but I don’t believe in God. So what do I think these things are, and why do I believe the way I do?’ And that’s what got me excited about it. I could kind of ghost in and out of the chapters — no pun intended — and kind of make my case and come from a hopefully unique standpoint where I’m trying to figure out what this energy is, what these spirits are.”
Taylor adds, he had “a lot of fun” writing the follow-up to his best-selling “Seven Deadly Sins” — and particularly revisiting The Mansion, the haunted Hollywood Hills site where Slipknot made its “Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses” album in one of the book’s chapters.
“Well, that was definitely one of those moments where it was the craziest seven months of my life,” he recalls. “It was beyond the realm of what I experienced before because over the years. Other things have happened, but I’ve been able to put it in the box. With The Mansion, being there 24-7 for the most part, really opened it up a lot to the point where not only was I able to kind of transcribe the things that had happened to me, but I also had everyone in the house coming to me to tell me about stuff and telling me about things that were happening to them. So I think that has compounded everything, ’cause it was almost like a group experience. And because it was go gnarly, because it was so over-the-top, like ‘What the hell is going on here?!’, it was definitely something I knew that some day I would write about and people would go, ‘Wow, this is intense!’ ”
Taylor says he currently has two ideas for his next book project — one a compilation of the columns he writes for the British magazine Rock Sound and the other a novel. “I have a really good idea for a novel and would like to just kind of try my hand at fiction,” Taylor says. “I’m starting to kind of get a really good body of work going from a literary standpoint. As long as the audience is there, man, I’ll keep cranking them out.”
But don’t expect a more traditional rock star memoir from him any time soon. “I’m not even in my 40s yet, so it’s not time for me to write my life story ’cause I’m still living it,” Taylor explains. “I’m not gonna do the same, tired, standard ‘I was born in a log cabin…’ kind of book. There’s so much more I want to do.”
On that tip, Taylor will be back with Slipknot for an October 19 show at the Monsters of Rock festival in Brazil, and the group is hoping it start work in earnest soon on its next album.
“The only thing we’ve talked about is the beginning of next year, getting together and seeing where each other are at, musically,” Taylor says. “I know I’ve got some music that I’ve been working on. Joey’s (Jordison) got a bunch of stuff. Jim’s (Root) got some stuff. Clown’s always got a lot of really interesting musical ideas. So it’ll be really cool to see what happens. We really don’t have a timetable; we’ve basically told everybody, ‘Screw you, don’t give us a deadline’ because this album especially is too important. It’s going to be a daunting task going into the studio without (the late bassist) Paul Gray, so I don’t need a bunch of suits rushing me through something that is going to be pretty emotional. Right now the plan is to just go into the studio and see what happens.”
Stone Sour, meanwhile, is on a kind of hiatus after an appearance at Rock Fest in Wisconsin. “We’re taking some well-deserved time off, essentially the rest of the year,” Taylor says. But he’s “still toying” with ideas around the two “House of Gold & Bones” albums, including a stage show presenting the two and a film adaptation. “As far as doing a whole tour based around (the albums), we just can’t afford to do it right now,” says Taylor, who’s partnered with Shawn “Clown” Crahan in the Living Breathing Films (LBF) production company. “Maybe in the future we can do something like that, where it’s a massive tour all over the world. But for right now the plan is to maybe do a handful of certain bigger markets and just see how that goes. And obviously I still have the idea to make a ‘House of Gold and Bones’ movie, which I think would be really cool. I’m trying to find the best creative way to do it.”
Taylor also reports that he’s also recovered “about 90 percent” of the equipment and other items stolen from his home and storage facility by a friend in West Des Moines.