Stone Sour has been spitting out singles and videos since its latest album, Hydrograd, came out last June. But none of them are like “St. Marie.”
The group-written track — whose southwestern travelogue video filled with idiosyncratic characters is premiering exclusively below — taps into what frontman Corey Taylor calls “our inner Eagles.” It’s acoustic and richly melodic, quiet and ruminative but not in the same way as an acoustic rock track. Stone Sour keeps the song in its dusty lane, holding on to the vibe throughout its four and a half minutes.
Just back from a vacation in Bora Bora, Taylor spoke with Billboard about the video, the song and the wealth of other endeavors he has on his plate.
“St. Marie” isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of Stone Sour.
The cool thing about the song is that it’s a long time coming. I write a lot of stuff on acoustic (guitar) and then try it out on electric and see if it works. But there’s always been a style I haven’t really been able to show with Stone Sour, which…call it what it is, a country side. I’ve written songs like that in the past that I’ve tried to work with in Stone Sour but they always come off a little too saccharine, a little sweeter than we were comfortable with at the time. But with this song it was just so special. If felt so kind of good to get our inner Eagles on that. We were really, like, “There’s no way we can’t do this song.” It was such a great departure from the usual slower stuff we’d done. It just felt really good to just dig our teeth into it.
You wrote the treatment for the video. What did you want to convey?
The video is kind of about a journey, which is really what this song is about in the first place. It’s a journey, trying to find redemption in a place where maybe there is none to find. There’s a lot of judgment in the video that is kind of being resolved in the end by the fact we all end up at the same place in our lives, no matter what, so it’s best to just let go of that resentment and find our way happily instead of morosely, I guess.
You found some interesting folks to be part of this video.
It really came down to our director (Marc Klasfeld), casting it. They all did a really good job of putting it together and filming it. It really has that old school ’70s look as far as the colors and the scenery. It was a lot of fun to be able to play with that and it was cool and everybody involved…It was a good time and we were really able to embrace that. And I was happy at the end with how that came together. It felt like a little movie in my head I’d been kind of seeing. It actually exceeded my expectations when we were done.
So when was the last time the five of you were stuck in that small a vehicle for that long of a trip?
Oh God…(laughs) Probably when we were driving to the Steel Panther video set; We all road together when we did our cameo for “Wasted Too Much Time,” and we were laughing the entire time. But the five of us travel really well together, which I know kinda goes against what a lot of people think bands are supposed to do, which is hate each other. Not us, man. We’re such good friends. We always have a really good time.
What’s ahead for Stone Sour this year?
We’ve got a bunch of touring the rest of this year actually, and some cool things that we’re doing creatively that we can’t give away too quickly. But it’s gonna be a good year for Stone Sour, and we’re doing the Ozzy (Osbourne) tour, which we’re so incredibly proud that we landed.
Do you believe it’s really his farewell tour?
Well, (laughs) let’s just say that I went to the first retirement tour 20 years ago, and I’m reserving my judgment.
When will we hear from Slipknot again?
The guys are writing tons of music and I’ve written lyrics to almost all of it and we’re going to start trying to put together demos here and there with the time off that I have and really try to get ahead of the curve as far as what happens next. I know that we’re gonna try and put an album out next year — however, that is all speculation. The best way to make God laugh is to announce your plans out loud. So I’m just going with the flow. The plan right now is next year but that is a huge plan because we still haven’t narrowed anything down, so we will definitely see what happens.
You’re getting about due for your next book, aren’t you?
I’ve got a couple that are kind of tinkering around in this brain, but I haven’t really sat down and put any thought to it yet. It’s been a grind; Just when I thought I couldn’t do back to back bands and back to back albums I threw books in there just to make it a little harder. (laughs) Right now I’m just trying to figure out what the next book’s gonna be about. I have a couple of options but nothing’s really stuck their nose in my head yet, so we’ll just have to see.
Without being facetious — are there enough creative avenues to keep you satisfied?
(Laughs) Well, I’m definitely a greedy pig in the art department, which I guess is fine. I’m very lucky, and I’ll be the first person to point out how lucky I am. I have confidence in my creativity and my work, but at the same time if it wasn’t for the opportunities I’ve been given I’d just be a guy with a really cool song that nobody’s ever heard. But I’m always ready to try and start all kinds of new stuff so, yeah, as long as people keep throwing things at me, man, I’ll keep trying to tap into all the inner weirdness I’ve got going on. I’ll be damned if I let that go.