Everyone is eager to get back out on the road these days, and if mandating that audiences be vaccinated is what it will take to ramp touring up again after the long COVID-19 pandemic, then Slipknot‘s Corey Taylor is here for it. The rocker was one of the first acts to hit the road in May on his CMFT tour, which followed health guidelines on masking and distancing in every state.
But now, with the nation in the midst of yet another surge due to the highly contagious Delta variant — and a barely 50% rate of Americans getting fully vaccinated — Taylor has had it with the incessant spread of fear and false information.
“People act like getting a vaccine is signing a deal with the devil,” he told Heavy Consequence in a recent interview. “It’s been so politicized and spun out of control in these conspiratorial echo chambers that people forget that you can go find all the info you want online to educate yourself about everything about these vaccines.”
At a time when experts report that nearly all COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations are among those who are unvaccinated, Taylor said he doesn’t have time for the nonsense, noting that Americans can’t travel to certain countries and children can’t attend schools without proper vaccination. “The fact that [vaccines] have been demonized, almost to the point of these gnarly conspiracy theories, no wonder why people are afraid of it — because they’re listening to the wrong people.”
Taylor, who just wrapped a run of solo shows — with another U.S. outing slated for August — said he was focused on putting on “something cool” for fans who’d been stuck at home for a year and a half. “We just needed that release,” he said of the spring gigs. But right up until the first show in Tempe, Ariz., on May 18, Taylor said he and his crew were keeping an eye on COVID numbers in each town on the 19-city tour, which he said he didn’t make a dime from.
“We were so determined to make sure that we were doing it right that in a lot of ways, we didn’t start enjoying the tour until halfway through,” he said. Taylor also weighed in on whether he thinks fans should be required to show proof of vaccination to attend gigs.
“Yes and no. Here’s the thing: There shouldn’t be a mandate, but guess what, man? If you’re going to put people at risk of getting sick, you shouldn’t want to go to a show,” he said. “That’s common sense. And if you do put people at risk, then you’re a f—in’ a–hole, and you shouldn’t be let in anyway. So, for me, it’s a common sense thing, but we don’t have a lot of common sense these days, man.”
The interview appeared to take place before the sad news July 27 about the death of former Slipknot drummer Joey Jordinson, who died at age 46.
Check out Taylor’s interview below.