Corey Taylor Gives His Take On The Business Side Of Music

Corey Taylor
Josh Lowe for Alternative Revolt

The current state of the music industry is by no means in the same shape it was 20, 30, 40 years ago when musicians could viably make a living off their music. The times have changed, especially how people consume music, which has given the industry its biggest blow, and provided its biggest challenge on how to bounce back from it.

This past Summer, Slipknot and Stone Sour singer Corey Taylor spoke in front of a small group of students at a School of Rock Green Valley in Henderson, Nevada. Young kids today that have an interest in music are faced with a tough challenge of how they can find a successful path in music. While it’s getting tougher and tougher to do so, there is still some sliver of hope that a career can still be built in music.

What better way to know how to have a fighting chance in the industry than to go straight to the source with someone who has been there and done that in the industry. With two highly successful bands under his reign, along with millions of albums sold worldwide, Taylor is among one of the pioneers to put his two cents on the current state of the industry.

“It’s tough, especially when you’re kind of put in the position to have to be the boss. I’ve learned a lot up to a point. After that, I have people, luckily, that I trust who I can rely on. It’s all about being able to relegate and delegate, basically. So I know there are certain areas where my managers and my accountants, they do their thing. They’re the same managers and accountants I’ve had for fifteen years. So I don’t worry about that, because we work closely, and I also know that — not that anything would ever happen, but if anything would happen, there are other people who would let me know. So I have safeguards and trust, basically. Up to that, though, they know that I also understand the creative [aspect] of it, and nobody else does, really. So when it comes to Slipknot, it’s very much us still being able to come together and work on the art of it, work on the music of it, without outside influence. Very little influence from the record label, which I’m which I’m very lucky.

“With Slipknot and Stone Sour, we’ve earned the right to kind of be able to get on with it,” he continued. “We’ve also shown that, after all this time, we can still creatively compete, we can produce music that people really enjoy without compromising anything on our end. And I guess I’m pretty lucky and pretty fortunate about that. But it also comes from having that confidence and being able to say sometimes that… ‘I’m looking for something musically. I may need help,’ and not just kind of shutting the doors on that stuff. So they know if I’m looking for something specifically that I will reach out to certain people, and they trust me to do that. So it’s kind of a good balancing act that I’ve had to learn to [keep things together], because if it were up to me, I wouldn’t have anything to do with any of the business crap. I can’t stand it — it’s very distracting and it’s exhausting — but it has to be done. I’m the first one up, the last one out when it comes to that stuff, so when it means that much to you, you have to be a part of it. But I’m not gonna complain. I need to do it. I’m coming up on eighteen years.”

“The old adage is, ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ It’s not exactly true. Because, yes, you get to do what you love, but there’s a bunch of stuff that you have to do that comes with it that maybe is more trivial. It’s definitely stuff that you don’t look forward to. But it could be worse. I could be digging ditches. And I’m never going back to that. So it’s good. It’s a good balance.”

JT “Doc” Berry \m/