Taylor tells media: Show more respect
Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor believes metal is the only genre in which musician keep trying to raise the bar – and that’s one of the things that makes it a unique art form.
His comments come during a Guardian discussion about why rock and metal is almost entirely ignored in mainstream media, despite a strong following and healthy sales.
Taylor argues that if the press are going to ignore the good points of the genre, they shouldn’t keep digging up the bad points instead.
He says: “The thing that really pisses me off is they only talk about metal in the sense: ‘Metal is going to kill your children.’ It would almost be better if they never talked about us at all.
“It’s the last rebellious spirit in music. It’s the voice of the disenfranchised. That’s why it appeals to so many people when they’re younger and carries on when those people, at 40, don’t want to grow up.
“The next generation are always trying to up the ante, push it harder, trying to find that frenzy that hasn’t been done before. Black Sabbath begat Metallica begat Marilyn Manson begat us. There’s this need to raise the bar – I don’t see that in any other genre.”
Guardian chief music critic Alexis Petridis says he doesn’t write about metal because: “I wouldn’t insult the artists involved. If I don’t understand the music there’s no point writing about it.
“It never grabbed me as a kid. Maybe I wasn’t angry enough. I tried to approach Slayer’s Reign in Blood as a piece of extreme music. I’ve tried to listen to Norwegian death metal as avant-garde art, and it just doesn’t do it for me.
“I actually think it’s better for metal to exist outside that whorl. If you’re getting respect from the Hall of Fame, if it was mainstream, wouldn’t that mean metal had nothing to kick against?”
But Petridis notes: “The lovely thing about metal fans is they’re incredibly loyal. In any other genre – hip-hop, pop, alt-rock – things move very quickly. Artists have one or two albums, then they vanish. Metal bands are allowed to develop. A band can be headlining Wembley arena for the first time and they’re on their sixth album, which wouldn’t happen in any other genre.
“It’s the one genre I can think of where bands can undergo immense lineup changes that would kill a mainstream band stone-dead.”
Taylor underlines how the community can be very accepting. “Perfect example: we knew Rob Halford was gay for years. Then he comes out of the closet and people are like, ‘Of course.’ The stereotypes are ridiculous – here’s a man who comes out and his band is bigger than ever.
“I don’t know if it needs more attention, but it needs more respect. The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame is a joke: Madonna is in before Rush and Kiss. I wouldn’t say we give a shit about acceptance. I just want respect for the bands who laid the way.”