What Alice in Chains’ ‘Dirt’ Taught Slipknot’s Corey Taylor About Songwriting
While many love Slipknot, you can argue that without Alice in Chains before them that things might sound a little different. Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor recently sang the band's praises, and more particularly that of the album Dirt, for Alice in Chains' upcoming 30th anniversary of Dirt deluxe box set.
Taylor offered a quote that will be included in the upcoming hardcover book that accompanies the box set, giving some credit where it is due in helping to form the artist that he is. “Alice in Chains changed my entire approach to songwriting," states Taylor. "They showed me that you could write/marry the heavy to the beautiful and combine the sadistic with the hopeful.”
Later within the quote, he goes on to comment, "It's just a perfect album. Simply put, it's one of the greatest hard rock / heavy metal albums of all-time. It transcends genres. It speaks to people regardless of age or generation. It's literally a clinic on how to make nihilism and contemplation work together."
Within the commentary, Taylor shares his association with the album, stating that he was a "massive" fan since day one, and reflecting upon seeing them open the Clash of the Titans tour which sold him on the band.
"The first song I heard from Dirt was 'Would?' because it was on the Singles soundtrack. My initial thought was, 'How are they going to top this?' And holy hell, they smashed it," adds Taylor. "The whole album is perfection. The harmonies are perfect, the guitar tones are so thick, the passion is gorgeous, and the grooves - how the bass glues to the drums - are unfuckingtouchable."
Alice in Chains also has a root in his other band, Stone Sour, as Taylor recalled "Would?" and "Angry Chair" being some of that band's earliest jams.
Taylor has been effusive in his praise of Alice in Chains over the years, and has cited the group as his favorite "Big 4" grunge band. He's also pointed to playing "Would?" with Jerry Cantrell as part of the all-star covers band Camp Freddy as his favorite all-time collaboration. In 2020, he was joined by Dave Navarro, Chris Chaney and Taylor Hawkins on a cover of "Man in the Box" as part of Seattle's Museum of Pop Culture's Founders Award salute to Alice in Chains.
See Corey's full commentary on the Dirt album below and be sure to pick up the massive 30th anniversary Dirt box set this fall. Pre-orders are currently being taken here.
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