Slipknot’s Corey Taylor Talks Tool and the Economics of Streaming Music

  • Axl Rosenberg

Well. This is it, guys. The white wail, holy grail of MetalSucks posts. A story in which Slipknot’s most deified member, Corey Taylor, talks about Tool. The intersection of the Venn diagram for which we have searched our entire career. I can’t afford to retire yet, but oh that I could visit online casinos in usa. It will never get better than this. It’s all downhill from here, motherfuckers.


Our dear old friend Brian Storm, from Rock Feed, recently interviewed Corey. And as part of that interview, Brian asked Corey for advice as to what musicians can do to get better royalty rates from digital streaming services (e.g., Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Amazon Music… is Zune still a thing? Whatever the kids like these days.). To which Corey replied…

“I’ll tell you what they can do; they can start by all of them banding together and pushing the streaming services to stop appealing the legislation that’s already been put in place to pay us better. There’s a reason that Tool waited as long as they did to put their stuff up on streaming services, ’cause they knew they weren’t gonna be compensated for something that they worked their asses off for. To me, it smells of two things, with Tool: a) it’s perfect timing, because they have a new album coming out; and b) they probably worked out a deal with their label to make sure that they got a piece of the money that the label’s automatically going to get because of the money that’s being generated from streaming.”


“That’s what people don’t understand. The difference between streaming and radio is you make money off radio because of the publishing that’s involved. With streaming, there really is no publishing that is promised. That money goes directly to — and technically it’s mechanicals — goes directly to the label. So the label is making huge amounts of money. And they are not contractually bound to pay us for that, because of what they call ‘new technology.’ And unless you have been able to renegotiate your contracts in a way that makes it viable for you — which we haven’t; which a lot of people haven’t, because you can’t keep up with the technology. Unless you are able to adapt with that — and legally, a lot of labels won’t let you do that — you get screwed. So from a publishing standpoint, the only way for us to make money, like that, off of the streaming is for that legislation to actually be signed into law. Which the fact that they are appealing it — most of them are, anyway — is just a smack in the face.”

The legislation to which Corey refers, BTW, is a US Copyright Royalty Board mandate to would raise streaming pay rates for songwriters and publishers by 44% or more by 2022. The aforementioned Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and Amazon Music have banded together to appeal that mandate, claiming that it “harms music licensees and copyright owners.”

Still, lest Corey sound old and out of touch, he made it clear he wasn’t opposed to streaming as an outlet — he just doesn’t like the way those services and the best casino site treat the artists: “We don’t have a problem with streaming. We don’t have a problem with people listening to our music. What we have a problem with is these streaming services basically treating it like we owe them, which is not the way it should be.”

Finally, Corey asserted that musicians would be better treated financially if they owned their own masters — but pointed out that few ever will, and counted Slipknot, who are massively successful, amongst those who “just simply don’t have the money” to make it happen:

“It’s a very rare occurrence [that a group will own its masters]. I can think of maybe three bands that have been able to do that. Metallica is one. Mötley [Crüe] is the other. I’m not sure about AC/DC. But I know there are a handful of bands that actually own the masters and the rights for them. But we are talking about bands that not only own their masters, they also own the label that they release stuff out of. Metallica has Blackened; Mötley has Mötley Records. It’s a very small class or group. You have to be done with your contracts — the original that you signed in the first place — and ready to go on to an independent basis to be able to do anything like that. And for bands like us, and probably a million other bands out there, you just simply don’t have the money to do it.”

I would never dare disagree with our beloved Mr. Taylor. I might politely, with my eyes averted out of respect, point out that bands generally don’t make a lot of money from the sale of their music regardless of the platform, and never have — the money for them is all in playing shows and, especially, merch sales. I might. Probably not, though.

You can watch the entire interview below while I go take a cold shower. (COREY TALKED ABOUT TOOL!!!)


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