Corey Taylor on Roadrunner Not Allowing Him to Join Anthrax: “It Broke My Heart”
Speaking as one of the eight Anthrax fans who think the band sounds better without Joey Belladonna, it always saddens me to think that we almost got a Worship Music singer who sounds less, um, let’s say “flimsy.” Ideally, the record would have been released with John Bush singing… but I suspect many of us would have happily “settled” on a version featuring the vocal stylings of one Mr. Corey T. Taylor, Esq.
Which nearly happened back in 2007… until Slipknot’s label and manager came along and nixed the idea. MASSIVE bummer. For us? Certainly. But also for poor Corey!
In fact, during a recent interview with Edward Trunk, Taylor said that “It broke my heart so hard” when he wasn’t allowed to join ‘Thrax:
“That actually started as an idea because of an acoustic gig that I did with Scott [Ian, Anthrax guitarist] and Frankie Bello [Anthrax bassist] at a place in New York. And I cannot remember what the name of the place was [It was Retox! – Ed.]. I know it was a club that Scott had maybe an interest in it, so we were helping to promote the club. And it was something really cool that it was just, like, ‘Hey, do you wanna come do this?’ I was, like, ‘Yeah, man. Let’s do it.’ So we went down, we had dinner, we did the acoustic show. And then afterwards, we were all kind of just hanging out, and the half-joking line got thrown out, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if you joined Anthrax?’ And we all laughed, and then we all stopped. And we all just went, ‘Hmmm. That could interesting.’ It was between Joey and John [Bush], so everything was kind of up in the air. It was before — what was his name? — Dan [Nelson]. And we talked about it more and more, and it was something that I was really, really into. They sent me a bunch of music, most of which ended up on [2011’s] Worship Music — luckily, because the music was so good. Nothing got recorded, because the day I was supposed to fly to Chicago to rehearse and start demoing with Scott and with Charlie [Benante, Anthrax drummer], I got a phone call from Roadrunner [Slipknot’s record label] telling me that they weren’t gonna let me do it. They wanted me to go back and do [Slipknot’s] All Hope Is Gone, because we [were] still contracted to do another Slipknot album, and they weren’t going to allow me the wiggle room. I don’t even know if those people are still at Roadrunner, to be honest. But I know that they cracked the whip on it and were really hardcore.”
“It was the first time I had ever felt like I was kind of backed into a corner. Not that I didn’t wanna do a Slipknot album, but I was so into the idea of doing an Anthrax album. And I remember having to call and tell the guys [in Anthrax] that I wasn’t gonna be able to make it. It broke my heart so hard. But, obviously, things worked out for the better for them. They’re making music that’s just as good now as the older stuff than it’s ever been. What needed to happen is exactly what happened. I’m just grateful that: a) I’m a part of their conversation, and b), that they’re still my friends.”
As Taylor notes, the band went on to hire Dan Nelson. In fact, they reportedly recorded a complete version of Worship Music with Nelson before sacking him. Then for awhile it looked like John Bush was gonna do it, but Bush has said that they didn’t wanna give him time to re-write the lyrics and vocal parts so he bailed and they brought Belladonna back and that’s that. Taylor did get to perform with Anthrax live at least once, though:
Corey’s new album, CMFT, comes out October 2 on Roadrunner, and can be pre-ordered here.