Corey Taylor and Oli Sykes bond over pushing creative boundaries, the culture of heavy music and Knotfest LA
Ahead of Slipknot’s highly-anticipated return to the Southland with the Los Angeles edition of Knotfest 2021, the iconic Corey Taylor linked up with his festival counterpart in Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon for a digital discussion via Instagram live.
Moderated by Knotfest.com's own Ryan J. Downey, each of the frontmen checked in, submitted their current status - with Taylor in the thick of Knotfest Roadshow and Oli having just wrapped the first leg of the Post Human tour - and looked ahead to their epic date on November 5th in L.A.
Among the takeaways from the exchange include a trip back to 2004, when Bring Me the Horizon covered the timeless Slipknot anthem, “Eyeless”. Sykes fondly recalled the recording for a Kerrang! Covers compilation and the “shitshow” he said it was to try and recreate the sound, but further emphasized the significance in selecting such a pivotal track.
Offering the highest praise of his heavy music predecessors, Sykes confided that if not for bands like Slipknot, Bring Me the Horizon wouldn’t exist. He recalled how profound it was that an album as heavy as Iowa was a mainstay on radio in the UK. Sykes also underscored how bands like Slipknot really introduced extreme music to such a broad audience - it was something that he aspired to with Bring Me the Horizon and their rendition of the classic Slipknot track was their tip of the hat.
As for Taylor’s reaction, he recalled discovering Bring Me the Horizon while flipping through the pages of Kerrang! Right as the band was on its initial ascent. Ironically, it was about that time that Bring Me blew the doors open with their Slipknot cover - which ultimately piqued Taylor’s interest.
Reciprocating that high praise, Taylor shared how the band managed to capture the spirit and volatility of the track - the intention was to translate as unhinged and for Taylor, Bring Me clearly understood that. In fact, Taylor would go onto call the cover one of his favorite adaptations of a Slipknot song.
Taylor would punctate his initial thoughts on Bring Me The Horizon by recalling how he watched the band meet fellow Sheffieldians in Def Leppard. Witnessing that moment, Taylor felt the generational impact of heavy music and associated Bring Me the Horizon as the next in line as trailblazers for the culture.
Downey would dig up an old quote from an interview Sykes did with Rocksound many years ago where he spoke about how Slipknot’s debut album served as his gateway drug in the space of extreme music. Taylor responded candidly by confiding that the band didn’t have any expectations of grandeur, but ultimately found that they tapped into something special and galvanized a sense of community with their brand of outsider art.
Sykes made no bare bones about what Slipknot did for the culture in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, calling their show of artistic force genius and confided that there are many times he wants to try something unconventional with Bring Me, but has to concede because Slipknot has already done it.
Citing the band’s mystique and menacing presence with the masks and jumpsuits, for Sykes, those earliest years of Slipknot’s continued domination added to the lore of heavy music and sparked something in Sales creatively. He admits to becoming obsessed and combine the internet for RAR files to download anything he could to binge on band. For Sykes, the aesthetic was just as important as the band’s talent - with the frontman joking, “you could’ve absolutely sucked and you still would have been massive.”
The crux of the conversation would arrive when Taylor pointed out an obvious parallel between Slipknot and Bring Me The Horizon - in that both entities have managed to broaden their creative arsenal without compromising their core. In much the same way Slipknot evolved, Sykes explained that Bring Me followed a similar patten in that the band went from only wanting to fire up the pit - to realizing the potency in their craft.
What resulted was a mindset that with every album came another opportunity to up the ante. Sykes would explain that from their debut on the M.O. was to never make the same record twice - a sentiment that Taylor wholeheartedly cosigned. While there might be some trepidation about straying too far creatively, what’s worse for both Sykes and Taylor is repeating themselves and running the risk of sounding stale.
Watch the complete discussion with Corey Taylor of Slipknot and Oli Sykes of Bring Me the Horizon below. Watch both bands share the stage at Knotfest Los Angeles at Banc of California Stadium on November 5th.