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Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor acknowledges that writers and even fans tend to regionalize music, and that as it pertains to his own output, he's often relegated to the heavy metal/hard rock files. But when it comes to labeling his personal listening habits, he refuses to draw lines or pick sides.
“I have very diverse tastes in music," he says, "and I don’t like make distinctions between what I can’t and can’t listen to. In fact, I could never understand why anybody would do that in the first place." Expounding on the point, he quickly adds, “My attitude is, ‘I can’t make music if I don’t like music.’ You can tell the people who really don’t like music when you see what they listen to. It can be pretty fucked up."
On the luminous, ambitious new Stone Sour album House Of Gold & Bones Part 2 (the follow-up to last year's Part 1), Taylor and company continue to spread the waters of metal and mainstream rock. Taylor notes that the record's broad reach is influenced by his all-inclusive iPod playlist. “All of the music that I listen to affects me and comes out in my music in some way," he says. "I never want to copy or emulate, but I think that having a natural ear for hooks allows me to go wherever I want."
Over the course of his career, Taylor has encountered metal fans who take a dim view of other musical styles, and he has pointed words those who insist that only one genre is valid. "I always tell the fans, ‘Screw it! Like what you like. Listen to what you want,'" he says. "Insisting that one type of music is better than the next is snobbery, and I have no time for that. Check out all the music that’s out there. There’s great stuff you’re probably missing.”
On the following pages, Taylor runs down his top five not-so-guilty pleasures (arranged alphabetically by artist). You might not hear these albums as the warm-up jams before a Slipknot show, but here's a dirty little secret: the band's frontman is checking them out backstage.