by Lisa Schreiner
Corey Taylor has proven time and time again that he’s more than just a heavy metal/hard rock front man. While some may believe that entertainers like musicians and actors should stay out of the political realm, the fact remains that they are citizens of the United States; therefore, they have just as much voice as us “regular folk”. The Slipknot and Stone Sour front man released his latest book “America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside The Greatest Country in the World” on August 8, 2017, giving his uncensored, no-holds-barred view of the political situation this country has been in, not just since the 2016 election circus, but since long before that. Though his disdain for Trump is quite prevalent throughout the entire book, Taylor doesn’t stick to one side of the fence or the other; liberals, conservatives, republicans, democrats and hipsters are all up for grabs in the tirade-filled chapters. That’s not to say that the tirades aren’t justified. At this point, we’re all tired of the antics we see and hear on a daily basis.
Corey dropped by Book Revue in Huntington, New York on August 10th to talk about “America 51” and sign copies for the packed out crowd. When asked about how “America 51” came to be, Taylor states “This book started out very different. I’ve had the privilege to travel all over America and see the amazing people and amazing regions that make up this country; that makes it multi-cultural, diverse, quirky and weird. So I was going to do a road map of all the places that you don’t see in the Budweiser commercial, that America has. That’s why it was called America 51, kind of a play on Area 51; kind of behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t get to hear about. Then that changed drastically when things started to get a little…weird…in our country. The more it started to boil over, I felt like I needed to take a second and address it. People are screaming over each other’s heads and we’re not talking to each other. This book is encouraging people to talk to each other.”
Book Revue: Did it begin as a reaction to Trump or were you writing it before the campaign?
Corey Taylor: I was working on it before the campaign. As the campaign started to move in that direction, I kind of had to start over. But in a way, I’m glad that I did because it changed what the book was. Before, it was just me with my finger in the air, sounding like a complete ass, which you know I have a habit of doing. It became more about “you know what, this isn’t just about me, this is about all of us.” Why are we here? Why are we in this position? When did we get to the point where Donald Trump was the best option for president?! And that’s where it came from, kind of backtracking and trying to see the path that lead us here, and where do we go from here?
BR: So in your book you write “hypocrisy is more American than freedom”. What are some of the other hypocrisies that you touch upon in your book?
CT: I mean there’s a lot. There’s a lot of hypocrisy on both sides of the political coin. I hate to say it, but a lot of the people that I tend to have the same views with tend to be the more hypocritical. The liberals are certainly showing their hypocritical strengths these days. But in a way I never thought I would see…when it came to the death of that sort of empathy. So, I think it runs through everybody. I think it everyone is trying so hard to make themselves be right, they show the natural hypocrisy by not even listening to the other side of the conversation. And that’s where it’s not a conversation anymore, it’s an argument. So, that hypocrisy comes out whether it’s trying to preach equality while also trying to shut down another person’s views because you just don’t happen to agree with them. I could go on and on. It’s all in the book. It’s very much one of the things that bums me out about this country. But, we can also fix it. If we know what it is, we can try to turn it around and try to make it a positive instead of a negative.
If you base your opinion of Corey Taylor on just what you’ve seen/heard with Slipknot and his sardonic writing style, you might assume that he’s just another self-indulged rock star with an ego; and you’d be very wrong. As Taylor greeted every fan waiting to have a copy of “America 51” signed, from a New York State police trooper to parents just as excited as their kids to a newborn were greeted with handshakes and smiles by the assumed “people-hater”. For some, this wasn’t their first time meeting Corey. A young fan by the name of Emily returned with her violin that, last time Corey was at Book Revue in 2015 promoting “You’re Making Me Hate You”, he had offered her $20 to play him a song (which she did and he paid). “I was wondering if I was going to see you again!” Taylor said as he happily signed her violin again. The truth is, Corey Taylor is one of the nicest “rock stars” you will ever encounter.
“America 51” will appeal to the masses no matter your political stance, race, class, gender or social views. Corey Taylor expresses the frustration we all share with what is going on in our country. He may not do it with the eloquence of a Harvard linguistics professor, but that’s okay. He’s speaking for all of us by speaking just like all of us. Read “America 51” and let’s start talking to each other, not at each other.
“America 51: A Probe Into The Realities That Are Hiding Inside The Greatest Country in the World” is available at your local book store and online. Visit Corey’s official site for more details.