SLIPKNOT's Corey Taylor Explains Distaste For Working with Rick Rubin, Praises Greg Fidelman
Corey Taylor has confirmed he's spending the next few months in a recording studio in LA to work on the next Slipknot album. He was a guest on a recent edition of the "Let There Be Talk" podcast, and offered some interesting insight in working with producers on past albums.
Taylor had made it clear in the past that he did not enjoy his time with Rick Rubin during the sessions for Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, and instead called the engineer on the album, Greg Fidelman, the "unsung hero" of the album.
"To me, [Greg] was the other producer. [Rick was a] nice guy — absolutely nice guy. However, Fidelman was there soup to nuts with us, man. He was there from sometimes six in the morning till four in the morning — I mean, every day, when we needed him. And was like that on '.5', the last album, too. And he produced the [new Slipknot] song 'All Out Life' that we just put out. So we have a great rapport with him. He gets us, he challenges us, but he also knows when to get out of the way and just let us be us. So we have a great relationship with him."
Corey went on to explain that he avoids entering the studio with "yes" men and thinks Greg knows just how to push his (Corey's) buttons:
"The best thing you can have is somebody who's not afraid to tell you that that idea is shit," Corey said. "And I feel like too many bands do that — they don't have anybody pushing them; they have nobody challenging them. Because they get to a point where they think, 'Well, I don't need anybody to fucking tell me… I'm talented enough. Look at all these people who love me. I obviously know what I'm doing.' But that's not the case. You forget that the albums that people loved you on, there were other people helping you do that. It's a collaborative effort. I am not gonna sit here and try to take credit for anything. I do what I do, but I also have people who help me. And that's the best way to do it — you have to have that open mind, you have to have that open heart and that open creativity to understand that listening to an idea takes 10 seconds. If you just dismiss it out of hand, then you may be missing that one moment, that hero moment, that can fucking make everything come together. And that's what I love about the collaborative effort when it comes to working with a producer. And Greg knows exactly how to throw those little bombs out there to push us. He infuriates us sometimes, but at the same time, I'd say nine times out of 10, he's right. And that's what's so killer. And he doesn't do it all the time — he's not trying to get input on every tune. He's, like, 'This could be better. This… You need to work on that. But this is all fucking killer.' So he knows what we're trying to go for, he knows what we aspire to be, and he helps us get there."
Taylor elaborated again on why he didn't enjoy working with Rubin:
"I have learned from the Ross Robinson school of production," Corey said, namechecking the producer of Slipknot's first two albums, the self-titled effort and "Iowa". "I loved it. Absolutely. It's, like, there's a reason I'm working with him — it's because I can't do it on my own. I wanna learn, I want a challenge — I want that. When it came time to work with Rick, he just wasn't fucking there. He had six different projects going on, it felt like. It's, like, 'Oh, I'm working with U2 now.' And I'm, like, 'We're still in the fucking studio, dude.' Honestly, it wasn't until we finished the vocals at his house that I saw him more than once a week."
He continued: "I won't get into the nuts and bolts of my issues, but we got a great album out of it — one that is hard for me to listen to. Because that was the album where I really started to get sober. So there's a lot of that I can't listen to. However, Greg, to me, was the best takeaway from that experience — working with Greg, and then getting to know Greg. And then Greg has gone on to do fucking everything, man. He's produced METALLICA… He does so much with so many people. The proof's in the pudding. Greg knows how to think for himself. He's learned some stuff from Rick, but at the same time, there are a lot of people who have worked with Rick who haven't gone on to have the kind of career that Fidelman had… So [Fidelman is a guy] that [has] my total respect because [he] learned how to do it, but [he] didn't go down that wormhole."
Listen to the entire interview below: