There are few rockers that let you inside their head quite like Corey Taylor. From Slipknot and Stone Sour to all of his books, fans the world over are enamored with his majestic madness and rightfully so.
After the release of Slipknot’s fifth studio album .5: The Gray Chapter, the first album the band put out after the death of bassist Paul Gray, it was difficult to think of a way Taylor could shine a light on his past pain anymore, but he bravely did so on a recent episode of Viceland’s The Therapist.
During the sit-down with Dr. Siri Sat Nam Singh, Taylor revealed that when he was 10, he was raped by a 16-year-old boy who lived in his neighborhood. Taylor says he didn’t talk about the rape until he was 18 and that his rapist threatened to harm him and his mother if spoke about it. After this admission followed Taylor discussing the known topics of his home life and attempted suicide, Singh told Taylor that out of all the painful experiences growing up that the rape was “the real wound” he’s been trying to heal this whole time.
Taylor went into detail in an interview with Revolver magazine recently about why he spoke out about his rape:
“There’s an unwritten responsibility that comes with this gig, that people, they look to you for inspiration and guidance whether you like it or not. And I know a lot of people that don’t like that responsibility. I take it very, very seriously. So in a lot of ways, I try to lead by example. And yeah, it’s uncomfortable to open up like that, but at the same time, if you can’t talk about an issue, how are you going to fix it?
…A lot of people don’t want to talk about it or look down at it or tend to make fun of other people for having it or engaging in it. I’m trying to break that down by showing people that, yes, I go to therapy as well and I’m still trying to work out my demons and the things I went through in my life. Will I ever get it all figured out? Probably not. But that’s why it’s a process. So if me bearing my shit and laying it all out helps people start to work on theirs as well, then where’s the negative part of that? I can take criticism, I can take all that shit. But if I’m leading by example, why not? And if me doing that helps people get help and help themselves in their life and make better decisions and do better things for other people, that spreads like wildfire. I would be a fucking asshole not to try to do that.”
Taylor’s right about his “unwritten responsibility” and how important it is, but it’s specifically important to rock fans.
Why? Because it’s one of their artists coming forward.
When it comes to overall music coverage, rock artists tend to get looked over. Considering the rock genre tends to skew more male as well, the fact that a prominent male figure in the rock world came forward with such a personal story makes it all the more important.
Taylor’s story likely won’t make TMZ or snag him the cover of People, but it’ll reach an audience that is often underserved, especially when 1 in 33 American men will have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
Super-viral headlines can help bring change, but in some cases, they’re not always needed to make a difference.
Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger. The first man she ever loved was Jack Daniel. (True story.)