*Editor’s note: this story was originally published on Dec 9, 2021.*
As a whole, the metal community seems to agree that Corey Taylor‘s mask design for Slipknot‘s 2019 album We Are Not Your Kind was, shall we say, misguided. Co-created by FX legend Tom Savini, the mask seemed reminiscent of the one worn by the protagonist of the 1974 schlock film Phantom of the Paradise, and certainly pales in comparison to his new mask right out of Clive Barker’s Nightbreed. Now, in a new interview, Taylor has discusses his new mask — and, after defending the old one countless times, finally admits that it missed the mark.
If you remember, back in 2019 (feels like a fucking century ago, right?), Taylor stood up hard for his mask, telling Kerrang! at the time, “My vision was about trying to create something uncomfortable – not only for me to wear, but for people to look at. I wanted it to feel like it was something that was created in someone’s basement – something that was made specifically to fuck with people.”
However, during an appearance at this year’s Texas Frightmare Weekend, Corey discussed his new mask in depth, saying (as transcribed by Blabbermouth), “I spent three months designing that specifically. ‘Cause the last one was — it was cool but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. So this time around, I started early.
“I actually started designing this before the end of the We Are Not Your Kind cycle,” he added, “just to make sure that I was ahead of the game and making sure I could dial in all the details and whatnot. And I actually did it with a young man named Conor Deless, who’s super cool. And he flew out. I walked him through everything that I wanted to have on it. And he was able to mock something up really quick, man. And he really got to the essence of what I was trying to configure. It was almost immediate. And then, really, it was just a matter of waiting for him to build the damn thing…We did the mold. We built it right to my face, so it fits like a glove. And it’s hot as balls, but it’s so rad on stage; it just looks really, really cool. I’m calling it the smiling skull mask.”
Kudos to Corey for finally acknowledging something we all kind of knew. We’re glad you said it so we don’t have to hush our voices, and in the meantime, your new mask fucking rules, so kudos.
Check out the full interview below:
Words by Chris Krovatin