When Corey Taylor Came Pretty Damn Close to Joining Anthrax

José Goulão from Lisbon, Portugal, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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There’s a good chance that we wouldn’t be talking about Slipknot these days if it weren’t for bands like Anthrax.

As part of the Big 4, these guys were the ones who brought an intensity back into metal music that carried on from acts like Motörhead and Black Sabbath, taking the heavy as hell riffs and giving you the antithesis of what was going on around the likes of Sunset at the time.

Corey Taylor still has reverence for every single one of those thrash bands, but he was also one time in conversations to live out his childhood dream of becoming an actual member of Anthrax as well in the early to mid 2000’s. 

Coming off of the heels of their album We’ve Come For You All, the band found themselves without a singer after John Bush was unavailable to rejoin the band again when Corey’s name was brought up.

As Corey told SiriusXM at the time: “That actually started as an idea because of an acoustic gig that I did with Scott [Ian] and Frankie Bello at a place in New York… afterward, we were all kind of just hanging out, and the half-joking line got thrown out, ‘Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if you joined Anthrax?’

And we all laughed, and then we all stopped. And we all just went, ‘Hmmm. That could [be] interesting.It was between Joey {Belladonna} and John {Bush}, so everything was kind of up in the air… we talked about it more and more, and it was something that I was really, really into. ”

It’s not like Corey didn’t have the right pedigree at the time, even going on his first few tours with Slipknot opening up for Anthrax and even joining the band on stage from time to time to perform a version of “Bring the Noise.” Everything seemed to be going fairly well…until the record company ended up getting involved. 

This was also around the time that Slipknot were trying to follow up Vol. III, and Corey talked about how Slipknot had to become the priority, saying:

I got a phone call from Roadrunner [Records’ telling me that they weren’t gonna let me do it. They wanted me to go back and do All Hope Is Gone, because we were still contracted to do another Slipknot album, and they weren’t going to allow me the wiggle room.

I don’t even know if those people are still at Roadrunner, to be honest. But I know that they cracked the whip on it and were really hardcore. It was the first time I had ever felt like I was kind of backed into a corner.

Not that I didn’t wanna do a Slipknot album, but I was so into the idea of doing an Anthrax album. And I remember having to call and tell the [Anthrax] guys that I wasn’t gonna be able to make it. It broke my heart so hard.”

Then again, things may have worked out for the best, with Anthrax getting Joey Belladonna back in the band later down the line and making a real return to form with Worship Music, but who knows?

Since Corey is out doing his own solo thing alongside Slipknot these days, maybe it’s not out of the question to jump up on stage again with Scott Ian and the gang when the time calls for it.