‘He’s overrated and overpaid’: Why Corey Taylor Beefed With Rick Rubin

jasontheexploder, CC BY 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons. 5hane from Royal Oak, US, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Slipknot’s “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)” is the band’s third studio album, released on May 25, 2004 by Roadrunner Records. Produced by the legendary Rick Rubin, the album marked a significant evolution in Slipknot’s musical style, incorporating more traditional and melodic song structures, as well as guitar solos and acoustic instruments, setting it apart sonically from their previous works.

The album was recorded at The Mansion in Los Angeles in 2003, where the band initially faced challenges due to Corey Taylor‘s struggles with heavy drinking.

However, despite the initial hurdles, Slipknot managed to write an abundance of material that ended up being a hugely successful album. “Vol. 3” received widespread acclaim, with positive reviews praising the band’s dedication to creating a specific sound and earning them a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the track “Before I Forget.” The album’s success led to multiple singles, including “Duality,” “Vermilion,” and “Before I Forget,” further solidifying Slipknot’s status as a powerhouse in the world of heavy music.

What did Corey Taylor say about Rick Rubin?

Despite the album’s success, the creative process was not all copacetic for Corey Taylor. Years after the album’s release, he would go on to rather publicly lash out against Rick Rubin, saying:

“He [Rubin] showed up every once in a while. He crashed on the couch and stroked his beard and he was out of there. People have issues with the way he works but it’s the end result that really matters…

Rick [Rubin] showed up for 45 minutes a week. He would sit on the couch and have a microphone brought right next to his face so he wouldn’t have to move… The Rick Rubin of today is a thin shadow of the Rick Rubin that he was. He’s overrated and overpaid.”

It didn’t help that Rick was working on other albums at the same time as the Slipknot project, which seemed to be at the root of  Taylor’s issues, saying in 2019 that:

“He [Rubin] 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.”

Thankfully, in the years since the dustup, Taylor has publically apologized and has given some insight into why he lashed out at Rubin so badly in an Apple Music interview last year:

“I’m going to be honest. I think it was more on my end than it was on his [Rubin’s]. He works his way and he always has. I was not used to working that way. I was a young guy, freshly sober. Being a singer and being sober, ‘I need your attention, Rick! I need it!’ So that was me being young, unsure of myself, needing the guidance – which I got from Greg Fidelman.

All of Rick’s engineers are essentially his surrogates. You know that when you’re working with him. Reflecting back that he was “an open wound that just needed to heal, Corey says “I didn’t have anybody there to help me. So I blamed him [Rubin] a lot – in retrospect, probably more than I should have. I feel bad about it. Hopefully someday I’ll be able to make some amends with him.”

Hopefully, it’s all water under the bridge now. But if we were to guess, we’d have to imagine that Rick Rubin isn’t sweating it much either way.