Stone Sour are generally thought of as the other
band fronted by lead singer Corey Taylor. But while Slipknot
are Taylor's more popular and commercially successful unit, he was actually a part of Stone Sour first. This Iowa hard rock band mix hard rock and melody, offering fans a more accessible version of Slipknot's primal aggression. And in recent years, Stone Sour have begun to emerge from Slipknot's shadow, fully demonstrating their skill and worth as a band that deserves to be judged on its own merits.
Stone Sour started up in the early 1990s, with drummer Joel Ekman and singer/guitarist Corey Taylor the principle members. Eventually, they were joined by bassist Shawn Economaki and guitarist Jim Root. The group recorded a few demos, but their momentum was halted when Taylor joined up with a new outfit called Slipknot, who like Stone Sour hailed from Iowa. This band became famous for its members wearing masks in interviews and on stage, and they became an instant sensation with their self-titled 1999 album. Stone Sour would have to wait.
Releasing Their Debut:
After Slipknot finished their second album, Iowa, Taylor and his bandmate Root refocused on Stone Sour. The group, now with guitarist Josh Rand, worked on new material, spurred on by the success of Taylor's song "Bother" that showed up on the Spider-Man soundtrack. At first, Taylor toyed with the idea of calling the band Superego, but instead they stuck with their old Stone Sour moniker. The band's first disc, Stone Sour, came out in 2002. Containing the ballad "Bother" and the harder-edged "Inhale," the album was a modest hit and provided a platform for Taylor's vocal range beyond the strictures of Slipknot. Not surprisingly, though, Stone Sour was often described in press reports as Taylor's side project, even though they had been his original band.
Being Open to 'What(ever)':
The next Stone Sour album wouldn't arrive for four years. Come What(ever) May
was billed as a full band effort after Stone Sour
was largely written by Taylor and Root. (There was also a lineup change: Roy Mayorga replaced Ekman on drums.) The new album, though definitely heavy, found the group stepping further away from the metal sound of Slipknot, and radio-friendly acoustic ballads like "Through Glass" and "Sillyworld" suggested that Taylor wasn't afraid of exploring his pop side. No longer hiding behind a mask, literally and perhaps metaphorically, Taylor proved to be an emotive, sensitive vocalist.
Unveiling Their 'Secrecy':
The release of Stone Sour's third album, 2010's Audio Secrecy
, was overshadowed by sad news: Slipknot bassist Paul Gray died
only a few months before the record came out. Audio Secrecy
was tinged with sadness, but that stemmed from Taylor's lyrics that addressed the end of his marriage while at the same time looked ahead to a possibly bright future with a new bride. That mixture of darkness and light helped make the record the band's most dynamic to that point.
Going for an Epic Double Album:
In 2012, Stone Sour announced that their follow-up to Audio Secrecy
would be a concept album split into two parts. The first, House of Gold & Bones - Part 1
, arrived October 2012 and represented the quickest turnaround between Stone Sour albums in their history. Tight, melodic, ambitious and thrilling, Part 1
was a stunner and produced the hit single "Absolute Zero." Part 2
arrived April 2013.
Roy Mayorga – drums
Josh Rand − guitar
Jim Root − guitar
Corey Taylor – vocals, guitar