Corey Taylor unmasked and unplugged: The Slipknot frontman goes acoustic on Gibson’s ‘king of flat-tops’ in this Guitar World exclusive

Corey Taylor dropped by Guitar World Studios in New York with an acoustic guitar in hand to perform three songs from his solo catalog – and you can watch the first, Silverfish, right here, right now.

The Slipknot frontman is on the promo trail in support of his new solo album, CMF2, which landed in record stores and streaming September 15 via BMG, and this is a rare opportunity to catch him in such an intimate setting. There are no masks. There is no backing band. There is no pyro. It’s just Taylor’s voice and his Gibson SJ-200 – aka ‘king of flat-tops’.

Silverfish is taken from Taylor’s 2020 debut album, CMFT, an album that took a whistle-stop tour through his inspirations, with hard rock, rap rock, country and pop all coloring a sound that was ostensibly rock.

Speaking to Australian Guitar in 2020, Taylor said his solo debut album was an opportunity to cut loose and pay tribute to some of the influences you might not hear in the hurly burly mosh fever of tracks like People = Shit and Duality.

“To me, it was more about sharing my influences, and realising that I’m influenced by so many different genres, bands, movements and whatnot, that there was no way this album wasn’t going to feel very diverse,” he said.

I didn’t want it to feel like either of my other bands. There would have been no point if I was going to do that

Corey Taylor

“But it still just feels like an awesome rock album. I do take people through a lot of different genres on this album, but you don’t really feel it until you listen to it in retrospect and you go, ‘Huh, that was pretty all over the place!’ But when you’re in it, it feels very connected.”

Silverfish had a big box-office sound on record thanks to producer Jay Ruston and a cast of supporting musicians that included Dustin Robert on the drums, and Jason Christopher on bass guitar – Zach Throne and Jason Christian joined Taylor on guitar on the album. But it was led by the acoustic and Taylor’s voice, and as such makes perfect sense as an acoustic solo track.

And if Silverfish it didn’t sound like a song that could have appeared on a Slipknot or Stone Sour album, then that was very much the intention. 

“I didn’t want it to feel like either of my other bands,” he said. “There would have been no point if I was going to do that, y’know? If I was going to do a solo album, I wanted it to represent a whole different part of my musical prowess, and songwriting talent.”

CMF2 is out now via BMG. We’ll have more from Corey Taylor’s Guitar World Studios session soon.

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Jonathan Horsley

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to publications including Guitar World, MusicRadar and Total Guitar. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.