Some artist talk about touring as a pain in the neck.
For Slipknot's Corey Taylor this year, it really is.
After undergoing surgery to replace a disc in his neck during early June, which delayed Slipknot's summer tour with Marilyn Manson by three weeks, Taylor is back in his mask and back in action. But he's proceeding with caution despite the heavy metal rigors of the group's music.
"I got a little bit of my mobility back, but the pain's still there," Taylor, 42, says by phone from Oshkosh, Wisc. "It's just a slow process. The doctor said it would take at least four to six months before I'm even 90 percent. It's basically the waiting game and hoping and praying I haven't re-aggravated anything.
"It is what it is. I mean, you just kind of have to deal with it the way anybody who`s had an operation deals with it, y'know?"
And, Taylor adds, he's frequently reminded of his limitations as the tour goes on.
"I've had to kinda reassess what I do live, man," he acknowledges. "Up to this point I didn't really realize how, I guess, how physical I am when I sing; I punctuate physically when I sing, and I've never really realized that before. So even the first few shows I was kinda finding I kinda had to hold myself back a little more than just the headbanging and jumping and stuff.
"I really had to kind of re-revaluate everything 'cause I would do something and it would be like, 'Oh, that hurts. OK, we can't do that for awhile.' It's kind of crazy. But at the same time the positive is that for me I love the challenge of it."
The silver lining is that the situation, Taylor feels, has made him a better singer.
"I've been damn near on, pitchwise," he says. "My stamina's a lot better. It's like I'm really kind of filling in all these weird blanks in (the music) I never even realized were there. It's being able to tune in even more to the music, really kind of being IN it, more than I ever was before."
Taylor will be in it with Slipknot through mid-October -- including the group's annual Knotfest on September 25, this year paired with Ozzy Osbourne's OZZFest. After that Slipknot -- whose latest album, 2014's ".5: The Gray Chapter," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 -- will be on hold for a bit, and Taylor is planning to spend a couple of years working with his other band, Stone Sour, which will start recording its sixth studio album later this year.
He's also starting to make plans for his next book, another essay collection tentatively titled "America 51." And after watching this year's presidential campaigns as well as recent incidents of police violence, Taylor is anticipating no shortage of topics to take on.
"I'm still really in the baby stages of it, just getting stuff together," he says." And I've been so busy with Slipknot and then the surgery really kind of threw me for a loop. Hopefully I'll be able to get it out by next year and that'll give me something to write about all through the election. It'll almost be a post-election kind of vibe."
Slipknot, Marilyn Manson and Of Mice & Men
6:30 p.m. Friday, July 29.
DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township.
Tickets are $39.50-$60 pavilion, $28.50 lawn with a $75 lawn four-pack.
Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
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