Never a man of few words, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has responded to the controversy surrounding former Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo’s recent “white power” comment with a powerful message on how to rid metal of racism.
Responding to questions sent in by fans (Via The Guardian), Taylor says he’s remained quiet about the Anselmo incident because he didn’t witness it first-hand. “So I don’t know the background on what happened, I haven’t seen the video of it – though I’ve been told by many people that it’s blatant, and there’s no way to misrepresent what was done,” he says.
Thinking more broadly, Taylor says, “This is a bigger problem than what happened that night. Slipknot has dedicated itself to bringing people together, to fighting racism, to fighting hate in general since the day we were started.
“I don’t have time for people who judge other people by the colour of their skin. If that in itself offends some of my fans, then I’m sorry, you’re wrong. I don’t ever want our fans to feel like we’re judging them because of colour, religion, culture, upbringing, etc. We welcome everyone, we always have and we always will.”
As for metal communities around the world, Taylor acknowledges that “there is a problem in metal”, and says that his experiences as an American suggest that racism is “a generational thing”.
“It’s across the board in music, though – it’s not a specifically metal thing. But it has come up in the metal community. It’s risen its ugly head because of the incident we’re talking about,” Taylor says.
“But I’ve not only played a lot of metal shows, I’ve been to a lot of metal shows, and I know for a fact they are quite diverse and they always have been. We welcome the tribe of misfits – we’re the island of misfit toys, and we always have been. It will take very little to eradicate racism from metal because the majority of it isn’t racist.”
When asked about what he likes and dislikes about today’s metal scene, Taylor praises its “sense of community”, saying, “Unlike other genres there’s a support system and common sense of appreciation for what we are all striving to achieve. It feels like when one of us crosses over and wins we all win.
“We are, collectively, kind of treated like bastard stepchildren by the rest of the music world, so any time we get to fly the flag in their faces, to me that means that more people are hearing what I consider real music.”
Elsewhere in his responses to fan questions, Taylor says performing in his Slipknot mask isn’t actually as unpleasant as it might seem. He also finally reveals his favourite flavour of potato chip, which is, of course, Oxblood.
After copping a wave of backlash from metal musicians for making a Nazi-style salute and screaming the words “white power” at a show earlier this year, Phil Anselmo apologised for his actions in late January. Since then, Anselmo’s band Down have been kicked from a festival lineup because of the incident.
Aside from Taylor’s anti-racism comments, Machine Head guitarist Rob Flynn has also called out racists in the metal community with a passionate 11-minute video, which you can catch below.
Watch: Machine Head’s Rob Flynn – Racism In Metal