The guitarist said it's not a side project but a need to step away.
By JOHN BENSON
Korn may be headlining the Family Values Tour this summer, but all metal attention remains focused on Slipknot offshoot act Stone Sour, which features singer Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root.
The powerful bill has a Wednesday date at the Tower City Amphitheater in Cleveland and a Saturday date at the Post Gazette Pavilion in Burgettstown, Pa.
"This band is nothing like Slipknot," said Stone Sour guitarist James Root, calling from a Family Values Tour stop in Kansas City. "We don't go out with a huge budget for pyro and that stuff. It's basically just us and our vision. So in some ways, it's very much like starting over again."
Considering the outfit performs a 40-minute set while it's still daylight out, life is different for the two Slipknot members, who are reveling in the time away from their other gig.
"We've never really considered this a side project," Root said. "We've just considered it something we need to do to step away from Slipknot for a while. That band is such a chaotic monster that if we didn't take a break from it, it would more than likely self-destruct. So this gives us something to do in the meantime so we don't go insane."
How it began
The rescue from insanity that resulted in Stone Sour's latest effort "Come What[ever] May" began during Slipknot's 18-month tour in support of its last effort "Vol. 3, The Subliminal Verses." Root said he and Taylor were recording demos the entire time on the road, which marked a major change from the way Stone Sour approached its 2002 Grammy Award-nominated self-titled debut.
"I have a hard time listening to the first record," Root said. "There is so much stuff that I don't hear that I want to hear. It was just something that happened so quickly we just threw it together. This time, we were able to sit down and figure out what songs we wanted on the record."
The guitarist points to lead single "Through Glass," which was penned by Taylor but expanded on by the entire band, and other new tracks "Socio," "Silly World" and "30/30-150" as defining the group's collective effort. Another change that had a profound effort on Stone Sour is Root and Taylor's new sobriety, which the guitarist said has resulted in a stronger focus on the songwriting.
Still, something Root said has taken some time getting used to is the fact Stone Sour remains in Slipknot's shadow. More so, the former band is decidedly post-grunge sounding than the latter, which often corners the market in nihilistic din. It's this dichotomy of being associated with both bands and knowing they will be forever compared that forces Root to lash out at his minions.
"I just realized that I'm in this really big metal band that's very angst-ful and has a lot of rage in it and doesn't really focus on beauty and love and things like that," Root said. "And then all of a sudden here I am in this other band painting with this other palette. How are some of my hard-core fans going to react to this?"
He added, "If they can't understand that we need this, that there needs to be both sides of it, then I think they're more ignorant than I thought."