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Corey Taylor discusses the musical legacy of Nirvana’s 'Nevermind'

As a young man, way before he became the frontman of shock-metal icons, Slipknot, Corey Taylor was just another member of Generation X happily listening to music and idling his days away in Des Moines, Iowa. Like anyone in his generation who was into music, back in 1991, his life was profoundly affected by the release of Nirvana’s sophomore record, Nevermind.

It changed his and any other aspiring musicians lives forevermore, galvanising them in the way that it affected their outlook both socially and musically. When you take a step back and heed the lineage of music, you can clearly heed the ways in which Nirvana impacted both of Taylor’s bands, Slipknot and Stone Sour. The vocal delivery, dynamics and instrumentation are just three areas of music that the album wrote the handbook for. 

Talking to Heavy Consequence on September 22, Taylor looked back on Nevermind and also revealed that he had heard of Nirvana before the album dropped. He recalled: “I had heard some dubbed copies of some of the Sub Pop 7-inches that they had released, so I was aware of Nirvana before they set off their nuclear bomb.” 

He continued: “(Nevermind) wasn’t as sludgy as Bleach was, but the songs were so refined at that point. And the production — Butch (Vig) did an incredible job on that album. It changed the way people thought about songwriting.”

He explained that “the first time I got (the album), I must have worn it out for six months. I literally sat down and learned how to play every song on the guitar. I learned how to sing every song on that damn album.”

Taylor also discussed how he prefers the album tracks to the singles, especially classics such as ‘Drain You’ and ‘Lounge Act’. Given the darkness the permeates Slipknot records, it also comes as no surprise that he is particularly fond of ‘Something in the Way’. Of the dark album closer, Taylor said: “It’s one of those dark tunes you can put on and you’re just like, ‘Wow, where was (Kurt Cobain) when he was writing this?'”.

The Slipknot frontman concluded in describing Nevermind as “one of the best hard-punk-fusion-pop albums of all time”, which is a succinct take. Released on September 24th 1991, there has never been an album since Nevermind that has changed both the musical and cultural landscapes so vastly.

Listen to Nevermind in full below.

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