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“Sense of paranoia” following COVID-19 pandemic will mean slow return of live music, says Slipknot’s Corey Taylor

By | Published on Wednesday 22 April 2020


Slipknot’s Corey Taylor has said that he thinks it will take at least a year to get the live music industry fully back up and running again. In part because “people are going to be fucking scared” to go to shows, particularly in large venues.

Of course, the live industry was one of the first to shut down as a result of the spread of COVID-19. The only new shows currently being announced are free performances for frontline workers to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic. Artists such as JLS and Fat Boy Slim have announced such shows, with many scheduled to take place in arenas in October and November this year.

However, many people believe those dates to be somewhat optimistic, and if Taylor’s admittedly pessimist prognosis on the industry is correct, it could be late 2021, or even some way into 2022, before those shows actually go ahead.

“It’s going to be a soft opening”, he says of the live industry’s eventual return, in an interview with YouTube channel Rock Feed. “There’s going to be a handful of acts that are going to go out there. They’re going to be a litmus test to see what the world is ready for”.

Initial performances, he adds, will likely take place in small venues and outdoor venues, where people feel less confined. “There’s going to be a sense of paranoia for a while”, he says. “Even after there’s a fucking medicine developed, or a vaccine. So it’s going to take time”.

He adds that there are “going to be some acts that are going to have to fall on the sword” in order to get things up and running again. “If we do it right and we build that enthusiasm, probably within a year, maybe a year and a half, we’ll see the same enthusiasm for live shows that we did before … The live concert experience will be something that people come back to”.

“They’ll be tired of watching it on YouTube”, he adds, “tired of watching it on their phones, they’ll want to be in the experience. So I think we’re going to see a real renaissance and explosion of live entertainment”.

However, he reckons, there should be no rush to get live music up and running again. “I think the priorities should absolutely be worrying about the businesses that affect the economy the fastest”, he says. “Concentrate on that first, and then worry about what [the live industry is going to do]. Because we’re obviously going to adapt and find ways to entertain people … However, when it comes to, not so much retail, but food service, restaurants, the health service, that stuff we need to start from the ground up and really help [them to grow again]”.

Asked, if we assume that the largescale venues Slipknot are used to playing are likely to remain closed for some time, might his band perform in smaller venues instead, Taylor said that this might be too difficult. “We’ve got so much crap now, we’d have to scale [everything down]”.

However, he doesn’t entirely dismiss the possibility, adding: “We’ve actually talked about doing something like that for years. Doing a throwback show, where we wear the old gear as well. We’d have to make sure we could do it in a safe way, obviously. Not just from a coronavirus standpoint – I mean that [sort of show] would be insanity to do. We’ll see”.

There is some precedent for this, of course. In January this year, the band performed a six song set in front of 100 fans at the BBC’s Maida Vale Studios for Radio 1. Watch their performance of ‘Duality’ from that show here: