Slipknot lead singer Corey Taylor is preparing to release two albums from his reunited metal side project, Stone Sour. House of Gold and Bones Part One and its follow-up, House of Gold and Bones Part Two, tell the tale of a young man at a crossroads between staying in adolescence or facing the challenges of adulthood.
"Each song tells a different part of the story, but it's so unique unto itself," Taylor tells Rolling Stone. "That was one of the things we really wanted to go for; we didn't want to do a batch of tunes that all sound alike. We wanted to make sure each song had its own soul, basically."
The band recorded the two albums simultaneously at Sound Farm Studios in Iowa, the same place Slipknot recorded their fourth album, All Hope Is Gone. "Even with the time constraints we had, we basically recorded two albums in the time it takes to record one," Taylor says. "So we were doing double-duty every day. I was tracking two songs vocally a day just to keep us on a deadline and it really pushed us to strive for excellence." Part One is out October 23rd and Part Two will be released around May, according to Taylor. He says, "It all comes down to how much time the record label wants to give between albums, basically."
Despite their grueling schedule, Stone Sour still managed to have some fun, as evidenced by these three exclusive photo taken in the studio. The group shot, which also includes producer Dave Bottrill, proves how in sync everyone was.
"We all leaned to our left then for no other reason, just to make it look like a Star Trek photo," Taylor says. "'What's going on with the ship here?' But it was funny because none of us realized we were doing it. We all just kind of leaned to the left and it was a little askew, but it was fun."
The shot of drummer Roy Mayorga, taken during recording of the song "Taciturn," gives a little insight into the instrumentation of Part One. "We had two drum sets set up in the studio. The 'metal' set was played on the heavier stuff," Taylor explains. "Then he had one we called the 'Bonham' set that had a much richer, deeper tone to it that we used on some of the slower passages."
For Taylor and Stone Sour, their mission was to find their right sound organically. "We wanted to really try and go for [a] natural vibe on this without using a ton of samples and really try to differentiate us from everybody else out there. A lot of bands fall into that pitfall of [going to] all the work of getting these great sounds and whatnot, then they hand it over to somebody who then starts filling in the blanks with all these samples," he says. "It just makes them sound like everybody else out there and we wanted to really capture a unique sound."
The House of Gold and Bones project offers a bit of whimsy, too, in its included comic books."It's looking like we're gonna release the comics in, like, a four-issue miniseries," Taylor says. "So the first two issues will be part one and then the last two issues will be part two. And we want to really try and keep it on a timeline where they come out, right around the time that Part Two comes out." As a self-proclaimed comic geek himself, Taylor is very excited about working in that realm. "It's basically a visual representation of the short story that I wrote. I'm not sure who the artist is going to be; there are a couple of different guys I want to work with, but it'll be fun for me."
The entire project, concludes Taylor, is intended to create an immersive world for Stone Sour fans. "It's just a lot of moving pieces that are gonna tie together. There'll be a lot of content that's not in the album artistically that'll be on the website," he says. "So everything will really kind of tie together and make it a really cool experience for the listener."