Corey Taylor has always wanted his own radio show, but his schedule has never permitted time in a radio studio. Then Apple Music's Beats 1 approached him. "They asked me to do exactly what I wanted to do, which was to split it up with half talking and half music, but not sticking to a strict regimen," the Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman tells Rolling Stone. "I wanted to talk a bunch of stream-of-[consciousness] smack and play the music I would want to hear."
The debut episode of the show, A Series of Bleeps, premiered Wednesday night. Taylor discussed his feelings about self-censorship (he doesn't believe in it) and played a wide swath of music that included everything from Metallica and Nirvana to Björk and the Bee Gees. He recorded it while on a tour stop with Slipknot, something he'll be doing again this summer. It's a good example of what fans can expect from the show.
"I suggested the title," the singer says with a laugh. "I was in a meeting with [Beats curator and host] Zane Lowe and some other people, and I said, 'You realize this is just a series of bleeps for me?' And we all looked each other and said, 'That's the title.' Because, let's be honest, if I need to censor myself, I will. But if I'm running off at the mouth, I tend to say whatever the fuck comes out of it. For me, it's perfect."
Taylor was worried he might feel uncomfortable sitting in a room talking to himself, but he quickly warmed to it. Freedom of speech became a natural topic for his first episode. "It's a very dangerous climate in America now," he says. "As much as America likes to think of itself as moderate, there are a lot of people right now who are bringing out the worst in us and encouraging us to bring out the worst in us."
The music in the first broadcast is typical of Taylor's taste, though he says it didn't highlight his taste in hip-hop. "I love old-school rap, like N.W.A, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Dre, Eminem, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, KRS-One," he says. "The hip-hop that I grew up listening to was very poignant. It had something to say and it wasn't afraid to say it. It was the punk rock of soul and R&B music, a statement. Now, 20, 30 years later, it's really just become a Courvoisier commercial, where the dude singing tries to get laid. And that's fine and all. Every party needs a certain type of flavor, but it doesn't seem like the same attitude anymore, other than with Dre and Eminem."
But while the first episode showcased Taylor's eclectic taste, he says he wants to focus more on hard rock, heavy metal, punk and hardcore in future episodes. "I feel like my genres are not represented in general," he says. "I think that's one of the reasons Beats came to me in the first place. So many shows on Beats are modern and pop.
"As much as our genre is celebrated around the world, we don't get a showcase for it," Taylor continues. "When we do, it gets shut down completely. So for me, if this is the only shot I get at being able to hold up the music that I love and show people that hard rock, heavy metal or punk is just as good as any of the bullshit that's out there right now, I'm going to do it. This is me, representing what I love and what I believe in, giving our genre a little spotlight."
A Series of Bleeps will air Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST and it will be repeated on Thursdays at noon weekly.