Joe Daly of The Weeklings recently conducted an interview with SLIPKNOT and STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
The Weeklings: After reading [your new book, "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Heaven (Or, How I Made Peace With The Paranormal And Stigmatized Zealots And Cynics In The Process)"], it would seem that you've had considerably more paranormal experiences than most people. Do you think that's true?
Corey Taylor: I think I'm definitely up there, but it's not so much seeing them as much as it's about having these experiences of things that I can't explain. Trust me, I'm the first one to try to disprove things; I'm not the one who just jumps into the ghost pond just because my feet got wet. I really try to come at it from a different perspective, and I genuinely try to figure out if there's a logical explanation behind some of this stuff. The stuff that I talk about in the book is the stuff that I just can't explain from any angle. Yeah, there's been a lot of stuff that's happened to me over the years, and it seems like it's happening more and more and more, but what people need to realize is that usually it's happening in a place where I live or where I work, so these are places that I'm going to all the time. It's not like I go into a house and I'm like, "Whoa… It's haunted. It's coming after me…" [laughs] These are things that tend to happen where I live, so it's almost like a one-stop-shop kind of thing.
The Weeklings: With all these different experiences, have you noticed any common threads or any evidence that suggests why you, more than the average bear, seem to have these experiences?
Corey Taylor: I think it's just something about my personality maybe, or the energy I give out — my soul, basically. In the book, I talk about one of the hypotheses I came up with, which is an idea called "The Intelligent Energy" idea, where these spirits could be the result of a person's personality or will that is so strong that it's able to encode itself onto the energy of what makes up its soul; and when the body dies, that soul carries on with that personality fairly in tact, one way or another. Doing the research on this book, I realized that certain bundles of energy attract each other and become supercharged, and we see that in nature all of the time. From the human side of things, we always talk about the "soulmate" idea, where you meet someone and there's an immediate attraction there, and you just need to be around that person all the time. If that's true in both examples, then why couldn't it be a case of a person giving off a certain type of energy that attracts these things to them? I think that's the case with me; I just think that maybe various spirits and whatnot are attracted to me because of who I am and because of the energy I give off.
The Weeklings: You also speak about metaphysics in the book. Do you allow for the possibility that by simply thinking about the supernatural, in positive or negative terms, you are putting an energy out there that attracts these experiences?
Corey Taylor: I think it's part of it now, definitely. Over the last ten years, things have definitely grown a lot crazier around me, and I think that maybe the older I've gotten and the more set in my ways that I become, I've come to appreciate the things that I see a little more, so maybe that has opened me up to seeing different things or feeling different things. The crazy thing about being a free-minded individual is the fact that we're always changing, so the energy is always changing; what you emboss onto that energy is always changing, so maybe because I've embraced the fact that these things happen, it's attracted to me a little more and maybe it's encouraged them to show themselves a little more.
The Weeklings: On its face, it's interesting to have a musician talking about ghost stories, but you take a sharp left when you bring God into it. How do those concepts play against each other?
Corey Taylor: You know, that was one of the reasons that I wanted to write this book. I pride myself on being a pretty together atheist who uses common sense more than fascination, and yet here I was, a guy very dedicated to my belief that ghosts exist — just because of the things that I've seen — and like I said in the book, it comes down to knowing and believing. Maybe this is me being a little more self-assured or cocky than most people because I'm saying that I know ghosts exist because I've seen them, and I don't believe that God exists because I've never seen God, but the biggest reason for writing this book was to figure things out for myself. I'm not trying to put out a pamphlet or start a cult or anything like that. I'm trying to figure these things out for myself and get some answers that might give me some peace when it comes to stuff like this. If people read it and relate to it, that's just extra, but for me it was more about settling this argument in my own head and being able to come to terms with it.
Read the entire interview from The Weeklings.