There are too many f**king guns in America,” says Corey Taylor. “I could walk outside right now and find a gun within minutes. There’s a very toxic gun culture here, it’s a cult, and it worries me.”
Two days after the Slipknot frontman says this, a man walks into a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, during one of the busiest times of the day, and starts shooting – 22 people lose their lives and more than two dozen are injured. The next day, in Dayton, Ohio, a man opens fire at the entrance of a local bar. He kills nine people, and injures 27.
Listen back to them and Taylor’s comments feel eerie after the horrific events of that weekend – even more so given that the conversation later turns to how authority figures try to pin the blame on popular culture. Slipknot, whose music has been linked to violent incidents in the past, including a samurai sword attack at a South African school in 2008 that left one student dead and three people seriously injured, understand this all too well. And lo and behold, right after the US shootings, President Trump announces that “violent video games” are to blame… despite having no evidence.
“Music is an easy target because [people in authority] don’t understand it,” Taylor says. “There’s a complete lack of effort to try to understand it, and a lack of willingness to take any portion of the blame for these events.
“If you’re looking for a certain kind of rhetoric, whether it’s hating black people or gay people or whatever, there are thousands of sites with people posting about it,” he continues. “We’re seeing the repercussions of a failure to address that. They still wanna blame the f**kng music, and it’s been happening since the Sixties to ‘85 with Tipper Gore…” (Gore, the former second lady, was a prime mover in the fight to have parental advisory stickers placed on albums in the US.) Taylor pauses, takes a breath. “Just get the f**k out of my face with that s**t!”