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Slipknot’s Corey Taylor Discusses Dark Side of Art With Actor John Cusack

Corey Taylor / John Cusack
Jim Dyson / Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor recently sat down with actor John Cusack in a ‘Rogue on Rogue’ interview. During the in-depth discussion between the two expressive minds, Taylor and Cusack spoke about the parallels found between both music and film inspired by the darker end of existence.

After Taylor conveyed his admiration to Cusack for his performance as Edgar Allen Poe in the new film ‘The Raven’ (opening Friday, April 27), the Slipknot singer succeeded in finding some middle ground connecting the two artists.

“There’s a parallel between something like the murders in the film and things that have happened in heavy metal over the years where the music is blamed for inciting violence,” Taylor began. “Someone’s fiction and work is taken and twisted in such a weird way. You played that so beautifully in the movie, John. When they first tell Poe something he’s written is the impetus for a murder, I could totally relate to the look on your face. I thought you did that really well.”

Cusack responded with an eloquence and specificity that may come off as surprising for those who don’t follow the ‘Being John Malkovich’ actor with the same ferocity as they do Taylor.

“The reason people respond so much to artists who write about channeling any of the darker, more shadowy forces out there—or those things in us—is probably because they don’t feel a sense of authenticity in their lives,” explains Cusack. “They know for sure the world around them is unauthentic. They know that all of the people pretending they don’t have all of these feelings are full of s–t. When you see a guy like Poe or a modern rock ‘n’ roll equivalent like Kurt Cobain, there’s a really natural desire. Here are these angry, isolated depressed searchers who are shunning themselves from the entire world and they’re placed on pedestals like patron saints. I think it’s because people realize we all have a shadow and dark side, and it’s healthier to explore it than it is to deny it.”

“It’s heavy,” says Taylor. “At the end of the day, I couldn’t agree more. To hold that stuff down, it’s like a blocked pipe. Something bad is going to happen if you don’t clear that out. For me, it’s always better to write it down and let it loose so I can come back and feel normal. When you repress that stuff and never give it a voice, it ends up coming out unconsciously. It can be devastating in a lot of ways.”

Check out the detailed and incredibly interesting discussion between Corey Taylor and John Cusack on

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