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Sundance 2012: Slipknot stars swap metal for filmmaking venture

January 29th, 2012 Posted in Arts and Life

Story & Photo by Ben Hansen
Special to the HNC

PARK CITY—Throughout history, there have been bands that have changed the shape of the music industry. Slipknot, one of the biggest metal bands in the world, is one of these bands. After selling millions of albums, receiving nominations for numerous Grammy Awards, and creating an original live element, the band will live on for generations to come.

This is not enough to satisfy the creative desires of vocalist and best-selling author Corey Taylor, however. Corey, along with Slipknot visionary and percussionist M. Shawn Crahan, are now taking the next creative leap forward, establishing a new film and television production company.

Living Breathing Films was announced to the world during the 2012 Sundance Film Festival at an intimate press conference and acoustic concert held at the Carhartt Backcountry Club last week. The film company will specialize in mystery, suspense, horror, and the dark side of life. Both Taylor and Crahan spoke passionately about their new endeavor.

“It’s one of those things that we’re excited about because we don’t really know a lot about it,” Taylor said. “It’s a whole industry that we’ve studied from the outside as fans, and we’re ecstatic to be able to learn the ins and outs of it so that we can basically destroy it. If you’re not improving on what you’re doing, then there is no point in showing up. That is really the approach that we are going to take to this.”

Given that Taylor is lauded for his vocal diversity, it would be entirely conceivable to hear him creating sound effects in the style of Mike Patton. When asked about his potential involvement in the musical aspect of the film that will be produced, his eyes widened as he hinted at the possibilities.

“Maybe!” he said. “There is some weird stuff that comes out of this neck. I would love to do some of that stuff.

“I think that my contribution will be ideas for hooks, for melodies, and what not. I’ve always been very distinct on that. When we do stuff like scoring, hopefully I can bring that sense of ‘work’ to it and make it something that people can grab onto while watching the movie. It’s really exciting to be able to look at it from both standpoints—from the music and the performance side.”

This prompts the first and most obvious question: what can we expect from the first project that will come out of Living Breathing Films? While being reluctant to give out specific details, Taylor dangled enough of a carrot to draw significant interest: “The first project that we want to flesh out right now is actually about a woman and a house,” he said. “It kind of has a ‘Gaslight’ feel to it—one of those things where the story is leading towards something, but you have no idea what the hell it is.

“We’re in the baby stages of getting the script together,” Taylor said. “Hopefully we’ll have something really good to work with right out of the gate. We’re hoping to break ground on it this year, knock on wood that it happens. At the same time, I’m used to being so quick with music that I can run right into stuff. This will be a lesson in patience for me—making the right moves, doing what’s right for the art, for the film.”

Do not expect the typical action-suspense movie or horror movie to come from this company. Corey Taylor has always marched to his own drummer and has been willing to take artistic risks.

Facing a handful of fans, he said, “My philosophy has always been that the more ridiculous you are, and the more people try to shun it, the more it becomes completely acceptable, because only the ridiculous takes you to the next level.

“There is a wonderful Chinese proverb that says, ‘Before one looks brilliant, you must look foolish.’ If you stop and think about that, people 20 years ago were looking at Quinton Tarantino and saying, ‘Excuse me? What do you want to do?’

“Now he’s the groundbreaking guy. For me, it makes sense to shake it up and do what feels right instead of trying to paint by numbers, which makes things look boring. That’s not what I’m here for. I don’t want quantity, I want quality. That’s important to us.”


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