Saturday 10 December 2016

Slipknot frontman Corey Taley says racism 'big problem' in metal community following Phil Anselmo's Nazi salute

Independent.ie newsdesk and agencies

Published 11/02/2016 | 07:30

LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02: Musician Corey Taylor performs 5th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 02: Musician Corey Taylor performs 5th Annual Revolver Golden Gods Award Show at Club Nokia on May 2, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor concedes racism is a "big problem" within the metal community, following rocker Phil Anselmo's recent Nazi salute controversy.

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Down singer Anselmo caused a stir last month, when he gave the hand motion during a concert, and shouted "white power" from the stage, prompting fans and peers to gang up on the rocker, who has since apologised for his ill-advised actions.

Masked fans of American heavy metal band Slipknot Photo: TORKIL ADSERSEN/AFP/Getty Images
Masked fans of American heavy metal band Slipknot Photo: TORKIL ADSERSEN/AFP/Getty Images

And now Slipknot star Taylor is opening up about the incident, and while he assures his fans they won't see his band in a similar situation, he acknowledges racism is a prominent issue within the community.

"This is a bigger problem than what happened that night," Taylor tells the U.K.'s The Guardian. "Slipknot has dedicated itself to bringing people together, to fighting racism, to fighting hate in general since the day we were started. I don’t have time for people who judge other people by the colour of their skin. If that in itself offends some of my fans, then I’m sorry, you’re wrong. I don’t ever want our fans to feel like we’re judging them because of colour, religion, culture, upbringing, etc. We welcome everyone, we always have and we always will."

He adds, "I know there is a problem in metal, and it all comes down to, at least in America, where you grow up and what that culture is passed on from: parents, family members, friends, adults. It’s a generational thing. I thought we were close to phasing it out, but unfortunately I was proven wrong."

But Taylor insists there is hope that one day prejudice will be absent from not only the metal community, but all genres, saying, "I just dedicate myself to fighting it. It’s across the board in music, though - it’s not a specifically metal thing. But it has come up in the metal community. It’s risen its ugly head because of the incident we’re talking about.

Down, with lead singer Phil Anselmo, performs on the first U.S. day of Ozzfest 2002 at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 7/10/02 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect
Down, with lead singer Phil Anselmo, performs on the first U.S. day of Ozzfest 2002 at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 7/10/02 Photo by Scott Gries/ImageDirect

"I've not only played a lot of metal shows, I’ve been to a lot of metal shows, and I know for a fact they are quite diverse and they always have been....It will take very little to eradicate racism from metal because the majority of it isn’t racist."

Meanwhile, Anselmo offered to step down as his band's frontman in the midst of the controversy, especially after promoters in Europe and Down's hometown New Orleans, Louisiana, cancelled gigs in the wake of the white supremacy outburst.

"I've privately suggested to them (bandmates) that they move on without me," he wrote in a post to his official website. "My bandmates are now experiencing the consequences of my behavior, and I now publicly apologize to them as well. Never in my entire lifetime would I drag them down with me."

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