The masked frontman on how the shifting line-up has changed their creative chemistry
The band made headlines this year with the acrimonious departure of Fehn, before he was replaced by the mysterious, unnamed new member known among fans as ‘Tortilla Man‘. The masked metallers have seen a number of other line-up changes during their 20 years together, following the death of bassist Paul Gray and the departure of drummer Joey Jordison.
Speaking about the chemistry in the band in 2019, Taylor told Vulture: “The great thing about the business part of it is that because we’re from Iowa, it all makes sense. You do the work, you get paid. That’s straight-up it. We split merch equally. We split live equally. We do everything equally. And if we’re all working toward the same thing, then it just all makes sense.
“We’re always taking care of each other. Even though we’re older now, our reasons for making music and continuing to do this are still the same. It’s one of those things that, if our reasoning for doing this had changed, the band probably wouldn’t have lasted as long as it did. But — and obviously I can’t speak for everybody in the band — I know the OGs that are here are all still trying to just make the best music that we can. So we take care of each other.”
Taylor went on to discuss how changing members has effected their music, particularly when creating their acclaimed new album ‘We Are Not Your Kind‘.
“It’s not like we changed a baseball team,” said Taylor. “Obviously, losing Paul [Gray, bass], we had to have somebody step in there. Parting ways with Joey [Jordison, drums] was tough, but Jay [Weinberg] more than adequately has fucking done that. The less I say about [former percussionist] Chris [Fehn], the better, let’s put it that way. But the creative core of the band is still there. You get two of the best guitar players in the world, Jim [Root] and Mick [Thomson]. And one of the most creative minds ever with Clown.
“So it was never a matter of this wasn’t gonna happen. And honestly, it came down to whether or not we wanted to do it, and once we realised we did, the fucking gloves were off.”
“I mean, it’s crossed my mind as the years have gone on,” he said. “It’s gotten harder to do this. You think about when the end is. No one thought we’d be doing it 20 years later.
“If I just couldn’t do it anymore, I’d just stop, but that doesn’t mean that the band would stop. If I can’t do it then someone might be able to take my place.”
He added: “I’ve thought about it before: If the right person came around and the guys were into it then I’ll just head off. We can’t shortchange anyone.”