This post is in partnership with positive mental health initiative and podcast, Don’t Fret Club.
Slipknot and Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor is the first musician to appear in our Shredding The Stigma series, helping to shed light on existing stigma and share relatable stories from influential figures in the music community.
Conversations like these help to end stigma, but they also allow us a safe space to ask questions and evolve our approach to mental health support.
A fully-fledged rock icon, hardened lyricist and accomplished writer, Corey Taylor is open about his personal vices, including previous addictions and struggles relating to mental health.
Talking to Don’t Fret Club at Good Things Festival in Melbourne, Corey recalls some of the toughest times in his life, friendships that exacerbated his problems and subsequently ended when he entered recovery. He also takes us back to his first encounters with drink and drugs, as well as exploring the role creativity and music plays in his life, both then and now.
“I started smoking when I was 10, and I know it’s so horrible to talk about, but it’s one of those things that depends on where you’re from and the pressure to start those different things,” Corey says on the podcast. “I think it started just as trying to fit in and relieving some of the pressure of depression.
“Then the physical side of that was a way to medicate, take the pain away. It definitely was a numbing agent but the thing is, you’re constantly chasing, and you can never get, that initial satisfaction back. That is the slippery slope to addiction.”
Talking about the people that surrounded him at the time of his addiction, Corey adds, “I quit doing hard drugs when I was about 16 and by that time I’d already OD’d twice, so I had a feeling that I was more prone to latching on to addictions like that, even at that early age. It was one of those weird things where I was turning over a new leaf, it’s going to be all good and then I just continued to drink when I was younger.
“As any addict will tell you, it’s hard to fight that. Some of us win, some of us lose, sadly.”
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues discussed in this podcast, please reach out to speak to a professional for support. Lifeline Australia is 13 11 14, and a list of worldwide helplines is available at dontfret.club/support.