The coronavirus pandemic has effectively paused live music worldwide. But as communities loosen restrictions and lift stay-at-home mandates, the future of post-pandemic gatherings and concerts is now being considered. Slipknot singer Corey Taylor, for instance, sees the return of live shows as a gradual transition — with a big payoff.
Taylor told Rock Feed that casinos and smaller venues could be the first to “soft” open, essentially testing the waters with smaller capacities and social distancing measures.
“It’ll probably be in smaller venues — ’cause people are gonna be f**king scared, man,” Taylor said of the initial return of concerts. “Or maybe outdoor venues, where people don’t feel like they’re confined, they don’t feel like they’re too stuck together. There’s gonna be a sense of paranoia for a while — even after there’s a f**king medicine developed, or a vaccine. So it’s gonna take time.”
Then bigger venues and larger gatherings — the kinds of arena shows Slipknot typically plays — would be the next to open back up, with certain bands serving as proverbial guinea pigs for the return of major shows.
“There is gonna be some acts that have to fall on the sword,” Taylor added. “If we do it right and we build that enthusiasm, probably within a year, maybe a year and a half, we’ll see the same enthusiasm for live shows that we did before. Because I think once people realize that everything is okay, people are gonna realize that they take for granted the fact that they haven’t been to a live show in a long time, and the live concert experience will be something that people come back to. They’ll be tired of watching it on YouTube, tired of watching it on their phone — they’ll want to be in the experience. So I think we’re gonna see a real renaissance and explosion of live entertainment. It’s gonna be great for us.”
Taylor’s prospective outlook is optimistic, especially compared to the projections of health experts who’ve said live music won’t return until fall 2021 at the earliest. In a recent interview with Heavy Consequence, Testament singer Chuck Billy — who played one of the last major European shows in March and contracted COVID-19 — expressed similar sentiments as Taylor, stating that fans will have to to feel safe around one another before live shows return to normalcy.
As far as Slipknot, specifically, Taylor said the band members have discussed coming back with some more intimate performances. “We’ve actually talked about … doing a throwback show in a way where we wear the old gear, as well,” he remarked. “We’d have to make sure that we could do it in a safe way, obviously.”
Slipknot recently postponed their Asian tour dates and festival appearances, and have already rescheduled Knotfest Japan for January 2021. No official announcement has been made regarding the band’s North American “Knotfest Roadshow” tour, which is scheduled to kick off on May 31st. The masked metallers had been out in support of their acclaimed 2019 album, We Are Not Your Kind.
Watch Corey Taylor’s full interview with Rock Feed below.