Corey Taylor – Metallica’s ‘Enter Sandman’ Is Our Generation’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’
If you play guitar, odds are one of the first things you picked up with Metallica's "Enter Sandman" riff. That was the case for Slipknot's Corey Taylor, as he reflected on his Metallica fandom with Knotfest.com's Ryan J. Downey (as seen below) in anticipation of Metallica's Blacklist release. In the chat, Taylor talks about the song's ever present status as a "must-learn" riff for most beginning players.
The Slipknot frontman and solo artist recalled, "One of the first songs I ever learned how to play on guitar was 'Enter Sandman', because that was kind of our generation's 'Stairway To Heaven' or 'Smoke on the Water.' It's one of those riffs that ... I like to call if the Guitar Center virus. Anybody who comes in [at a Guitar Center location] is either playing 'Sandman,' 'Crazy Train,' 'Smoke on the Water' or 'Stairway' or 'Whole Lotta Love.' You have those gateway riffs where you go, 'Oh, I figured it out.'"
Taylor thinks back to those early days, remembering, "I sat down one day, as I got better at guitar, and I went back and listened to the first four Metallica albums and just started woodshedding and learning all these riffs. And it became a sort of language that you could speak to other musicians when you're jamming for the first time. If you kicked into 'Blitzkrieg' or something, or if you kicked into 'Ride the Lightning' and just started [playing those opening riffs], and they kicked in with you, you knew you were off to the races, because you don't just learn that riff, you learned the whole tune and you just go for it."
"It was almost like an initiation in a weird way; you knew how to do it. So I played Metallica in almost every band that I've been in; it's always just been there. I mean, from my first sort-of-real band Criminal Mischief all the way up to my solo band."
Taylor's fandom recently led him to be one of the 53 acts recording a cover of Metallica's Blacklist album. Taylor chose the song "Holier Than Thou" for his contribution, now making a Metallica song part of his own recorded catalog. The set was released in full this past Friday after a couple of month campaign rolling out select covers from the collection.
Taylor has been effusive in his praise for Metallica over the years, having previously toured with the band while in Slipknot and expressing how much they've influenced him. He's previously gone on record calling Master of Puppets "the perfect metal album" and cited Metallica as "the blueprint" for Slipknot to follow when it comes to career longevity.
The Metallica Blacklist collection is currently available to order here, while fans can also get their hands on the newly issued remastered 30th anniversary edition box set celebrating the band's self-titled "black" album.