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Stone Sour

The Secrecy of Five

In September 2010 Stone Sour have released their 3rd studio album called Audio Secrecy. This record is definitely more mellow than what the band has done previously. It sounds more mature and gives an impression of an accomplishment fulfilled by five versatile men who have gone a long way in life and stand firmly on their feet. The singer-songwriter Corey Taylor has put it quite nicely describing the album as fucking gorgeous and we couldnt agree more. Stone Sour came to Norway in November as a part of their recent European tour in support of Audio Secrecy. We have met with the drummer Roy Mayorga, who has contributed his drumming skills to quite an impressive roster of artists in the past and, hopefully, will continue to do so in the future. We got to discuss Stone Sours new album as well as various aspects that affected Roys life in different ways and made him the person and the musician he is today.
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How did the record process of Audio Secrecy go? I know that you were in Nashville

Roy: Yeah, well We all took some time; we were away from each other for the last couple of years and just wrote separately. Then we got together in December in Iowa for a brief rehearsal and then went to Nashville, as you know, [where we] did like a couple months worth of preproduction, living in a house together which worked out great.

So what are the perks of living in the studio? It was in the same house, right?

Roy: Well, not the recording studio, the demo studio, that was in the house. The perks: this is more convenient.

Everyones in the same place together and its just more intimate, people get to know each other a little better and its just a better environment for collaboration, I think, for any band. We gotta get along first, luckily we do and theres chemistry between all five of us, so it worked out great.

Have you faced any challenges while recording the album?

Roy: Of course, I mean, just trying to get the right feel and flow and vibe f
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or each song is a challenge in itself, because every song on the record is so different and they all came from five different people - five different writers including myself. So it was a challenge just trying to replicate someone elses vision, but [also] trying to make your own mark on top of it.

How did it feel to get back together after the break, when Corey [Taylor, vocals] and Jim [Root, lead guitar] were with Slipknot?

Roy: It was great, we basically picked up from where we left off three years before that. Its like we didnt miss a day. Its pretty wild, you know, weve been apart from each other for three years and then walked into a studio together and came out with this record. I mean, to me its pretty incredible. We didnt know each other from Adam when I first joined the band either, so that was a sign that we have natural chemistry together.

Ive read one of the recent interviews with Jim, where he said that in a way he feels that Audio Secrecy is like an unfinished record, because you didnt have enough time to work on it. Do you feel the same way?

Roy: I dont think s
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o. Maybe for him, but it feels pretty finished to me. Weve had a lot of songs that we had to weed and sieve through; I think we had about 20 songs. Then we had to go down to about 12 and then added three more bonus tracks that we were gonna put on the record, but decided not to, then we had a chance to put them on anyway. So I think its a pretty well-finished record. I think, maybe a couple more different sounding styles of tunes wouldve been good for the record, but for the most part the record is pretty finished to me. Thats my opinion, you know.

Since theres this secret society concept going on the record, if you could have an alias or a code name, if you were a secret agent, what would it be?

Roy: I didnt think of it. Id go by my old alias, it was Roy Batty, which is Rutger Hauers character in Blade Runner, maybe Id use that.

Where did the whole secret society theme actually come from?

Roy: I think it was spawned by Paul Brown the art-director and the video director for the videos and the artwork that weve done for the record. We came up with the idea and he manifested
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the look of it all. And we just kind of rolled with it. So when we shot photos for the album, we were doing actually the Say Youll Haunt Me video, so it worked out perfectly. You just want to keep the continuity throughout, so it worked out great.

You have been on tour with Avenged Sevenfold and now with Hellyeah, but if you could choose two bands to tour with Stone Sour, who would that be?

Roy: Id like to do something with like Foo Fighters and Soundgarden, that would be my ultimate dream tour.

Yeah, especially now that Soungarden are back together again.

Roy: Yeah, or maybe Faith No More. I think that would be a great tour Stone Sour and Faith No More.

If they are going to play anymore

Roy: I dont think so, but yeah, missed that window of opportunity. They are a band that I dont think anyone can really open up for only because they are just who they are. I think they could just go out on their own; they dont need another band to open up for them. No ones gonna be interested to see another band if they [Faith No More] are pla
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ying, really
Is there any drummer who would be kind of a role model for you, someone you would look up to?

Roy: Well, two of them are dead: that would be John Bonham [Led Zeppelin] and Keith Moon [The Who]. And two of them are still alive which are Neil Peart [Rush] and Stewart Copeland [The Police]. Those are my four.

What were your motives to be in a rock band?

Roy: Just growing up and listening to the bands like Zeppelin and The Who. When I was a kid, I was more instinctually a drummer. I wasnt really a drummer yet in my mind; I didnt know what the fuck I was doing. Though my parents knew what I was doing, so they kind of stirred me in the right direction. And my older brother, who is more of a rocknroll guy in the family, he is 10 years older. He would just show me all these records, play them and hed wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me: Oh, Led Zeppelin and Kiss are on tv at 11.30 at night and Id watch and he was like: thats what you should be doing and I was like: yeah I wanna be that. So seeing it for the first time definitely propelled me into wanna rea
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lly go for it and be a part of a rock band when I was older. I started playing in bands by the time I was 13-14, just punk rock, hardcore bands and then I just evolved from there. As I got older, I started getting into other things, I started getting back more into metal and rock and ended up here, you know fast-forwarding 25-some years later.

Nowadays many bands, no matter how popular they are, seem to prefer indie labels to major ones. But you seem to be quite happy with Roadrunner.

Roy: Yeah, Roadrunner has been a part of my life for 15-16 years now. Ive been in 4 different Roadrunner bands, including this one. Theyve always done right by me and what I love about Roadrunner the most is that theyre a world-class label. I mean, they are all over the world and the bands that they have, they really know how to market them everywhere. I think their bands have always had a better exposure than most bands coming out of the States that are on major labels. Because major labels focus on just the States and dont give a shit about the rest of the world. But now I think its a little bit different, now they are starting to wise up to the si
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tuation there is, you know, more out there, especially for not so bigger bands. Roadrunner was like the label that was more about not being indie, but being worldwide.

But they are not indie anymore, they got acquired.

Roy: No, not anymore. Now theyre owned by Warner Brothers, which is great. I mean it definitely helps us as well, so we have the best of both worlds.

As you have said yourself, you were quite a punk guy in the past, but now it doesnt seem so at least. Did you grow out of it?

Roy: Well, thats one of the things thats always in you, once youre a punk rock guy, youre always gonna be a punk rock guy.

You dont have a mohawk anymore.

Roy: I dont need to look like that. I can be that just in here and in here (points at his head and heart auth). Ill let someone else look that way. I already made my statement; I dont need to keep making that statement. Im 40 years old, I dont need to do that anymore.

But do you still have it in your heart?

Roy: Of course I do. You dont lose that. Ive done that, you know. Ive played all the squats in Europe and all over the world, Ive toured in a car, in a van, slept on floors, didnt wash for weeks, I lived all crazy and did this and that. I do still play that kind of music with another band called Amebix which came out of that anarchy-punk scene. So I am still kind of in that scene, but not really. Im in two different worlds and thats fine, I like it that way, its honest.

Interview by Tanja Caciur
Russian DarkSide E-Zine

Darkside would like to thank Alexander Suprun ( Recording Company Nikitin) and Leni Rugsveen (Warner Music Norway) for their help arranging the interview
29 2010
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