Side projects are a difficult thing to analyze indeed, both from a fan perspective as well as a critical one. Traditionally, the reasons for a side project are fairly linear – they tend to place emphasis on different aspects of the musician that won’t fit the main band(s), or a vehicle to explore and mess around with new styles and genres of music. Some of the biggest bands in history started off as side projects – notables ones include Gorillaz (Blur, Jamie Hewlett), Dashboard Confessional (Chris Carrabba, originally in Further Seems Forever), and of course, the ubiquitous solo album (Mike Shinoda, KISS, and entirely too many other musicians). While not all of these projects are commercially or critically successful, that’s not the point. If a side project explores new avenues of music, that always makes a musician more adept at their craft. Perhaps, the term “success” is actually relative in this market, but I digress.
Anyhow, Stone Sour – the side project of Corey Taylor of Slipknot, occupies a unique space in the rock and metal scenes. After all, Stone Sour was Taylor (and former member Jim Root’s) main project before Slipknot were signed in the late 90’s. In 2002, the band unleashed their self-titled debut album, which earned them Grammy nominations for “Get Inside” and “Inhale”, and while that record was a really solid start, it’s the 2006 follow-up Come What[ever] May that cemented Stone Sour as an act all their own.