Slipknot's Corey TaylorBBC Radio 1

Slipknot’s Corey Taylor On Warner Music Group Buying Roadrunner Records In 2010: “It’s Really Sad What Happened”


Outside of Nickelback, Slipknot was one of the primary bands that helped catapult Roadrunner Records to mainstream commercial success amid the early 2000s. While already an established metal staple by that time, the money that bands like the two mentioned above brought into the label helped to propel it to new heights.

As expected, many wanted a piece of that success, with several of the major labels at the time eventually buying stakes in Roadrunner. The Island Def Jam Music Group first bought a stake in July of 2001. Several years later in 2007 the Warner Music Group would buy a majority stake, bringing the label into their Atlantic Records ecosystem.

- Advertisement -

By late 2010 the Warner Music Group had purchased the remainder of the label’s stock and in the following two years, much of Roadrunner Records and their worldwide operations were gutted and shuttered. Additionally, both founder Cees Wessels and former Senior Vice President of A&R Monte Conner exited, along with much of the staff who helped guide the label to its prized position in the metal/hardcore scene.

While Roadrunner Records continues to operate to this day, the level of cultural impact and personal reputation it established as a singular entity during its independent years was never seen again.

That loss is something that Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor laments, having spoken about it during his appearance on ‘Steve-O’s Wild Ride‘ podcast last month. When it was pointed out that there was a Warner logo on some of the music videos Slipknot have released over the years, Taylor responded:

“…Technically we’re not a Warner band – we are Roadrunner‘s band, they [Warner] just happened to own us.

It’s really sad what happened to Roadrunner. They were the biggest metal label on the planet for the longest time, and it seemed they were independent, they weren’t owned by anybody. They were massive worldwide, they had offices in every country, they had the biggest bands in metal, and with one fell swoop, they sold all the rights, they became owned by a certain label…

And within three years, that label fired everyone who had been working there for 20 years. They fired almost everyone down to the point where they had to close all of the offices in all of these countries. It was crazy! These were people I had worked with my entire career.”

When Steve-O pointed out that’s what can happen when one sells a company, Taylor responded:

“Trust me, we all sat around going, ‘Fuck, man, this is the end of an era.’ If you look at the impact that Roadrunner Records had, it’s insane!

So to go from that high to then boom! It shocked all of us. And I was making a Stone Sour album and everyone I was working with just got wiped out!”