STONE SOUR bassist Johny Chow has confirmed to Meltdown of Detroit, Michigan's WRIF 101.1 FM radio station that the band has commenced the songwriting process for the follow-up to 2017's "Hydrograd" album.
"We're always writing, we're always riffing and we're always jamming," he said (hear audio below). "When we're on the road, there's a bass in the dressing room all the time. And same with [guitarists] Tucc [Christian Martucci] and Josh [Rand] — there's always guitars in there, and Roy's [Mayorga, drums] got his setup. Roy and I jam every night before we play for at least an hour beforehand. There's long days. You get in there at 10 o'clock in the morning and you're just kind of backstage or on the bus, and you don't have soundcheck till, like, three o'clock, let's say. It's one of those things where you have some time on your hands. You're sitting there playing, riffing. All of a sudden, 'Ooh, this is cool.' Or, 'Tucc, what are you doing there, man? That's awesome. Hold on. Keep playing that. Let me do something. Check this out.' And then I play something with him. 'Okay, we've gotta record this.' And we'll pull out our phones and record these ideas.
"I know Tucc's got a shit-ton of ideas; I've already got a ton of ideas myself," he continued. "Josh has ideas. Roy is always coming up with crazy, zany stuff with his keys and synths and stuff like that, and crazy beats."
Chow also praised the musical chemistry between him and his bandmates, saying that it's something he hasn't experienced with many other players.
"It's pretty cool when you can get that magic together with other musicians," he said. "That's what it's about. It's one thing when you play in a band with other musicians and you're just kind of going through the motions. But when you can hook up with other musicians when there's that magic that happens, where it's just, like, 'Oh my God!', where the hair stands up on your arms, like, 'Oh my God! This is gonna be awesome. Holy cow!' That's a rarity, man.
"Over the years, I've been doing the paid-gig thing, from CAVALERA [CONSPIRACY] to George Lynch and various bands like that," he continued. "And it's an incredible and an amazing feeling to be in a band where I'm presenting fully written songs or riffs and ideas. Tucc has a whole song written, and I'll write the bass lines to it. Nobody's writing for anybody else here. We're all writing our own parts, we're all writing together, because we all vibe off each other. And I think a big part of that with Tucc and Roy and I is the fact that we're all East Coasters, we all lived in New York City for a while, all at the same time, we all come from that punk rock and hardcore background. And it's really easy to work with these guys. Roy and I, as the rhythm section, it's incredible when you can have a connection like that, as a bass player or adrummer, with the other bass player or drummer… It's like a machine. I know where Roy's going, he knows where I'm going, and we just kind of go there together. And it translates."
STONE SOUR singer Corey Taylor told Australia's Heavy magazine last fall that he and his bandmates started writing new music "pretty much as soon as we got on the road" in support of "Hydrograd". "We just can't be stopped; we're just gluttons for punishment at this point," he said. "But the cool thing is that knowing that we've got all this great material, we can kind of enjoy the rest as much as we can because we know that when it's time to really start kind of ramping up the demo machine, we're gonna have all this cool stuff to listen to. There's no pressure for us to just run right in."
Taylor, who will step away from STONE SOUR in 2019 to focus on SLIPKNOT, said that the former band's absence from the touring circuit "will allow the audience to miss [STONE SOUR], which is the best thing in the world you can have — that built-in need for a band to come back. Just when you think you can't wait any longer, here comes this band and they're, like, 'Oh, goddamn, they're so good right now.' So we're pretty stoked, man. We're definitely looking forward to trying to see if we can top 'Hydrograd'."
"Hydrograd" was released as a deluxe edition in August. The two-disc set, "Hydrograd Deluxe Edition", collects unreleased covers, b-sides, live recordings and alternate versions of songs from "Hydrograd". The deluxe edition is highlighted by "Burn One Turn One", a previously unreleased b-side from "Hydrograd". "Hydrograd Deluxe Edition" features 13 rare or unreleased songs including an acoustic version of the No. 1 rock song "Song #3", as well as covers of hits from RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, SOUNDGARDEN and VAN HALEN.