Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor has explained the delay behind the group’s latest album – because they wanted to get it perfect.

Their latest record .5: The Gray Chapter – which was released last September, six years after 2008′s All Hope Is Gone – is a tribute to founding member Paul Gray, who died of an overdose of morphine and fentanyl in 2010.

Slipknot frontman Corey TaylorCorey on stage (Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP)

“Fans have had issues with me because they felt it was my fault we’ve been away for so long, but we didn’t want to run right in and make anything that felt forced, we wanted to wait to make an album,” Corey said.

“It took all of us in the band time to get on the same page with the message. I don’t know about the others, but if it took another six years to get there, I’d have waited.

“And maybe the reason it took so long was that it’s basically letting go of the grieving process,” he continued. “We needed to stop feeling that depression and get back to the positive stuff we remember about Paul. And we did, while making the album. Once we did that, I felt 20 times lighter.”

Corey admitted the band’s first post-Gray performance at Sonisphere Festival in Athens, Greece, in 2011, made him feel like he was performing inside a bubble, unable to hear the fans or remember anything about the first four songs. The band are set to embark on a UK tour, which begins in Sheffield on January 16.

“And then the fans reached in and brought us up to where we needed to be. Before that, we weren’t sure if we were able to carry on without Paul, but that show, and the fans, made us realise it was possible,” the 41-year-old rocker said.

Slipknot's Corey TaylorSlipknot’s Corey without his mask (Yui Mok/PA)

“So The Gray Chapter is telling a story. It’s about letting the fans know we’ve been knocked down, and it’s about sharing – it’s not preaching our grief, but sharing it, and letting them know where we’ve been the past four years.”

:: Slipknot’s Prepare For Hell tour ends in Birmingham on January 27. For details, visit