Machine Gun Kelly has revealed details about his upcoming studio album, ‘Born With Horns’, saying that it’s “more guitar-heavy” and lyrically “deeper” than his previous work.
The new effort follows last year’s release, ‘Tickets To My Downfall’, which scored MGK his first Billboard Number One album which many have said opened the door for his transition from “rapper” to “rocker”.
In a new interview with ‘Sunday Today With Willie Geist’ (via Billboard), MGK (real name Colson Baker) spoke about the upcoming release, saying: “It feels more guitar-heavy for sure, lyrically it definitely goes deeper – but I never like to do anything the same. Every album is a juxtaposition of the last album. So I went and studied ‘Tickets’, and I heard the bright sound that I had, and for this album I just turned the lights off.”
He continued: “I’m not scared anymore, there’s nothing holding me back from being my true self – and my true self can’t be silenced, can’t be restrained. It’s a force, it’s like a hurricane. Can’t stop that, it just goes until it feels like stopping, and I don’t feel like stopping anytime soon.”
The “rapper turned rocker” (God, that’s such a dumb cliché) was recently one of the headliners at the Louder Than Life festival in Louisville, Kentucky, taking the stage on September 25, while the heavily booked metal event’s audience made it pretty clear that not everyone was happy with his top billing, performance or attendance for that matter.
Playing to a “boo-ing” crowd of people with extended middle fingers, the masses that make up the genre that is heavy metal had spoken their minds. Figuratively.
Even SEETHER frontman Shaun Morgan went as far as to congratulate the audience on their response to MGK’s appearance during his own band’s set at the festival.
Why all the hate you ask? Especially from a genre that has such a passionate, loyal following of masses who have proven time and time again that not only are they welcoming of new bands and artists into the scene but even embrace those who have transitioned in from other musical genres? (Ice-T and BODYCOUNT would be an excellent example of this, plus numerous others of course)
In case you’ve been out of the loop for whatever reason, this all stems from an incident that occurred at this year’s Riot Fest in September which saw both SLIPKNOT and Machine Gun Kelly acting as headliners for the fourth day of the massive annual Chicago festival.
While onstage, it seems MGK had a few words for his co-headlining act, saying he was glad to not be a 50-year-old onstage wearing a mask. Just prior to going into his song “Jawbreaker,” MGK took a shot at SLIPKNOT, saying: “Hey, you wanna know what I’m really happy that I’m not doing? Being 50 years old wearing a fucking weird mask on a fucking stage. Fucking shit. So anyway, what’s everyone’s favorite candy? Reese’s Pieces?”
Kelly would later add to his comments with a tweet saying that SLIPKNOT singer Corey Taylor had recorded a verse for a track on “Tickets to My Downfall” to which he claimed was “fucking terrible,” so he didn’t use it. He also went on to call the SLIPKNOT vocalist bitter.
Taylor responded to MGK via his Twitter account, which read: “I don’t like people airing private shit like a child. So this is all I’ll say: I didn’t do the track because I don’t like when people try to ‘write’ for me. I said no to them. So without further ado…. #receipts. This is all I’m going to say about it.”
The “receipts” Corey was referring to were two screenshots of emails. The first was a message that he received from BLINK-182 drummer Travis Barker, who worked on the album with Kelly, stating how he and MGK loved what Taylor sent them including a couple of notes from Kelly underneath.
The email says MGK loved Taylor’s vocal parts and that “he fucking killed it”. It also went on to say he’s “stoked” and “honored” that the SLIPKNOT singer was going to be featured on the track. He then mentioned that he added a bridge and a second half to the verse, in hopes that Corey would record it. And do it in the style of the SLIPKNOT song “Psychosocial.”
The second image shows Corey’s reply, saying: “So I listened to the ideas and to be honest, I don’t think I’m the right guy for the track. Nothing personal, I just think if this is what MGK is looking for, someone else is the guy to do it. It’s all good and I’m stoked for him — I hope you guys find the right fit for it. Hope you understand and I wish you guys the best with it. If I can help in any way, let me know.”
TRIVIUM frontman Matt Heafy, also got in on the action with a tweet of his own after playing this year’s ‘Knotfest’ Iowa festival, saying: “I’d like to formally diss Machine Gun Kelly for ‘being 31 years old wearing a fucking 16 year old pop punk cosplay identity on a fucking stage’”. He then dubbed Machine Gun Kelly ‘Squirt Gun Smelly’, which we think is just perfect.
MGK has been pretty silent on the matter ever since.
Here’s the thing with hard rock and heavy metal fans which was pretty well outlined, albeit briefly, earlier in this article. They are the most loyal, passionate and dedicated fans in music. Hands down. You can’t touch heavy metal fans when it comes to camaraderie, dedication and relentless support for their favorite acts and each other. Sure, to the outsider they look quite the opposite, crashing into each other with such intense, brute force in “circle pits” while music spewing with aggression is thrust upon them at blistering volumes. But that’s the beauty of it all. And the majority of fans don’t feel the need to explain themselves to anyone.
They also don’t forget.
Let’s say your throwing a house party where you have invited a group of friends both old and new. The old friends you have are relationships firmly rooted in respect and loyalty. They are “your friends” and they mean the world to you. Now as for the new friends, they too are welcome and are even encouraged to meet others at the party. Now if one of those new friends takes the gathering as an opportunity to insult one of your oldest and dearest friends in front of everyone, in what comes off as sheer arrogance, what would you do? Most likely, that person would not be invited back and the others attending the gathering would most probably support the long term cohort as the “new guy” gets told to essentially “get the fuck out”.
Granted, the music industry most certainly has a great deal of money invested in their relatively new “property” that is MGK and a little spin-doctoring will most likely be in order should their bottom line start to be affected. But I can assure you that MGK is attempting to delve deeper into a musical genre that may not be necessarily ready to accept him with open arms. In other words, don’t fuck with metal or the bands we love. It’s our “thing”. And it’s important to us.