Better known as the guitarist for the Corey Taylor led Stone Sour, Josh Rand suddenly found his music being left the equivalent of alone and rudderless at the completion of Stone Sour’s two-year touring cycle for their last studio album Hydrograd.
While Taylor has a little side project by the name of Slipknot to satiate his cravings, Rand found himself unable to sit idly by and wait for Slipknot’s album/tour cycle to finish and found himself quickly creating musical content and exploring new sounds.
An accomplished and dedicated musician – not just guitarist – Rand immersed himself in his art, assembling a body of work within the hard rock genre that, although fitting within the acceptable parameters of hard rock music, was not something he felt would suit Stone Sour once they resumed duties.
In deciding to record and release his music through a different project Rand found himself steering clear of another male singer to handle vocal duties, probably wisely deciding that any attempt to equal or better Stone Sour’s frontman would prove futile.
Almost by a twist of fate Rand met Casandra Carson and when he heard her pour her heart into her singing he knew he had lucked upon the final ingredient needed to complete The L.I.F.E Project.
While musically the songs on the band’s debut EP bear striking similarities to that of Stone Sour – which only serves to outline how strong Rand’s contributions are – Carson’s aggressively raw, yet stunningly beautiful vocal contributions set it significantly apart as an entity of its own and a project to release the growing frustrations Rand felt being away from music.
With The L.I.F.E Project having already released two singles from the EP and planning to eventually release each track separately, Rand has the aura of a man finally back at ease.
This is a musical project that will stand on its own merit and rightfully so. Although it will undoubtedly be seen by many as a side project for Rand it is much more than that.
Earlier this week Rand sat down with HEAVY to introduce us to his new baby, The L.I.F.E Project.
“For me, it was just about doing something outside of Stone Sour for the first time,” he began. “Musically I knew going into it that I wanted it to have a female vocalist for the project. With a male vocalist, I’m already in one band with somebody that’s pretty good (laughs), so trying to find someone as good or better would really be a high, high task. Also, I didn’t want that comparison, because I knew the way that I write you are going to hear similarities, it’s just who I am. You can’t expect me to wake up a day later and play like Joe Bonamassa. It’s not gonna happen. So people were like hey, we hear similarities and it’s like well, of course you are because I contribute so much music to Stone Sour and have for decades! I’m not gonna wake up and be a different person, you know. It just is what it is so another reason having a female vocalist made sense to me was it makes it a little bit different… actually a lot different… but there was music that I had written over the years that I would never submit to Stone Sour because it wouldn’t fit what I contribute to that band. Now with Cassandra, I can branch into these different directions and play piano stuff and stuff like that. I know we have that kind of stuff in Stone Sour but it’s Stone Sour’s and for me to play would be really hard to compete with Corey who also writes those kinds of songs, it’s really what his fortay is. So with this, I was able to do that. Really the idea with The L.I.F.E Project is how I approach Stone Sour which is I’m just gonna write whatever the hell I wanna write and actually now between having both of these powerhouse singers, obviously Corey on one side and Cassandra – once people really hear her and hear her diversity, especially with this first EP – it allows me as a writer the opportunity to have the best of both worlds. As far as I’m concerned I have one of the best male vocalists in hard rock and metal and I have a female vocalist who I think can be as equally powerful if given the opportunity and time to develop. It’s an exciting time. I’m really lucky and it’s pretty exciting to have that outlet.”
In the full interview, Josh runs us through the songs on the EP and discusses the warmth of again creating new music, talks about his role on many aspects of the EP from recording to playing all of the instruments, introduces us further to Cassandra who has perhaps one of the best-untapped voices currently in rock, extending the band to include touring musicians and more.
Watch “The Nothingness” below: