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Speaking during a Q+A at Texas Frightmare Weekend, he explained that he spent three months designing his latest mask, which he debuted for the first time in early September.
“‘Cause the last one was – it was cool but it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do,” Taylor said.
“So this time around, I started early. I actually started designing this before the end of the ‘We Are Not Your Kind’ cycle, just to make sure that I was ahead of the game and making sure I could dial in all the details and whatnot.”
Taylor worked with designer Conor Deless on the new mask, who was able to come up with an idea based on the vision that the singer described to him, very quickly.
“He really got to the essence of what I was trying to configure, it was almost immediate. And then, really, it was just a matter of waiting for him to build the damn thing,” Taylor continued.
“We did the mold. We built it right to my face, so it fits like a glove. And it’s hot as balls, but it’s so rad onstage. It just looks really, really cool. I’m calling it the ‘Smiling Skull Mask.'”
Taylor’s previous mask designed by celebrated horror special effects specialist Tom Savini, divided fans when it debuted in the band’s video for ‘Unsainted’ in 2019.
Speaking about the impact of reactions from fans, Taylor said at the time: “I actually got some feedback from some people, which took me in a completely different direction of people who had grown up with burns, and it actually resembles the mask, like the new skin kind of thing that they wear as the skin is healing,” said Taylor. “And they said that seeing me in that was very, I don’t want to say ‘liberating,’ but it was [it made them feel so not weird]. I loved that.”
He added: “I immediately took it out of that horror book idea and immediately was more metaphorical and actually more in line with what the lyrics for the album were about. It actually felt really good to be able to kind of have something that touched people in a way. I know a lot of people didn’t like it, but I don’t really care.”