Although Slipknot made their mainstream debut in the late '90s, singer Corey Taylor and guitarist Jim Root got their start a few years prior in Stone Sour. Described as a cross between Metallica and Alice in Chains, the group spent several years playing the Iowa bar circuit before the two men joined Slipknot. Stone Sour re-formed in the early 2000s, though, and quickly distinguished themselves with a pair of gold-selling albums and three Grammy nominations.
The band's reunion began in early 2002, when Root and Taylor contacted original guitarist Josh Rand and bassist Sean Economaki about recording a full-length Stone Sour album. The bandmates had released several demos during their initial time together, and some of those songs were re-recorded for Stone Sour's self-titled debut, which earned two Grammy nominations and was RIAA-certified gold. Drafting in drummer Joel Ekman, the band released a song for the Spider-Man soundtrack ("Bother," credited only to Taylor) while recording the album in Los Angeles. A tour followed, and Stone Sour took a short break while Taylor and Root returned their attention to Slipknot for the recording of Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses.
Several years later, the band returned to the studio to work on a second album. Come What(ever) May was produced by Nick Raskulinecz (Foo Fighters, Velvet Revolver) and released in August 2006, where it hit number four on the Billboard charts and spawned the successful single "Through Glass." Stone Sour hit the road that same year on the Family Values tour with high-profile headliners Deftones and Korn, and they released a digital concert album, Live in Moscow, in 2007. Once the touring was over, Corey Taylor and Jim Root shifted their focus to Slipknot once again, this time for the creation of 2008's All Hope Is Gone.
Stone Sour's hiatus was shorter this time around, though, as the group returned in 2010 with a new album, Audio Secrecy, a more subdued effort that found the bandmembers maturing as songwriters. This trend continued into 2012 with their next release, House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 1, which would be the first part of an ambitious concept double album. A year later, in 2013, Stone Sour released the second part, House of Gold & Bones, Pt. 2.