Korn Reflect On Their Early Days With Ross Robinson, Late Deftones Bassist Chi Cheng


Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, bassist Fieldy and drummer Ray Luzier sit in with Matt Pinfield on the latest episode of ‘2 Hours With Matt Pinfield‘ which you can find at In addition to discussing their new album “The Serenity Of Suffering“, the band reflected on their early days and more.

They shared their memories of their time spent at Indigo Ranch Studios in Malibu, CA which has since burned down in a fire. The band recorded their first two albums “Korn” & “Life Is Peachy” with producer Ross Robinson at that studio, with Davis sharing:

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“I went there to show my sons it, show the boys, and I didn’t know it burned down. And I got up there and it’s just leveled. I didn’t know. I took my sons up there and tears started coming out my eyes and they were like ‘daddy what’s wrong?’ and I was like ‘you don’t know about how magic this place was.’ It basically was the birthplace for the whole scene that we started—what do you call it nu metal or whatever—this was where it all was born and it’s dead now.”

When asked what it was like working with Robinson on those albums, as well as 2010’s “Korn III: Remember Who You Are“, he replied:

“Hell. And then working on ‘Korn III‘ was super hell. It even got worse. He’s like this super, super method acting cheerleader kind of thing and he likes to push your buttons and push you to the point where you break—I get it, I totally understand it and I totally think it’s awesome when you’re doing that to 24 year olds. Not when I was 32 and when I was doing ‘Korn III‘, no. I remember we were out when we did the 20th anniversary and we were out with Suicide Silence and they were telling me they were ready to go in with him…

They went there and they told us, they came back and all the band sitting in there doing exactly what we did. They were sitting in chairs staring at the ground, being quiet while they were getting yelled at because he would start this thing called the molt session where he’d just start talking about problems and pushing buttons and getting us so pissed off inside and that brought out the fire in the playing. There is a method to his madness, but it’s just not fun… I love you Ross, don’t get me wrong I really do love you.”

Having recently interviewed Deftones, etc. frontman Chino Moreno and discussed the passing of Deftones bassist Chi Cheng, Pinfield and the band went on to reminisce of their time with Cheng and more:

Fieldy: “When we met those guys [Deftones] we were both just kinda starting out, it was more about we were friends, we weren’t even rockstars yet, we were friends. It developed that bonding and then when that happened, I kind of, just gathering… I wanted to do a song cause his mom got ahold of me and she needed some help.

So I was like lets put a song together and try to raise money, got a bunch of musicians together and put this song online, ‘A Song For Chi‘, and gave all the money for that cause he was in a coma for a couple years and it was a lot of money, the insurance didn’t cover it, it was a touchy thing. But it was very cool to put the song together and people can still, they probably still can donate, I don’t even know I haven’t looked at it in a long time.”

Jonathan Davis: “That guy was such a sweet dude, I loved him. I would sit there for hours and we would talk about crazy stuff. He was a very spiritual guy and some of my favorite times with him were just staying up all night talking about spritual stuff. It was just shooting the shit, he’s an amazing, amazing person and it’s unfortunate that that happened.”

Cheng was returning from the memorial service for his brother in November of 2008, when he was seriously injured in an automobile crash with his sister, Mae. Cheng was not wearing a seatbelt at the time and was left in a semi-comatose state until his death on April 13th of 2013. Davis referenced the tragedy of that situation, offering:

“Life is very tragic. His poor mother, she loses her first son and their her second son on the way back from the funeral, how crazy is that?”

In other news, Jonathan Davis revealed that their new song, “A Different World“, will be their next single from their new album “The Serenity Of Suffering“. Slipknot/Stone Sour frontman Corey Taylor guests on that particular track from the album, which is headed for an October 21st release date.

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