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Jonathan Davis Of Korn

Jonathan Davis Reveals His Favorite And Least Favorite Korn Albums, Speaks Of The ‘Stupid’ Songs On “Follow The Leader”


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Korn frontman Jonathan Davis guests on the latest episode of Silverstein frontman Shane Told‘s ‘Lead Singer Syndrome‘ podcast (hear the episode here) and spoke about various aspects of his life from his career in music. I’ve transcribed some excerpts from the discussion below:

On Korn naming their their 5x multi-platinum album “Follow The Leader” in response to the various bands that were copying them at the time:

“You know who named that was Fieldy and he was being an arrogant prick, like only he could be at that time. He’s a sweetheart now, but back then he was out of his mind. And that was just a dig, ‘Yeah, c’mon fools, follow the leader’ [laughs.] That’s where that came from, honest to god. It was a dig at all those people trying to be us and lo and behold that album goes on to sell a kajillion records and be our biggest record, that’s some funny shit.”

Reflecting on “Follow The Leader” and why they won’t be performing the album in full at their upcoming 20th anniversary shows for it:

“It’s a great record, I wouldn’t change anything other than the stupid ass songs on there that we did when were hammered out of our minds. There’s like “Cameltosis” and “All In The Family“—that’s just the effects of a lot of alcohol.”

“We’re playing three shows to celebrate it. Three shows in small little places to celebrate it. We were gonna do it in its entirety but me and the guys would look at each other going ‘This is some stupid shit.’ ‘I don’t want to play this, do you want to play this?’ And they’re like ‘No.’ So we’re gonna the best of cuts, the ones that are actual songs, let’s put it that way.”

He later added:

“We don’t want to just bore people with this horrible music that we think is horrible. We’re gonna do the majority of the record—just the best cuts. We’re just gonna cut out the stupid shit that we put in cause we were drunk.”

On the band’s willingness to experiment and evolve keeping them relevant:

“I think it was our passion to create and to keep creating different kinds of music, and not giving into that pressure to do the same thing over and over just because it was successful. We’ve knocked some out of the park and we’ve failed miserably on a couple that people have hated.

But at least we had the balls enough to go and try. And that’s one thing that I’ve always respected about our band is that everyone’s got the balls to go try some different shit. We don’t care if it’s good, then it’s good in our opinion and that’s what we’re gonna stick to.

And then there’s some people that play it very safe and they want to do the same thing over and over again and that works for some bands. The perfect example is AC/DC. You know what you’re getting when you get an AC/DC record but that works for them, they’re fucking the shit.

But for Korn we just wanted to switch things up and keep being experimental. Like I said sometimes we took it way too far and it didn’t work, but hey, at least we tried and we had the opportunity to keep going and make more records to make up for that.”

He was also asked to discuss his favorite and least favorite Korn albums. His favorite remains the band’s 2002 platinum selling album “Untouchables“. Regarding that, he stated:

“My favorite Korn record hands down is “Untouchables“. It was a record that we made that couldn’t be made in this day—we spent over four million bucks doing that. Most of that money went to keeping our entire crew on retainer for two and a half years. That was just mistake #1, but we spent two and a half years working with an amazing producer, Michael Beinhorn, recording in different studios.

I did it in Canada. I recorded some of the vocals up in Vancouver in Horseshoe Bay and I’m digging that. But then I got bummed out, it was too pretty and too amazing and [I’d] go and boat all day and cruise around the bay and all that it just got… That wasn’t the right vibe so I came back and we finished the vocals in the Village in Hollywood, err, Los Angeles.

But that album is perfect. I call it the heavy metal ‘Aja‘ [referring to Steely Dan‘s 1977 album ‘Aja‘.] Sonically, and you hear ‘Aja‘ from Steely Dan—that is a perfect record.

I think this one [‘Untouchables‘] is for heavy music is that, sonically. And for us one of the best musically. It’s just unreal how good that sounds and how much work we put into it.”

As for his least favorite, he chose the aforementioned album’s 2003 platinum selling follow-up “Take A Look In The Mirror

“My least favorite… probably “Take A Look In The Mirror“. ‘Cause “Take A Look In The Mirror” was a reaction to what we did with “Untouchables“. We spent two and a half years, we did all that and that was the only album we ever did where we self-produced it. I mean some of the songs on there were cool; sonically it sucks. We did it in my home studio. It lacks… I helped produce it with the band and we just didn’t know what the hell we were doing.”

You can find the full episode, which also finds him discussing his regret for dissing Metallica in the press while on tour with them and more, online here. Korn themselves are currently thought to be in the studio working on their new album while Davis will be doing more solo touring this fall.

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