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David Silveria Explains How A Broken Back & A “Communication Breakdown” Led To His Exit From Korn


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Drummer David Silveria (BI•AS, ex-Korn/Core 10) guests on the latest episode of Bad Wolves guitarist Doc Coyle‘s ‘The Ex-Man Podcast‘ (hear it below) and shares some insight into his current ventures as well his time in Korn. During the conversation, Silveria details how he broke his back around the mid-2000s, leaving him with debilitating injuries that eventually saw him exit Korn back in December of 2006.

He also discusses “communication breakdown” between the band that pervaded that period in time. Speaking on the injury, he offered:

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“Nobody really knows this either, but the last year I was with Korn—it was a day we were shooting a video—I was working out in my house and I was doing squats with dumbbells in my hand and I bent down and I looked up to look at what was on the TV and I arced my back backwards and I broke my back.

I broke the two bones, they’re called pars bones—the small bones that connect your vertebrae. I broke four pars bones in my lower back. And I got up and I couldn’t even stand up straight it hurt so bad. So I was super hunched over, like really down low. And I went in, and I was able to get myself in the shower and I drove up to film a video that same day.

So on the drive up I call my manager and I’m like ‘I need some pain pills, I need a masseuse, my back is so bad right now.’ So I got there, and had a massage waiting for me and some pain pills and I got through the day and the next day my back was really hurting, but it wasn’t as bad, the pain kind of went away. So I actually kind of ignored it for a few months.

And then it started really flaring up… So it was bothering me so bad, this was right about the time when I left Korn. It was bothering me so bad that I went to an orthopedic and had x-rays done. And from the x-ray, he just said it looked like my back was out of place really bad or something—it was kind of a cloudy x-ray—so he just started giving me a bunch of pain pills.

So over the next year I took massive amounts of Oxys and Vicodins every day. And it got to the point I was taking a ridiculous amount, it was so bad. So I looked up another back specialist at UC Irvine, and I went in to see this guy and I was like ‘my back is so messed up and I’m taking so many pain pills, I can’t even function like this.’

So he took a fresh x-ray and he put it up next to my old x-ray—the new one was much clearer—and he goes ‘See your old x-ray, see your new one? I can tell you right now by the looks of your old x-ray that your back has been broken for a year and a half.’

So they have two screws in my lowest vertebrae and a synthetic disc in between my lowest two vertebrae—because the disc was gone too, it was bone on bone. And then two screws in the top vertebrae and the two pins that connect it, almost like a clamp, clamping the lowest two vertebrae together. So that was basically like the last four or five months in Korn for another year after that, it was ridiculous amounts of back pain.”

“It got so bad, I literally could walk maybe fifty feet and I would have to sit down on the sidewalk or wherever I was for two or three minutes, and then get up and walk twenty, thirty feet and sit down. I waited that long because the doctor misdiagnosed me and the doctor had me taking so many painkillers.”

He went on to say that the 6 to 8 month recovery process from the eventual surgery saw him having to sit on a seat in the shower and use a walker for four months for mobility afterwards. As for his current health, he says he is much better but has developed arthritis in his lower back due to the hardware installed and has an annual pain blocking procedure done on the affected area.

However, while the injury played a big role in his departure from the band, it wasn’t the only reason. He states that a “communication breakdown” within the group around the same time also contributed to the situation:

“What happened was… I’m not really sure actually what happened. We just had a communication breakdown. I just quit talking to them and they quit talking to me and that was kind of it.”

Speaking on how the band began to grow apart, he stated:

“I think at some point, I’m not really sure… There was never any reason I can think of, but it just seemed like at a point we kind of stopped communicating with each other like we had in the past.

I think everyone kind of grew apart a little bit. You know, people, band members would start being kind of demanding about things.

And instead of talking as a band, individuals would start calling our managers and talking to them about things. And it kind of broke our communication between all of us as a band. And I think once that started to happen, the relationships between everyone kind of steadily went on a decline.

And I think ultimately because of that situation—of everyone kind of not communicating anymore—I think that’s probably what drove me to—after hurting my back, taking the hiatus—I think that’s what kind of drove me not to having the fire in me to go back.

Just because the communication had broken down to the point where it wasn’t even a band anymore, it was just kinda like a business. We weren’t really even talking to each other anymore. And it kind of sucked all the fun out of it. It wasn’t nearly as much fun as it used to be and kind of made it where it was almost like faking being passionate about things at times.”

He continued:

“That started happening around 2000, maybe 2004. I left in December of 2006. So basically 2007. It had been building up and I wish everyone would have just stayed in communication with each other. You know, we started the band and we were all just really good friends.”

He later added:

“I think that kind of bums me out the most, is that we lost communication with each other. That kind of drove a wedge. I’m sure it wasn’t even intentional on anyone’s part, it’s just kind of how things happened.”

Silveria‘s relationship with his former bandmates over the years has seemingly remained rocky. While Silveria has unloaded on the group over the years via social media, he is also currently in another lawsuit with his former Korn bandmates over another royalty dispute. You can read up on that current pair of dueling lawsuits here. The topic of the suit was not brought up during the podcast appearance.

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