Korn's Jonathan Davis

Korn’s Jonathan Davis Speaks On “Dark” New Album “The Nothing”, Nü Metal Having “A Lot Of Bad Music”


Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis took part in a live Q&A with Kerrang! today (June 26th) and discussed the band’s newly announced album “The Nothing” and more during his appearance. “The Nothing” is headed for a September 13th release through Roadrunner/Elektra and the first single from it, “You’ll Never Find Me“, debuted earlier today.

Davis has no shortage of emotion to draw on from the effort, having lost his estranged wife Deven Davis last year. If that wasn’t enough, the band have also been embroiled in a legal battle with their former drummer David Silveria over royalties.

- Advertisement -

In regards to the lyrical content of the album itself, he offered:

“It’s basically me dealing with all the stuff that happened to me last year. Very emotional for me, but it is what it is. I can’t wait for people to hear it. I really spent a long time on doing what I wanted to do this time. No producers came in.

And people trying to get me to do one thing this way or the other way—everybody was overthinking a lot of things—but I finally was fed up with it and kicked everyone out and said, ‘It’ll be done when it’s done.’ And I locked myself up in my studio and spent a long time reflecting and just healing and making my art. And a couple of months later, I came out and it’s done and I just can’t wait for you to hear it. I can’t explain much.”

He also delved into the loose concept of the record:

“The whole record is—I wouldn’t say a concept record, but it’s about basically the same thing. All the different songs are about this dark energy that’s followed me around. And with all the things that were going on last year, me embracing it, running from it, just trying to navigate myself through all the chaos that I was having at that time.”

Regarding whether or not creating material for the album was a ‘healing process’, he replied:

“It sucked. I’m not gonna say it didn’t. It was just really hard. But that’s how I’ve always dealt with all my problems—just throwing my heart and soul into my art. And I went through it, and it was very hard—there were some emotional times—but it was nice just being alone by myself with my engineer. That was it; it was just the two of us in the studio. On the last couple of records, I had my kids there, and I was just all over the place. This time, I could really concentrate and do what I had to do and get out what I needed to get out.”

As for how the album sounds in relation to the band’s previous records, he offered:

“It’s just a different beast. This time, the band really brought it—they did really cool things, fresh-sounding stuff. I think the biggest difference is what I did vocally on it. I wasn’t in a hurry; I wasn’t in a rush to get stuff done.

I didn’t settle. I had time. I’d record something and I’d take it home and listen and go, ‘Ehhh. I don’t know.’ But it was just me finding myself. I wasn’t listening to producers or other people having their opinions. It was just my thing. And then sometimes I’d be more critical than a producer, but I had that luxury at the time.”

When asked if he takes offense to people still labeling the band as nü metal, he replied:

“I used to get so pissed off, but I don’t fucking care anymore. I swear to god. Call us whatever the fuck you want, I don’t care. I used to fight and be pissed ‘How could you can call us that?’

In the beginning, in 1993 and 94 when it came out, we were not a metal band. A metal band was like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden—and all due respect to them, that’s what they were. But we weren’t a metal band and that’s what they were trying to lump us into.

And so we went out and they tried to stick us on all these different tours. I mean we were opening up for Pennywise and No Doubt. We opened up for KMFDM, just all these different bands… And it just seemed like the metal community took us in, and that was great and we were doing our thing.

And then all the little copycat bands started coming out and then it became a movement and then it became nü metal. So that’s how that happened, but whatever. Who gives a fuck? I don’t anymore.”

On if he feels nü metal gets a bad rap:

“Yeah when I hear nü metal I just think machismo kind of rap rocky, kind of I don’t know. Just a lot of bad music, there was some great ones but there was a lot bad ones too.”

When asked about what music currently inspires him, he cited old big band records and the like from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, saying he enjoys the ‘darkness’ of those records. Speaking of the current rock climate:

“As of music fright now, nothing’s really… It just seems, at least in the rock world—they call it ‘active rock’—it just seems that all these bands that are coming out sound the exact the same, the same exact formula, the same exact tones. You’re listening to the same song just performed by different people, so I’m just waiting for something to grab my attention.”

The band have a released quite a few covers throughout the years and when asked if a potential covers album from the band would ever surface, he offered:

“You know we did a bunch of covers. I hope to hell… We’ve got like four or five. We just gotta get enough to make a record and we’ll probably do it sometime. But every time we do it our manager comes in and is like ‘They’re useless, why would you put that out? We’re going the album cycle here, that’s something that you do on the side.’

We do some good covers man, we can do covers good. I hope one day it comes out.”

- Advertisement - Purchase Merch