Korn's Jonathan Davis

Korn’s Jonathan Davis Elaborates On His Past Meth Abuse & Using Oxygen During Live Performances


Though he practices sobriety these days, Korn frontman Jonathan Davis has struggled with addiction in the past and recently discussed his addiction to meth in the days just prior to Korn finding success. In an interview with Steve-O that aired earlier this month, Davis spoke of those times and his eventual sobriety:

“…It started before Korn blew up. I started doing meth when I moved to Huntington, and there’s a lot of meth there from Bakersfield, and I got hooked up with someone that was giving me tons of it there.

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“So on the first album [1994’s self-titled], we have a title called ‘Helmet In The Bush‘ – it’s about meth. [Laughs] I started doing meth there, that was the first record.

And then I got sober right after we did the third record [1998’s ‘Follow the Leader‘]. So I stopped meth when we started touring because I couldn’t function; there’s no way I could be up for two days and tour and keep it together, and I had to stop.

So the day we took off on tour, the first tour with House Of Pain and Biohazard, we got in our trailer and we built bunks, and I just got on that bunk and I slept for five fucking days, got up and played a show, and that’s when I kicked it.”

When asked if he ever toured while on meth, he replied:

“No, it was impossible; I couldn’t do meth and fucking tour, it wouldn’t work. So I started drinking, and then I became a raging alcoholic – and cocaine occasionally when I could find it. But yeah, they go hand in hand.”

When asked if he ever had any moments of psychosis, hallucinations, etc. during his time using harder drugs, he offered:

“I was always smart enough to know when to put it down. [Laughs] When I start getting paranoid or weird, I’d just go to bed, but I saw a lot of people do that shit.

One of my meth dealers, I went to his house and he had holes on the walls where he’s like, ‘There’s cameras in the walls, man!’ And I start talking to people, they’re like, ‘They’re following me in helicopters and I could see the agents in the bushes!’

And it’s like, ‘Oh my god, you need to go to sleep.’ I never got the weird, crazy psychosis, but I met a lot of people that did, and that was when it gets scary.”

While Davis would go on to kick his addiction relatively early into the band, some of his bandmates had problems with meth that lasted far longer, including guitarist Brian “Head” Welch. Welch has discussed his battles with addiction and his path to sobriety numerous times in the past.

Meanwhile, this recent interview also found Davis elaborating on his bouts with “horrible asthma” as a child and that while he’s grown out of it mostly, he uses oxygen while performing onstage to help offset the effects:

“…I grew out of it. I still have it, I’m on meds for it still, but it’s not like it was. I can breathe, it’s fine. I have a big oxygen tank on stage I hit all the time – that gets me going, I get high off oxygen, it’s really cool.”


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