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Phunk Junkeez

Ross Robinson Explains Why He Chose To Work With Phunk Junkeez After Producing Korn’s Debut Album


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Over the course of several decades producer Ross Robinson has developed a reputation for his trademark cathartic production style. That process has often found him intentionally pushing the buttons of the artists he’s working with in order to emotionally empower the performances they deliver in the studio.

The results of his unconventional approach, which has involved throwing objects at musicians and more, yielded memorable results from the likes of Korn, Slipknot, Sepultura, Glassjaw and others. Back in 2016 Korn frontman Jonathan Davis spoke of working Robinson, offering, “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…”

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That psychologically involved style of production ultimately saw Robinson play a key role in helping define the building blocks of the nü-metal genre and beyond. His late 90s producer run also proved to be quite commercially successful, having risen to prominence for his production work on Korn‘s 2x multi-platinum self-titled debut and its 2x multi-platinum follow-up “Life Is Peachy“. He went on to sit behind the boards for Sepultura‘s gold-certified “Roots“, Limp Bizkit‘s 2x multi-platinum “Three Dolla Bill, Y’all“, Soulfly‘s gold-certified self-titled debut and Slipknot‘s 2x multi-platinum self-titled album, among several others.

However, buried amid his red hot late 90s run—perhaps even more so than Vanilla Ice‘s 1998 nü-metal effort “Hard To Swallow“—is “Injected“, the 1995 major label debut and sophomore album from punkish rap rock outfit Phunk Junkeez. That effort served as the project Robinson took on after wrapping up work on Korn‘s self-titled debut and the upbeat nature of it doesn’t exactly fit with Robinson‘s emotionally charged template.

Asked recently by the ‘Meep Meep: the Roadrunner Podcast‘ on why he decided to take on that album, he responded:

“Okay in between first and second Korn records these two manager dudes came to the rehearsal place to try to get the band to pick them out. They’re kinda dorky and bobbin’ to it like ‘oh yeah man, this is great!’ …Nobody knew what Korn was at the time, like understood it in the industry yet, and these guys showed all this enthusiasm and every management company were asleep.

So Korn went with these guys just because of the enthusiasm and they had Phunk Junkeez. That was all they had… Phunk Junkeez was the beginning of The Firm, before they called themselves ‘The Firm‘. And so those guys they asked me if I would record it and I said ‘yeah!'”

“They were really fun. They would sell out giant shows in Phoenix and…that’s kind of it. I remember those guys were just super funny and they were good.”

The podcast’s host Ryan Rainbro went on to reply, “…You’re known for of course the vocals on your albums and provoking this emotion from these vocalists so [I was thinking] what could you have done with the Soulman and K-Tel Disco!”

Robinson replied, “It was all about fun, with those guys. It wasn’t about some deep seeded emotions. It was all about fun. It was cool. I was really grateful to do it.”

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