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Korn

Korn

Rock group

Korn emerged in the mid-1990s at the forefront of a music genre dubbed "coldwave," a crossover between underground metal and industrial rock. Hailing from southern California, the members of Korn fused five various musical interests into their own distinct blend of fury. Although it took a year to catch on, their debut album and tour became a smashing success and firmly planted them on radio stations and in record stores worldwide.

Although the band did not have formal training, they created their music through instinct and democratic input. "We can't even read four bars of music, let alone play it in time," guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer told Aaron Johnston in Guitar Player. "It's more about exploration and finding new sounds than anything else. Not every creation has to start out with a riffsometimes all it takes is a noise. It takes patience, but we respect each other's musicianship."

All of the members of Korn grew up in an agricultural town called Bakersfield, California, two hours north of Los Angeles. The place did have a history of spawning musicians, but they were classic country singers like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Bassist Fieldy and drummer David Silveria started playing together in high school. Fieldy's father used to play in a band with singer Jonathan Davis's father.

Before the formation of Korn, Shaffer, Fieldy, and Silveria played in a band called L.A.P.D., which released one album. They then disbanded and reformed as a band called Creep, in which guitarist Brian "Head" Welch joined them on stage for a few shows. Silveria also played for another rock band called Infectious Grooves. They had all moved closer to Los Angeles in California's Orange County.

One night, Welch and Silveria saw Jonathan Davis singing for a band called Sexart during a visit to Bakersfield. Within a month, they asked him to join the band and renamed it Korn. "I was into Duran Duran, Missing Persons, A Flock of Seagulls, that kind of vibe," Davis recalled to Chris Gill in Guitar World. "So when I joined this band, I had no clue what to do. I hadn't ever listened to heavy music. I just opened my mouth and hoped for the best."

Davis also listened to classical music and played the bagpipes. He not only brought his musical perspective to the band, but also his life experience. He grew up an abuse victim with a deeply troubled childhood. Before joining Korn, he worked as an autopsy assistant at the Kern County Coroner's office. And until the band went on its first tour, Davis had an addiction to drugs.

His experience at the coroner's office gave him a different perspective on life, death, and driving. One of the repercussions of the job was that Davis refused to get behind the wheel of a car. "I hate it. I've seen one too many dead people from cars," he explained to Daina Darzin in Spin. His autopsy work and his childhood gave him plenty of lyrical inspiration, and had an influence on the aggression of the band's sound as well. "The stuff I write is how I feel about things," Davis told Neil Aldis in Metal Hammer. "We're not trying to get political or anything; we just like to play our music and for people to relate to it."

In 1993 the members of Korn all moved to Huntington Beach, California, where they began to crystallize their sound and identity. By the next year, they had landed a record deal with Immortal/Epic Records and recorded their debut. The self-titled album Korn did not appeal to radio stations or people in the music industry at first. It took nearly a year to get their album off the ground. Finally, the first single, "Blind," and its follow-up, "Shoots and Ladders" began to get some exposure. Neil Aldis described his impression of Korn in Metal Hammer, "Throughout the 12 tracks, there is a constant deep, dark groove with a hypnotic sense of melody."

Most of the group's delayed popularity resulted from their more than 300 shows across the globe. They played with bands such as 311, Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, Danzig, Megadeth, House of Pain, and Ozzy Osbourne. "People need to see the show to get it, and if they don't get it the first time, they need to check it out again," Silveria told Carrie Borzillo in Billboard. "Obviously, our path to success will be longer than a band that is radio-friendly. Any band that is somewhat original takes longer."

On September 30, 1995, Korn became the first debut hardcore rock artists to reach the top of Billboard 's Heatseekers chart since 1993. In July of the following year, they became the first band to conduct an interactive radio broadcast over the Internet. Korn could not be stopped and soon released another album.

Life Is Peachy hit the stores on October 15, 1996, and debuted at number three on the Billboard Top 200 Album chart. "I've matured more [lyrically]," Davis said to Daina Darzin in Spin. "I'm not crying about my childhood anymore. The first record was just, get [it all] out." Davis did write about his relationship with his former step-mother on "Kill You," but he also moved on to other topics, like how he felt about the band's success.

The popular tune "A.D.I.D.A.S.," which stood for "All Day I Dream About Sex," became the title track for their 1997 release A.D.I.D.A.S. Remixes. Two weeks later Korn followed up the record with a home video called Who Then Now? Korn's success on their first albums helped secure a renewal of their label's distribution deal with Epic Records in 1997, a relationship that promised to continue to support the band's goals. By the end of the year, they had also collaborated with the Dust Brothers on the film soundtrack for The Spawn.

In 1998, Korn released Follow the Leader, which rocketed to the number one spot on the Billboard 200 charts. It also sold more than three million copies. The hits from that album included "Got the Life" and "Freak on a Leash." The video for "Freak on a Leash" ended up winning both an MTV Video Music Award and a Grammy. That year, Korn and the band Limp Bizkit launched a highly successful festival tour called "The Family Values Tour."

For the Record

Members include Jonathan Davis (born on January 18, 1971), vocals; Fieldy , bass; James Shaffer , guitar; David Silveria , drums; Brian Welch , guitar.

Group formed in Huntington Beach, CA, 1993; signed record contract with Immortal/Epic Records, 1994; released self-titled debut, 1994; toured for 18 months, performing more than 300 shows, 1994-95; Life Is Peachy debuted at No. 3 on the U.S. charts, 1996; released A.D.I.D.A.S. Remixes, 1997; Follow the Leader debuted at No. 1 on Billboard 200, started the Family Values tour, 1998; released Issues, debuted at No. 1 on Pop Albums chart, 1999; released Untouchables, 2002; released Take a Look in the Mirror, 2003.

Awards: MTV Video Music Awards, Best Editing in a Video and Best Rap Video for "Freak on a Leash," 1999; Grammy Award, Best Short Form Music Video for "Freak on a Leash," 2000; Grammy Award, Best Metal Performance for "Here to Stay," 2003.

Addresses: Record company Immortal/Epic Records, 1801 Century Park W., Century City, CA 90067. Agent John Marks, c/o William Morris Agency, One William Morris Pl., Beverly Hills, CA 90212, phone: (310) 859-4000, fax: (310) 859-4462. Website Korn Official Website: http://www.korn.com.

With the release of Issues in 1999, Korn once again hit the number one spot, this time on the Pop Albums chart. That same year, Davis and the band established an independent label called Elementree. In 2003, Korn reunited with Limp Bizkit for the "XBox Live: Back 2 Basics Tour" to support their 2003 release, Take a Look in the Mirror. Even with the advent of bands with similar sounds, Korn stands out among the crowd with its consistently intense live performances and a wildly enthusiastic fan base. Davis explained to Larry Flick of Billboard what drives him to work as hard as he does: "You can make music you love, but getting out there and playing it for the kids is what gives the songs life. It's when you're out there that you see the result of your pain and work. That's [what] makes it worthwhile."

Selected discography

Korn, Immortal/Epic, 1994.

Life Is Peachy, Immortal/Epic, 1996.

A.D.I.D.A.S. Remixes, Immortal/Epic, 1997.

Follow the Leader, Immortal/Epic, 1998.

Issues, Immortal/Epic, 1999.

Untouchables, Immortal/Epic, 2002.

Take a Look in the Mirror, Immortal/Epic, 2003.

Sources

Billboard, October 14, 1995; April 19, 1997, May 4, 2002.

East Coast Rocker, January 1996.

Entertainment Weekly, October 25, 1996; March 28, 1997; December 12, 2003.

Guitar Player, March 1997.

Guitar World, March 1996.

Kerrang, August 1996.

LiveWire, July 1996.

Metal Hammer, December 1995.

People, July 8, 2002.

Spin, December 1996.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Epic Records press materials, 1997.

Sonya Shelton and

Eve M. B. Hermann

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Korn

Korn

Rock group

For the Record

Sprouted in Southern California

Kernels of Success

Selected discography

Sources

Korn emerged in the mid-1990s at the forefront of a music genre dubbed coldwave, a crossover between underground metal and industrial rock. Hailing from Southern California, the members of Korn fused five various musical interests into their own distinct blend of fury. Although it took a year to catch on, their debut album and tour became a smashing success and firmly planted them on radio stations and in record stores worldwide.

Although the band did not have formal training, they created their music through instinct and democratic input. We cant even read four bars of music, let alone play it in time, guitarist James Munky Shaffer told Aaron Johnston in Guitar Player. Its more about exploration and finding new sounds than anything else. Not every creation has to start out with a riffsometimes all it takes is a noise. It takes patience, but we respect each others musicianship.

All of the members of Korn grew up in an agricultural town called Bakersfield, California, two hours north of

For the Record

Members include Jonathan Davis (born January 18, 1971), vocals; Fieldy, bass; James Shaffer, guitar; David Silver ia, drums; Brian Welch, guitar.

Band formed in San Bernardino, CA, 1983; signed record contract with Immortal/Epic Records, 1994; released self-titled debut, 1994; toured for 18 months, performing more than 300 shows, 1994-95; Life Is Peachy debuted at No. 3 on the U.S. charts, 1996; released A.D.I.D.A.S. Remixes, 1997; produced home video Who Then Now?, 1997.

Addresses: Record company Immortal/Epic Records, 1801 Century Park West, Century City, CA 90067.

Los Angeles. The place did have a history of spawning musicians, but they were classic country singers like Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Bassist Fieldy and drummer David Silveria started playing together in high school. Fieldys father used to play in a band with singer Jonathan Daviss father.

Before the formation of Korn, Shaffer, Fieldy, and Silveria played in a band called L.A.P.D., which released one album. Then, they disbanded and reformed as a band called Creep, in which guitarist Brian Head Welch joined them on stage for a few shows. Silveria also played for another rock band called Infectious Grooves. They had all moved closer to Los Angeles in Californias Orange County.

Sprouted in Southern California

One night, Welch and Silveria saw Jonathan Davis singing for a band called Sex Art, during a visit to Bakersfield. Within a month, they asked him to join the band and renamed it Korn. I was into Duran Duran, Missing Persons, A Flock of Seagulls, that kind of vibe, Davis recalled to Chris Gill in Guitar World .So when I joined this band, I had no clue what to do. I hadnt ever listened to heavy music. I just opened my mouth and hoped for the best.

Davis also listened to classical music and played the bagpipe. He not only brought his musical perspectiven the band, but also his life experience as well. He grew up an abuse victim with a deeply troubled childhood. Before joining Korn, he worked as an autopsy assistant at the Kern County Coroners office. And until the band went on its first tour, Davis had an addiction to drugs. His experience at the coroners office gave him a different perspective on life, death, and driving. I could do things that serial killers did, and get paid for it, he told Kerrang .I could hack up bodies. One of the repercussions of the job was that Davis refused to get behind the wheel of a car. I hate it. Ive seen one too many dead people from cars, he explained to Daina Darzin in Spin .His autopsy work and his childhood gave him plenty of lyrical inspiration, and had an influence on the aggression of the bands sound as well.

The stuff I write is how I feel about things, Davis told Neil Aldis in Metal Hammer .Were not trying to get political or anything; we just like to play our music and for people to relate to it.

In 1993 the members of Korn all moved to Huntington Beach, California, where they began to crystallize their sound and identity. By the next year, they had landed a record deal with Immortal/Epic Records and recorded their debut. The album Korn put off many radio stations and other people in the music industry at first. It took nearly a year to get their album off the ground. Finally, the first single, Blind, and its follow-up, Shoots and Ladders began to get some exposure. Neil Aldis described his impression of Korn in Metal Hammer, Throughout the 12 tracks, there is a constant deep, dark groove with a hypnotic sense of melody.

Kernels of Success

Most of the groups delayed popularity resulted from their more than 300 shows across the globe. They played with many bands such as 311, Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, Danzig, Megadeth, House of Pain, and Ozzy Osbourne. People need to see the show to get it, and if they dont get it the first time, they need to check it out again, Silveria told Carrie Borzillo in Billboard .Obviously, our path to success will be longer than a band that is radio-friendly. Any band that is somewhat original takes longer.

On September 30, 1995, Korn became the first debut hardcore rock artists to reach the top of Billboards Heatseekers chart since 1993. In July of the following year, they became the first band to conduct an interactive radio broadcast over the Internet. With all this accomplished, it was time to release their next album.

Life Is Peachy hit the stores on October 15, 1996, and debuted at No. 3 on the BillboardTop 200 Album chart. Ive matured more [lyrically], Davis said to Daina Darzin in Spin .Im not crying about my childhood anymore. The first record was just, get [it all] out. Davis did write about his relationship with his former step-mother on Kill You, but he also moved on to other topics, like how he felt about the bands success.

The popular tune A.D.I.D.A.S., which stood for All Day I Dream about Sex, became the title track for their 1997 release A.D.I.D.A.S. Remixes. Two weeks, later Korn followed up the record with a home video called Who Then Now? Korns success on their first albums helped secure a renewal of their labels distribution deal with Epic Records in 1997, a relationship that promised to continue to support the bands goals. By the end of the year, they had also contributed a collaboration with the Dust Brothers on The Spawn film soundtrack.

Selected discography

Korn, Immortal/Epic Records, 1994.

Life Is Peachy, Immortal/Epic Records, 1996.

A.D.I.D.A.S. Remixes, Immortal/Epic Records, 1997.

Sources

Billboard, October 14, 1995; April 19, 1997.

East Coast Rocker, January 1996.

Entertainment Weekly, October 25, 1996; March 28, 1997.

Guitar Player, March 1997.

Guitar World, March 1996.

Kerrang, August 1996

LiveWire, July 1996.

Metal Hammer, December 1995.

Spin, December 1996.

Additional information for this profile was obtained from Epic Records press materials, 1997.

Sonya Shelton

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Korn

KORN

Formed: 1992, Bakersfield, California

Members: Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arzivu, bass (born Bakersfield, California, 2 November 1969); Jonathan Davis, lead vocals, bagpipes (born Bakersfield, California, 18 January 1971); James "Munky" Shaffer, guitar (born Rosedale, California, 6 June 1970); David Silveria, drums (born Bakersfield, California, 21 September 1972); Brian "Head" Welch, guitar (born Torrance, California, 19 June 1970).

Genre: Heavy Metal, Rock

Best-selling album since 1990: Follow the Leader (1998)

Hit songs since 1990: "Freak on a Leash," "Got the Life," "Falling Away from Me"


One of the most distinctive and controversial heavy metal bands of the decade, Korn ascended from mid-1990s cult favorite to late-1990s popular phenomenon. Blending rhythmic elements of funk and hip-hop into an effects-laden stew of eerie, sludgy terror, the group dug deep into a host of adolescent scars with the brutal passion and rage of personal experience. At the forefront of the decade's rap-metal and nu-metal movements, they took a page from their predecessors, Faith No More, but also set trends that others followed.

The band formed in 1992, at a time when the serious Seattle grunge of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden pushed the more shallow 1980s pop metal bandsthe likes of Mötley Crüe, Poison, Warrant, and Skid Rowout of the mainstream. From this shift heavier and more substantive bands emerged. Guitarists James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch, bassist Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arzivu, and drummer David Silveria played in a Bakersfield, California, band named LAPD when they met Jonathan Davis. Davis was a mortuary science student who also sang lead vocals in another local band, Sexart. LAPD soon asked Davis to join their band, and Korn was born.

Davis added a substantial measure of childhood trauma to Korn's lyrics and vocals. As a youth he often donned dresses and makeup, behavior that brought him much verbal ridicule and physical harm. Throughout the band's 1994 self-titled debut, he vents his frustrations with menacing ferocity. On "Faget," he moans about sexual confusion: "I'm just a pretty boy / Whatever you call it / You wouldn't know a real man if you saw it." On "Clown" he growls with pent-up anger: "Throw your hate at me with all your might / Hit me 'cause I'm strange, hit me!" And on "Daddy," he cathartically relives memories of molestation: "You've raped! / I feel dirty / It hurt! / As a child / Tied down! / That's a good boy." These candid, angstridden themes of abuse and neglect at school and at home became staples of late 1990s and turn-of-the millennium rock. This was the "new" facet of nu-metal incorporated by Staind, Linkin Park, Papa Roach, and other bands that followed Korn's lead.

Despite little publicity, radio play, or MTV exposure, the band's music slowly reached an audience. Handfuls of adolescent males could relate and found Korn to be a crutch and a release. The band began to develop a sizable underground following that caused their 1996 sophomore album Life Is Peachy to rise to number three on the Billboard 200 album chart within weeks of its release.

In 1998, while recording their third album, Follow the Leader, Korn received national headlines when a student in Zeeland, Michigan, was suspended for wearing a T-shirt with the group's logo. The school's principal claimed their music was "indecent, vulgar, and obscene." The band responded by giving away free T-shirts outside the school and obtaining a cease-and-desist order against the school district. This publicity massively expanded their fan base.

The band built on its higher profile by launching the Korn Kampaign to coincide with the release of Follow the Leader. On this promotional tour of record stores nationwide, band members autographed Korn paraphernalia and had lengthy question-and-answer sessions with fans. Much of their core audience considered the stunt to be a conscious push toward the mainstream.

Whether calculated or considerate, the band's new celebrity paid enormous dividends. MTV put the group in heavy rotation, and their videos for "Got the Life" and "Freak on a Leash" became mainstays on MTV's Total Request Live, a teen-targeted daily video countdown. With fellow heavier acts Limp Bizkit and Kid Rock, Korn balanced out the sugary pop of boy bands such as *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys and teen idols Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.

Follow the Leader debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, went on to multiplatinum success, and became their best-selling album. Issues followed in December 1999, debuting atop the album chart as well. Although Korn never again matched the honesty and intensity of their debut album, the group maintained a consistent, signature sound. Musically, they compromised little to achieve their mainstream success. It was not until Untouchables (2002) that they began to add more melody to their music and even recorded their first version of a ballad, "Alone I Break." The band released the song in 2002 as the third single from the album. This mainstream-minded move once again tested its core fan base. But throughout Korn's career the dependability of the consistent, throbbing pulse, gloomy atmosphere, and intensely personal lyrics captured the allegiance of frustrated youth.

Spot Light: "Freak on a Leash" Video

Korn's music video for "Freak on a Leash" was wildly popular and received several awards, despite its controversial imagery and unfortunate timing. The video, directed by Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris, and Todd McFarlane, features a bullet flying through scenes of everyday American life. The shot originates from the accidental firing of a security guard's gun in an animated world, and it is thrust into reality. The bullet eventually reaches Korn performing. Finally, it returns to the animated world, where a young girl catches it and gives it to the officer.

It became an instant success on MTV's Total Request Live, and viewer votes pushed it to number one on February 25, 1999. The video stayed on or near the top spot until its obligatory retirement after sixty-five days on the countdown. It received little airtime, though, during the last three weeks of its impressive run. The massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, occurred on April 20 of that year. Showing sensitivity to the incident and responsibility toward its viewers, MTV decided to edit out all scenes that include the bullet, which left little to air. Though it was essentially hidden from viewers for the remainder of the year, it was nominated for eight MTV Video Music Awards and won for Best Rock Video and Best Editing. The following year the Grammy Awards also recognized it as Best Music Video (Short Form).

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Korn (Immortal/Epic, 1994); Life Is Peachy (Immortal/Epic, 1996); Follow the Leader (Immortal/Epic, 1998); Issues (Immortal/Epic, 1999).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

L. Furman and E. Furman, Korn: Life in the Pit (New York, 2000).

WEBSITES:

www.korn.com; www.kornweb.com; www.korntv.com.

dave powers

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korn

korn German spirit prepared by distillation of fermented maize, sometimes flavoured with juniper. Generally has a relatively low alcohol content; doppelkorn is 38% alcohol.

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