Amy Lee singing with Korn shows why both bands were nu metal's ultimate survivors

Korn/Evanescence's Amy Lee
(Image credit: YouTube/MTV)

Korn and Evanescence may have both arisen from nu metal, but they came from very different places. Where Korn served as one of the founding pillars for the genre,  Evanescence were reluctantly roped in when a rapper was bolted onto the band for their breakout single Bring Me To Life

That didn't stop them paying their dues however, acknowledging Korn's status as one of modern metal's most influential bands when they covered Thoughtless in 2004 on the live album Anywhere But Home. In return, Korn called on Evanescence singer Amy Lee for a special guest slot during the band's December 2006 MTV Unplugged recording, bringing her out for an emotional, nuanced rendition of Freak On A Leash

Far from being the stripped back, bare bones affair you might expect, Korn pulled out all the stops with cellos and strings lending a sense of enormity to the performance. Jonathan Davis even gave over his usual scat-breakdown towards the end of the song so Lee could showcase her incredible vocals. 

December 2006 was a strange time to be in Korn. The band's classic line-up had begun splintering when guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch left the previous year, but just days before Korn's MTV performance an announcement went out that drummer David Silveria would be taking a "temporary hiatus" from the band (his full departure was announced a week later). 

As such, Korn appeared in New York as a three-piece of singer Jonathan Davis, bassist Fieldy and guitarist Munky. That didn't stop them pulling out the bells and whistles however, drafting in Amy Lee (whose band's second album The Open Door had reached the top of the Billboard 200 just a few months earlier), Robert Smith of The Cure and a host of additional musicians on percussion, strings, cello, harmonica, trombone and keys. 

Speaking to MTV after the show, Lee remarked that "Korn is a band that my whole band really, really admires. Jonathan was saying it was such an honour to have Robert Smith on the show because they're who he was really inspired by in high school and I said 'that's what you guys are for me'". 

The collaborative version of Freak On A Leash was ultimately released as a single in February 2007, reaching No. 89 on the Billboard Hot 100. Korn and Evanescence are due to team up again later this year for a US tour

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Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.