Never let it be said that Jonathan Davis isn’t a man of many faces: Korn singer, EDM DJ, occasional actor… and taxidermy fan. Back in 2015, Jonathan invited Metal Hammer into his house to talk stuffed mammals and Mexican messiahs. This is what he had to say…
We see you have stuffed animal heads on your wall. How did you develop an interest in taxidermy?
“I hunt. All the stuff I have in here, I killed myself. People go out and buy this shit. Don’t be a pussy: kill it yourself. The taxidermy I got on the walls, I got when we were touring in South Africa. I hired a guide, stalked those animals, shot both of them and donated the meat, which fed families for months. I usually ask the guides who the best taxidermist is, and I had to wait a year to get those heads back from Africa, but they’re top notch, they’re amazing.”
What are some of your favourite dead possessions?
“I’ve got a lot of stuff, I’ve been collecting for years. I think my favourite piece right now is a shrunken head I got from South America. His nickname is Joey because he looks like Joey . I had a human foetus, too, called Luther! How do I find them? They usually find me; I don’t think there’s much of a market for the dark shit I’m into.”
What’s up with the Jesus statues?
“I love religious art, I always have. I’ve got tons of crucifixes, and one was given to me in Mexico. I love Mexican Jesuses because they’re super fucking brutal! Jesus is slashed, there’s blood everywhere, it’s amazing! I’ve collected from all over the world, any religion. I’ve got some old Buddhist sculptures that are around 600 years old. I wouldn’t say I like religion, but I like the art.”
Is that an HR Giger-designed guitar we see?
“Yeah, that was a guitar designed for Ibanez by Giger. They put a limited number of those out and that was my favourite because it matches my mic stand. That thing and the mic stand are the baddest shit ever! That man was a genius. I can’t believe I have a microphone sculpture designed by him – I still trip out to this day. That mic stand has turned into the sixth member of the band; when it’s unveiled people cheer and go crazy.”
- Self-destruction, sobriety and survival: inside the mind of Korn’s Jonathan Davis
- Snot: the tragic story of nu metal’s great lost band
- The Top 10 Essential Nu Metal Albums
- Linkin Park’s Mike Shinoda: the albums that changed my life
What was your relationship with Giger like?
“I met him in 1999, and we went to his house to talk about the mic stand and he showed me the clay version that he sculpted with his hands. I approved it and ever since then, every time I was in Switzerland I would always go to his museum and then go to his house and hang out with him all day. I loved hanging out at his house, feeding off that vibe; it was inspiring to me. I love the guy, he was amazing, there are no artists like that any more. That shit was legendary, stuff I dreamed about as a kid.”
Can you actually play that violin?
“Yeah, on my Alone I Play [solo] tour, the violinist in my band was Shankar – he was Peter Gabriel’s violinist. Once we went on tour I said, ‘I need to learn how to play violin and you’re going to teach me,’ so I learned to play violin from Shankar! I don’t play that much, but I plug the fucker into a guitar amp and play weird, fucked-up shit, not necessarily classical.”
We have to ask you about that Simon Le Bon crush…
“Yeah, it’s a pink pillow with a red heart on with a picture of Simon Le Bon on. I don’t give a flying fuck, I love Duran Duran! That reminds me of my teenage years, it was an amazing time and I loved the whole New Romantic movement. Fuck anyone who’s got a problem with that, I’m man enough to put that fucker on my wall!”
Originally published in Metal Hammer 267