Korn love a cover version. From Faith No More's We Care A Lot to Metallica’s One, they’ve tackled some of rock and metal’s best-known songs – and then there’s the mythical Korn Kovers album that may or may not see the light of day this century. But they’ve also turned in several altogether more unexpected versions of someone else’s song. From Sepultura to Radiohead, here are 10 Korn covers that might surprise you…
Sepultura – Roots Bloody Roots
Joined by Sepultura's Andreas Kisser and Derrick Green in front of tens of thousands at São Paulo’s Monsters Of Rock in 2013, this cover of the almost-title track of the Brazilians’ mighty 1995 album Roots was a perfect fit for Fieldy's bass and Korn 's famous low-end. It’s a celebratory moment, given that Jonathan Davis once referred to Roots as a “blatant Korn rip-off”.
Beastie Boys – Sabotage
If you caught Korn opening for Slipknot on their 2015 tour you were guaranteed a good time; if you saw their Wembley Arena show you witnessed an event. Inviting a couple of members of the headliners onstage, Korn led the ensemble through this ripping cover of the Beastie Boys classic to a rapturous reception. Given the limited stage Korn were afforded we're not really sure why Sid Wilson is there, but his presence does add to the party atmosphere.
Radiohead – Creep
Korn’s 2006 acoustic MTV Unplugged performance found the band at a strange time in their career, and guest appearances from The Cure’s Robert Smith and Amy Lee of Evanscence couldn’t prevent it from being a little ‘meh’. Still, their take on Radiohead’s angst-rock classic is worth a listen, even if it won't keep Thom Yorke awake at night worrying about the competition.
Poison – Talk Dirty To Me
By the end of the 1990s, nu metal had become as omnipresent as hair metal was a decade earlier. Korn joined the dots between the two at a Family Values tour stop-off at Fairfax, Virginia's Patriot Center on Halloween 1998, running through a version of poodle-haired rockers Poison’s 1986 smash Talk Dirty To Me. They weren’t done there either: Fairfax was treated to versions of Scorpions' Rock You Like A Hurricane, Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It and Motley Crue's Shout At The Devil. Sadly no video exists of it, so you’ll just have to take our word for it.
Queen – We Will Rock You
For all his many attributes – and occasional dalliances with dodgy moustaches – Jonathan Davis is no Freddie Mercury. Still, he gave it his best shot at the Rock Am Ring festival in 2009, when the band stuck imperious Queen crowd-pleaser We Wll Rock You in the middle of Coming Undone. Cue jubilant scenes and an obligatory singalong.
Deftones – Engine No. 9
The Life Is Peachy era was when Korn really embraced the cover version. As well as the covers of Ice Cube’s Wicked and War’s Lowrider that appeared on the album, the tour saw them throwing in snippets of Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh's hip hop classic La Di Da Di and this tribute to fellow nu metal pioneers Deftones. This video is just a short tease but it's great to hear Jonathan and Head attack the vocals of one of the Sacremento crew’s crunchier numbers.
Filter – Hey Man, Nice Shot
After Filter frontman Robert Patrick showed up to the Family Values 2006 stop in San Bernardino, California, Korn decided to spend a bit of time before their headline slot rehearsing the industrial-metal band’s debut single Hey Man Nice Shot – inevitably resulting in Patrick joining them onstage for a cover.
Slayer – South Of Heaven
A live favourite circa 2000, the band seamlessly transition between Clown and the ominous opening of Slayer’s 1988 benchmark South Of Heaven. This fan-filmed performance is of particular note for featuring Faith No More's Mike Bordin on drums, and Kid Rock having a go at the vocals – though Kid does lose marks as a roadie runs on stage with the lyrics for him.
Pink Floyd – Breathe
Korn first showcase their love of Pink Floyd when the Bakersfield band covered the latter’s 1979 hit Another Brick In The Wall on 2004’s Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 compilation. However, fans at Italy's 2011 Hydrogen Festival were treated to a snippet of the prog icons’ blissful Dark Side Of The Moon-era cut as a brief respite between Freak On A Leash and Shoots And Ladders.
Black Sheep – U Mean I'm Not
Korn have never hidden their love of hip hop, and during their early tours Jonathan Davis flexed his MC skills on this cover of New York rap duo Black Sheep’s 1991 track U Mean I'm Not. This fan-filmed clip from a 1995 show in Utah has bassist Fieldy adding some tradmark scratchy effects on the bass and Davis doing a damn fine job with the speedy rhymes.