Fieldy, Munky, David… all the guys in Korn changed after they heard The Real Thing. It turned them from being the Mötley Crüe guys into something more alternative. I was late though; I didn’t want to let go of Whitesnake and these bands that had huge guitar parts, because I was a guitarist too and I loved all of that stuff.
But hearing Faith No More for the first time though, I really felt something. It was darker than other bands you’d hear at the time like Red Hot Chili Peppers, but also had this incredibly cool bass sound that really got me to let go of the old and embrace the new. I caught the vision for where music could go and where we could go later even though it came out long before Korn were a band.
They didn’t fit in completely with anybody. Sure, they’d got the alternative thing going on, but they’d also got these thrash metal guitars they’d picked up being around the scene with bands like Metallica. That’s what I loved about it – it was guitar focused, but there weren’t too many leads getting in the way.
Even now, if I had to explain what influences go behind what we do in Korn, I’d pick a song like The Real Thing, 100 per cent. The way the song starts, with that opening drumbeat and those keys, really reminds me of Blind. And that vocal line! Its perfection, man. All minor music with this bright vocal – ‘I know the feeling/it is the real thing’ is just perfection to me. I’m sad that I’ve never met those guys – I know James and Jonathan have. We were supposed to go on tour with them before COVID hit and I really hope we actually get to do that some day.