**Korn’s game-changing single and accompanying promo video Blind, taken from their self-titled 1994 début album. **
“We had a lot of our friends there and we wanted to make it look like a big club scene – we had a lot of fans, but it was only about twenty people in that room! We had to put the dolly and the camera in the room so that took up a lot of space. I just remember everyone being completely hammered and drunk – we were fucked up! - and as soon as the playback started, everyone just went fucking crazy. We wanted to make it look like a crazy gig; what you’re gonna see tonight, that’s what we wanted to make it look like! Obviously we didn’t have that big following back then…”
The Family Values ‘98 tour tour tore America several new, irreparably damaged arseholes. Korn spearheaded the trek with Ice Cube in tow, while exposing audiences to future superstars Limp Bizkit and Rammstein.
“Oh my god, that was so fun! It just escalated more and more each night – one night they brought out flour, another time they brought out feathers… we had squirt guns and then it got really bad when we started bringing eggs. I was really hammered and smashed John Otto’s kick drum, and it turns out that his drum-tech had custom built those drums by hand, and I just destroyed them in one swing! That was bad. Fred Durst smashed an egg on my face, like proper over-hand… I’m scarred from that experience!”
The music video for Freak On A Leash spewed forth in early 1999. Not only was it a ground-breaking tune, but the accompanying video was officially retired from MTV’s request list due to being too high in demand!
“The directors, Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris – they directed a film called Little Miss Sunshine - brought test-shots in of what was to be the bullet in the video, and it was just the camera going through the street at high-speed and smashing through stuff; we were just sitting there going ‘That is so fucking cool!’, but we didn’t realise what it would look like with all the performance shots and Todd McFarlane’s animation.”
The thirtieth anniversary of Woodstock took place in 1999, providing a platform for Korn to dominate the festival in front of the biggest crowd of their career.
“It was just a sea of people; probably the biggest crowd we’ve ever played for. Everyone was really nervous and we were in the middle of making the Issues album, so we wanted to play a new song – I forgot what song it was, someone out there will know! But yeah, we were really nervous about it, and I remember it all going super fast and I just couldn’t get over the size of the crowd.”
Covering Metallica is a risky – and often stupid – move, but Korn did so with passion and vigour. Here’s their take on the classic One, filmed for an MTV Icons special on Metallica.
“It was a real honour, but it’s embarrassing because I botched up the intro in front of Metallica. I was just like, ‘Really?’ I’d practiced over and over, and it was all four of them sitting there thinking it was gonna be great, and during the turnaround I just botched it… I fixed it in post-production, but I was just stood there like ‘Oh God, really?’ Apart from that it was really fun!”
In 2006 Korn frontman Jonathan Davis was hospitalised due to a blood platelet disorder before the band’s Download Festival: a Korn karaoke (Kornaoke?) ensued, with the likes of Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Skindred’s Benji Webbe and M Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold stepping up to provide guest vocals.
“We were up all night worrying about Jonathan’s health, and we kept being told ‘Well if you guys don’t play, then we can’t pay you’. Well, we couldn’t really come all the way to England then come back home with no money for our families – we’ve got bills to pay just like anyone else. I took on the duty/chore to see if I could get singers to do a few songs, because we had a contract to do thirty minutes. M Shadows did a great job, and Benji did A.D.I.D.A.S., so that was great. We had Corey Taylor doing Blind - those guys just saved the day. I tried to get Phil Anselmo to do Blind, but he was a mess! He’s a great guy, but he was just smoking a cigarette, we were trying to tell him ‘Dude! This is the part!’ and he was just like [lays back] ‘Okaaaaaaaay… What comes after that?’ He’s a completely different guy these days and much more pleasant to be around. Still a legend, but he was just having a bad day! It was a fun time, but afterwards, we stayed in London until Jonathan was well enough to go home and we could cancel the tour.”
The Cure joined the band for a medley of Make Me Bad and In Between Days for Korn’s MTV Unplugged gig, at the tail-end of 2006. A live album was released the following year.
“Those guys from The Cure were partying! I remember Robert Smith coming to the rehearsal with some of the other guys from the band, and I was just like ‘Oh my gosh, that’s him. They’re here… What do we do?’ Jonathan was like it too – we were just star-struck! We were just like little kids. We had the idea because the tow songs are in the same key, and trying to create a transition was a little tricky… We had Richard Gibbs as the musical director, who also did the music for the film Queen Of The Damned with Jonathan, and it all just worked. There was nothing like the final live performance – we rehearsed a few times, but there was nothing as good as the performance on film.”
**The band’s unusual performance in a crop circle, entitled The Encounter, premièred on the internet in July 2010. It gets a bit intense… **
“Because of the rows in the wheat field, the crew had these big gulleys for the water and they had to bring all of the equipment out over that… Each one was like a meter high, and they had to carry all of our equipment out into the middle of these crop fields. It was so fucking hot that day, but some of the test shots I saw from the helicopter were just incredible.”
In May 2012, original guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch played Blind with Korn for the first time in seven years at the Carolina Rebellion Festival.
“Everyone keeps telling me how great it is that he’s back in the band: every day. Whether it’s online, at a meet and greet, at a show or at the supermarket, people say it, and nobody’s as happy about it as me. That’s the left and right brain, the right and left speaker. I always compare it to a dog with three legs – it can get by, but it’s not gonna be the same without the other leg! He’s made us realise how fun it is to be in a band – he’s brought his creativity and humour back into the band, and it’s just a breath of fresh air.”