Korn: “We’re proud to have started nu metal: love it or hate it, it’s stood the test of time”

(Image credit: Tim Saccenti)

For the longest time, Korn shied away from the term ‘nu metal’, but guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch tells Metal Hammer that the Californian quintet now take pride in being  credited as the originators of the genre.

“We’re proud to be seen as scene elders,” says Head. “It’s funny, every band that would be associated with nu metal never liked that title, because we never gave that tag to ourselves, it was whoever made it up, you know? When you’re in a band, you want to call the shots, you want to be In charge of your branding, and it was someone else who branded us that. And so we were like, No, that's not cool. So we didn't like it.

“But nu metal, love it or hate it, and Korn, has stood the test of time. And we're very grateful that we can be looked at as the originators, and that we started something that still reverberates all these decades later, and people are still liking it.

“And, you know, the nu metal era was a fun time,” Head insists. “I'll tell you what, you know, these type of shows, there were no boring shows. People can say all they want about nu metal, or whatever, but you come to a Korn show, you’re going to see energy, you're going to see a party, and it’s going to be a fun time. Even as we're getting older, it's still just a rush, every show. We love our fans, we love the energy, and we’re grateful for what we created.”

Earlier this week, Korn released a second single from their forthcoming fourteenth album, Requiem, the album’s opening track Forgotten.

“It’s a great opener, I think,” Head tells Metal Hammer. “That song reminds me of just going into the studio and starting this whole record. It takes me back. Jonathan's lyrics are amazing, I love the opening riff… I really love where that song went.”

Requiem will be released on February 4, via Loma Vista Recordings.

Korn play Download festival on June 12.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.