Published Nov 01, 2016Derided as much as they are celebrated, Korn are — inarguably and for better or worse — one of the most influential metal acts of the last two decades. Though many have tried, often using the Bakersfield, CA quintet's sound as their template, few bands have articulated the pain and confusion that comes from broken homes, substance abuse and issues with mental health as viscerally as Korn.
Following the recent release of their 12th studio album, The Serenity of Suffering, this month's Exclaim! Timeline tells the band's journey, from funk-metal outsiders to kings of the nu-metal heap to legacy metal band. While the Timeline is currently available only in the print edition of Exclaim!'s November issue, here are some highlights to tide you over.
Five Noteworthy Facts You May Not Know About Korn:
1. Bass player Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu's mom used to babysit singer Jonathan Davis.
Jonathan Davis's dad Rick played in bands with Arvizu's father, and Arvizu's mother babysat Davis for a time. Arvizu and Davis had even hung out a bit through their dads as teens. "Jon was kind of a nerd when he was younger," recalls Arvizu.
2. Korn once "auditioned" for the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
On the street in front of their rehearsal space, they run into Anthony Kiedis and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who practise nearby, and Arvizu convinces them to come to the group's rehearsal space and see them play. "We played so hard, jumping up and down, trying to give a great performance," Arvizu writes in his 2009 memoir, Got the Life. "Anthony and Chad were standing there sort of dumbfounded — and not in a good way. We must have been so sloppy because we were obviously drunk and out of control. We didn't know any better. We just thought we were doing what we were supposed to do."
3. The band were once part of a Jimmy Kimmel sketch.
Korn appear in an episode of Jimmy Kimmel's pre-late night program The Man Show. Kimmel and co-host Adam Carolla claim to have been ousted by members of the band in a VH1 Behind the Music-esque pre-recorded parody sketch titled "Beneath the Music."
4. Korn worked with production team the Matrix — the pop producers behind famous songs by Avril Lavigne, Christina Aguilera, Shakira and Britney Spears — on 2005's See You on the Other Side.
The band begin work on their next album, their first for Virgin and first without [guitarist Brian "Head"] Welch, in [singer Jonathan] Davis's home studio. Looking to shake things up, they enlist the help of Trent Reznor collaborator Atticus Ross and pop production team the Matrix on many of the record's tracks. Though he is credited as drummer on the record, David Silveria later claims that much of his playing was replaced by electronic percussion by the production team.
5. Two of the band's members have become born again Christians. Both Fieldy and Head cite their faith for helping them get sober.
In March 2009 Arvizu releases Got the Life: My Journey of Addiction, Faith, Recovery, and Korn, in which he discusses his own path to Christianity after the death of his father. Like Welch, he cites his faith for helping him get sober after nearly two decades of hard partying though he admits that he continues to smoke weed.