Korn interview with Jonathan Davis: “My problem with Christianity is the ‘holier than you’ bullshit”

Jonathan Davis helped invent nu metal with the 1994 debut of Korn and has since sold 40 million albums. It was not easy; alcohol, anxiety, the death of loved ones and the Covid all tried to derail his career, but he pulled through. Will your questions scare him away or is he here to stay?

Metal hammer line cut

Have you practiced any strange hobbies during confinement. Ice sculptures? Build little cookie houses? Robin Blanchard via Facebook

“Gardening. My girlfriend and I were going crazy, stuck in the house. We decided to go to the nursery and buy a bunch of plants. I had never done this before; I was never able to doing that. It was really weird, but it looked really cool. It was one of those crazy activities that just pops out of your head.

Have you heard any new nu metal bands, like Tetrarch and Tallah? Did you even know that nu metal was “a thing” again? Ursula Currey via Facebook

“I’m glad he’s back, but all this nu metal stuff is rubbish! Haha! I like this band called Wargasm. They are pretty cool. They are heavy, but they are new and different.

You’re stranded on a life raft in the sea with Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, The Cure’s Robert Smith and Faith No More’s Mike Patton. The life raft can only accommodate three people. Who do you reject to survive? Paula Herron via Facebook

“Man, I would never do that! Without them, I wouldn’t be who I am and I wouldn’t deprive the world of their incredible talents. By elimination, I would throw myself! Haha!”

What’s the craziest/weirdest gig Korn has ever played? Ryley Day, via email

“The craziest was in a lawn mower repair shop in Georgia with Sick Of It All. It was literally a tin-roofed shed with a dirt floor. If you had to go to the bathroom, they would just give you a roll of toilet paper and say to you, “Go shit in the woods” There were 200 people there and it was an ok concert, so it was pretty cool I guess – apart from the shit in the woods Haha!”

When was the last time you dreamed of carving a corpse on a mortuary slab? [Jonathan worked as a coroner’s assistant as a teenager.] Jon Lionel, via Facebook

“I do not dream of this period. I used to have nightmares about that shit back in the day. I’m above that, but I’m barely dreaming. I just found out I had sleep apnea for fucking years. I have a CPAP machine and it has really changed a lot for me, sleep-wise. I can really dream! For a long time I couldn’t because I stopped breathing in my sleep.


(Image credit: Tim Saccin)

Both Head and Fieldy are devout Christians. Have you ever been to church with them? Saz Morton via Facebook

“No. I’ve been to church and I respect their beliefs; the world would be a much better place if people would stop sticking their noses where they don’t belong and respect people’s beliefs. My only problem with Christianity is the fucking “Holier than you, we are better than you” bullshit.

But those two, especially Head, don’t talk about that. He relaxes and accepts everyone for who they are. We did a livestream in a church when we released the new album and it was cool! I like actual buildings; I decorate my house like a church. I don’t necessarily like what’s going on in them. Haha!”

2022 looks crazier than 2020 and 2021. What’s your advice for staying sane? Bruce Shipley, via email

“Lots of deep breaths. I also do escape. Take time for yourself; whatever pops into your head, I suggest you do it. Live in the present, because all that anxiety and stuff comes from thinking about the future. I had just picked a hobby – I love playing video games with my kids. Right now we are playing Infinite Halo and Destiny 2. I like Fate because it never ends!”

When was the last time you went to Fred Durst for a nice, quiet cup of tea? Will Sheridan, via email

“1998. Ha ha! When that album came out, we texted each other and that was it. I live in another city. But I wish him all the best. When he was leading the fell away from me video he had his shit together. He could do the right budget, do everything right, but it was also fun.

We had all these concepts for the video, and we were on tour at the time, and he just walked in and said, “I have an idea! We read the treatment and thought, “This is the best!” Haha! There are tons of great Family Values ​​tour stories, but that’s when I got sober, so I wasn’t in the nutcase often. I was in rehab from all those years of being a crazy, drunk idiot.

How’s your collection of serial killer memorabilia? What’s the last thing you added to it? Keith Grimshaw, by email

“I don’t do that anymore. I collect art, haunted stuff, anatomical specimens… stuff like that. The last thing I got was a 19th century kneeler from a Catholic church in Glasgow. I have a few haunted dolls from the 1930s with a very weird energy attached to them; you can actually feel it.

I have a whole collection of them in my office and all over the house. What else? Tabernacles, old religious art, tons of secret society stuff. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows have some really weird costumes that they wear in their rituals, so I have a few of those at my house.

What happened to pop scars game that you have already talked about creating? Will he ever see the light of day? Laurence Reid, by email

pop scars was a game I was going to make in 2000. It was this celebrity fighting game and all these different people had signed up to be in it – Limp Bizkit, Staind, a few pop stars – before it fell apart. The programming team went to a wrestling match, so it never happened. We worked really hard on it, we were going to make it amazing, and they dropped the ball.

Which Korn song would you erase from history if you could? Sandip Sathe, by e-mail

All in the family [on Follow The Leader]. This is the worst song ever! Haha! It’s horrible. We were all drunk in the studio and I was trying to rap. We were having a good time, but now I cringe. I have nothing against Fred [Durst, who did guest vocals on the song]; it’s just dumb! We were completely drunk! He shouldn’t have made the record.

What is the longest time in your life without taking a shower? Dr. Teether, via email

“Back in my drunken days, probably a few days. It would take a few days, and then my bodyguard would pull me out of my bunk and say, “You stink!” Go in the fucking shower! Haha! Now I have to have one every day.

How come you were never the headliner of the Download festival? Spike via email

“I don’t know. Ask for the download! There was a time when we headlined the little tent, I think. There were more people in that tent than on the main stage. It sounded like the fucking tent was going to crash! British Korn fans always show up. In Europe, you don’t say to yourself, ‘Oh, Korn isn’t a ‘cool’ thing; once you’re a fan, you’re a fan for the life. You support your groups.

When can we expect your next solo album and what will it sound like? Sacha Carr, via email

“After running this race [with Korn], we’ll go back and start writing again. I haven’t written a lot, and that’s good because I’m really enjoying my life; I am much happier now. I have no preconceived idea of ​​what it’s going to be like; it could be in the same vein, or I’ll try something different. I experimented with all kinds of music, from country to big band. It could be any of them mixed together, as long as it has my vibe.

Evelyn C. Tobin