With new drummer and one less guitar, KORN’s Latest album returns to their roots

:: Korn ::
:: Mayhem Festival ::
:: Comfort Dental  Amphitheatre ::
:: July 18 ::

By Joe Kovack

Sometimes it takes nearly 20 years and nine albums to re-find yourself. With their latest record, Korn comes full circle with a back-to-basics sound.

Korn is back. Slightly reshaped and with a new record label, the Bakersfield, Calif. group has used their 17 years in the music business as a way to define who they are musically.

Starting in 1993, Korn became a seminal fixture in the emerging American nu-metal scene. Their first two efforts, Korn and Life is Peachy ,set them apart from the alternative and grunge bands that ruled American rock music in the ’90s. But it would be their third album Follow the Leader that would push the band into the mainstream and earn them their first of two Grammy awards. Though, as the new millennium arrived, so would years that would prove trying for the band, even while selling nearly 30 million records to date in their career.

Starting in 2005, guitar player Brian “Head” Welch quit the band in pursuit of faith. The following year, drummer David Silveria would take an indefinite hiatus, leaving the band to fill the gap with various drummers, including Slipknot’s Joey Jordison.

But the guys would use these years as a way to create a positive from the negative. In a recent interview with The Marquee, bass player Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu taled about the changes they have endured and how it’s brought the band closer. “We just wanted to step up and try to prove ourselves,” Fieldy remembered. “It challenged us to be better, so that’s what we did. We didn’t look at it as a negative; we looked at it as we were going to be even stronger and better.”

Their ninth album Korn III-Remember Who You Are is their first with Roadrunner Records and third with producer Ross Robinson (Korn, Life is Peachy). Both seem to fit the band’s mantra of going back to basics, with Roadrunner harnessing a grassroots approach for promotion and all around support, and Robinson leading the band back to the place they were 17 years ago, when they rocked America with a new sound.

“We worked with Ross in 1993, and as soon as he walked in the door it felt like 1993 again. Because we knew we wanted to go back to the old-school ways and we knew Ross is still working that way. He likes that. He’s one of those producers that is more organic. We hadn’t done anything like that since ’94 and we started missing it,” Fieldy said.

Longtime fans should rejoice with Remember Who You Are. Reminiscent of their first two albums, the band showcases their uncomplicated, heavy sound that swallows up the listener like the drone of a swarm of a million bees surrounding one’s head.

New drummer Ray Luzier shows he was born to play with Korn, as his flawless transition with the band could be confused as a man who has played with the band for years. With Fieldy’s funky-mired bass, Munky controlling the guitar and Jonathan Davis pouring his emotions through his lyrics and vocals, the band has returned to the place they once possessed.

The conduit that helped bring them there was a 10-foot by 10-foot recording studio, where the band recorded as they did in the beginning — that uncomplicated era where they just created music which would influence millions of like-minded individuals. “You just try different things, and over the years we’ve recorded in like, 10,000 square foot studios with tons of space. Because you get out touring and play on these big stages and start liking that. But then you start missing ‘roughing it,’ getting in a little hot, sweaty room, so that’s all we did — remember who you are,” Fieldy mused. “It helped everything, ’cause we would just walk in the room and just start jamming out. Just playing anything and seeing if anybody would come on to something and start creating around that. Just like a band starting off and meeting in a garage to make up some songs — that’s what we did.”

Just finishing their Ballroom Blitz tour and co-headlining the Mayhem Festival this July in Denver with Rob Zombie, this is the summer to see Korn before they head off to Europe and then leave the future to unfold on its own accord. “I love doing the big outdoor festivals. Some people like smaller venues but Mayhem, that’s what I like. It’s more like a circus or a fair out there. And we’re doing all the Korn classics, so if you want to hear that come on out,” he said.

:: Korn ::

:: Mayhem Festival ::

:: Comfort Dental Amphitheatre ::

:: July 18 ::

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