KoRn kicked off their career during a time when rock and metal music was redefining itself. It was a time when many artists and bands ended up labeled as alternative. However, KoRn brought in a distinct sound, mixing with a pain inflicted emotion. Their 1994 debut album haunted many, in a good way. It started off with the long opening of “Blind” that moved towards Jonathan Davis’ screaming voice with “are you ready?” This is over twenty years ago now, but back then, it was something new (or nu, if you will) and it was something that many in the metal community embraced.
Nowadays, the term “nu metal” is shunned by many. People become embarrassed categorizing their favorite bands including Slipknot, Disturbed, and KoRn as “nu metal.” However, KoRn remained heavy despite their dubstep experimentation which they have corrected in their latest The Serenity of Suffering. With that said, it’s surprising to hear Jonathan Davis saying KoRn was never a metal band.
Jonathan Davis was interviewed for the March 12 edition of “Whiplash,” the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie. During the interview Davis was asked what makes KoRn different than other heavy bands. Davis’ response was a bit shocking (transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“I’ve always had a problem with the term ‘metal.’ We never were that. I mean, just go back to the beginning when KoRn started out. We came out of Huntington Beach, California, and they didn’t know what to do with us. The first tour we went out was with Biohazard and House of Pain. Second one was, I think, Sick of it All, Orange 9MM and us, and then we went out with, like, KMFDM. And we played shows with No Doubt, Cadillac Tramps and Pennywise, and just stuck us all over the place. So I think that we went out and did all that stuff, and it seems like the metal community took us in. We were like the black sheep — we had no place to really go — and I really appreciate and I love the metal community. But as far as us being a metal band, a metal band, to me, is, like, Judas Priest or Iron Maiden — that’s a metal band. I don’t think KoRn does that. I know it’s something we do that’s different. But I love the scene and there’s some passionate people in it— really diehard fans. They don’t care. If they don’t like what you’re doing, they’ll let you know it, and I respect that about them and that scene.”
Davis mentioned how he would classify KoRn’s music:
“I think we’re just heavy rock. I mean, I don’t like categories, period, but we’re more of a heavy rock band than just straight metal. I’m coming from when metal was, like I said, Priest and that era… Dio and those [bands]… singing about swords and dragons, and I love that. You know what I mean? To me, that was real metal music, and I love it. Don’t get me wrong. But when it comes all down to it, it’s music, and who cares what the hell it is? If you like it, you like it; if you don’t, you don’t. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters.”
Davis did make a few good points, something a few wish we heard in the nineties. However, at least Davis is aware that Judas Priest is, in fact, a metal band.
Check out the full interview below: