Music News

Korn Again

Korn isn't what it used to be. In recent years, guitarist Brian "Head" Welch and drummer David Silveria have left the group, and the remaining members — guitarist Munky, bassist Fieldy and vocalist Jonathan Davis — aren't in a rush to fill their slots. "It's hard, because these are members who were with the band for fifteen years, and they're brothers," Munky says. "If your brother leaves home, you don't just go out and get a new brother."

Instead, the three recruited a pair of substitute drummers — Bad Religion's Brooks Wackerman and studio vet Terry Bozzio — while making their latest CD, officially known as Untitled. Early commercial signs are good, but critics have generally been unkind, with many dismissing cuts such as "Bitch We Got a Problem" as thin rehashes lacking the genuine menace that once characterized the group. Munky insists such jibes don't bother him, though he has a tough time putting his disdain into words.

"I know Jerry Springer makes good TV for some viewers, because people like to bash, and it makes for good reading," he declares. Then, after a pause, he admits, "I don't know why I just referenced Jerry Springer.... I've had a really long morning. But at the end of the day, it's the fans' opinion that counts. That's why we try not to read too many reviews, either good or bad."

Whatever the band is doing appears to be working. The vast majority of acts that came to life during the '90s nü-metal surge Korn rode to fame have long since disbanded or disappeared. Moreover, the players found novel ways to generate income, signing a 2005 agreement in which EMI, the parent company of its label, Virgin, paid a reported $23 million in exchange for a 30 percent slice of the outfit's operations through 2010. A June article in Billboard estimated that Korn needs to generate another $20 million to $30 million over the next three years in order for EMI to profit from the pact — a figure that catches Munky by surprise. "Wow. That's a lot of money," he allows. Nonetheless, he's not too worried about coming up short. "Hopefully by 2010, they'll make back their money," he says. "Or what are they going to do — come take my house?"

Munky's just as relaxed about Save Me From Myself, a book in which ex-member Welch talks about how he fell into drug abuse and depression — problems he overcame by leaving Korn and embracing Christianity. In interviews, Jonathan Davis has expressed frustration over the tome, but Munky says, "There's probably nothing in there that's going to offend me," emphasizing that "I love the guy. I really miss him."

Sounds like Munky could use a new brother.

Visit our blogs for more of our interview with Korn's Munky.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts