Why don't you tell us a little bit about the attitude with which KORN went into the studio with this time? What were you hoping to achieve?
I mostly want people to respect us for this record.
What's really amazing about the music of KORN is that you really created this really intense hybrid sound that has elements of hip-hop, it has elements of Brian Eno experimentation. Why don't you tell us about what goes into the creation of the KORN sound--what happens during the writing process?
When we write, someone plays something and everyone tries it and then we see if everyone's vibin' off it. If it sounds good, we'll keep goin' to another part. Sometimes we'll play it for four bars and then everyone's just doin' their own thing with it. We just all play it and it sounds like a big mess. Sooner or later, someone usually comes up with something cool. Then we just build the song from there. Sometimes we'll throw it away. Sometimes I'll write a song and we'll all try it and we'll say, "It's good, but it's not great." So we'll just toss it. Sometimes we get parts together and we'll say, 'that's not that good.' Then two weeks or a month later, we'll try it again, or fit it into something totally different and it'll work very well.
Do you write with the philosophy that if you can't play something in concert, you don't record it?
Yes. The only time we would do that is if we record something that's way underneath like in a chorus that you can barely hear on a record. If it just adds mood, that's okay. But as far as a main part, no way.
What do you personally contribute to KORN's sound and to FOLLOW THE LEADER in particular?
I think the combination of my guitar with MUNKY's makes our sound more interesting and doubly-creative. He thinks of stuff I wouldn't think of, and I think of stuff that he wouldn't think of. It's like we're one person. We're one guitar player thinking. It's weird.
What's your favorite new sound or technique that you used for the first time on this album?
I like the Digitech pedal tuned up an octave so it sounds kind of like a harp. That's one of my favorites.
How do you feel the production was different on this album than it was on the last album?
We experimented more, and we took a lot more time with sound, creating parts and stuff. We just took our time. We didn't rush anything.
How do you think working with new producers helped enhance the KORN sound? How was it different than your previous albums with Ross Robinson?
It was easier for us to come in and see what we were doin' and take our sound further. Different years do different things. That's about it.
Do you feel like you could relate to JONATHAN's lyrics even though he writes about his own personal experiences?
Yeah, definitely. Stupid shit like that happens all the time. Anyone can relate to his lyrics. That's why people love his lyrics, `cause you can relate to them so easily. It happens to everybody. I can relate to most of them personally, but I can't get into his mind and relate to the songs that are really intimate to him.
Was there a particular sound that you came up with on this album that surprised you?
Yeah, the intro and verse to "Dead Bodies Everywhere" that sounds like it's a baby's crib. I was thinking of something sick 'cause the lyrics to the song were goin' back to JON's childhood. So I wanted to put something innocent sounding in there to fit with an evil sounding thing that MUNKY had already. So we blended like good and evil together on the intro part. It's the Digitech pedal.
What are your musical influences, and what books or films or any other cultural stimuli do you feel inspires you?
Scary movies inspire me. I was really into the "Friday the 13th" movies, the good ones like the second and third ones when I was young. Queen was what inspired me to be a guitar player, AC/DC, Ted Nugent and Billy Joel too. There was this Billy Joel record that was just fun to listen to and I remember saying, "I want to do that!" Then I started listening to Queen and I heard some cool drums. I wanted to play drums, but my dad was like, "Well, you can play drums, but would you rather haul around a huge ass drum set or a guitar and an amp? Why don't you try the guitar and see if you like it?" I tried it and I loved it.
How do you feel about the current state of music, and what is KORN contributing to it that's different?
I don't know, man. I like some shit like Cube and Deftones. There's a few out there that I can pick, very few probably. I think we just add a new, but real thing. I think it's real and alive and we get it out to the fans. I think it's better than being on TV.
What did the sudden cancellation of Lollapalooza because of MUNKY's illness mean to you as an individual and to KORN as a band? (Note: KORN played 14 out of the tour's 27 dates.)
I really didn't care about quitting Lollapalooza. It was a really fun tour and I cared about that, but I wasn't thinking, "Oh man, we had to cancel." I just wanted MUNKY to get better because the more we heard about it, the more serious it sounded. I didn't care about anything else. We were asked to maybe play without him and tell the audience at each show. We were gonna try it but there was no way. We're not gonna go out there half-assed. We gotta play with all five members. I didn't even think twice about it. I just wanted him to get better. The fans didn't want anything bad to happen to him either. After we left the tour, even Tool started asking everyone to say a prayer for MUNKY and stuff like that.
What inspired you to work with Todd McFarlane--the creator of the Spawn comic book--for the album artwork?
He liked our band and I knew his artwork was out there. He knew that we were a band that was out there and he's the same way in art so I think it was a good collaboration thing.
What are your personal goals for Elementree Records?
For me, I just want to get bands that have their own sound and create cutting edge music. It's a label where bands can start their own trend.
Can you describe the on-stage chemistry in KORN?
We just feed off each other's energy. Some shows are just crazy like this one in Germany where we went onstage and this dark cloud came over the crowd. It was an outdoor venue and everyone started going crazy, jumping up and down. Then when we got off stage, the cloud bailed. We feed off the fans too, like when the crowd's goin' nuts, it will energize us and vice versa.
What inspired you to create "KORN-TV," the Internet network, and where do you hope to take it in the future?
To show our fans what we were doing, to show them how we created the record and show real pieces of us in action. I would like a TV or Internet station that would play the videos we like all day. Who knows if that'll happen, but that would be nice.
What's your favorite song on the album?
I like "It's On!" and "Children Of The Korn." If I had to pick one, it would be "Children Of The Korn."
From "All In The Family," what's your favorite anti-JONATHAN line and your favorite anti-Fred line?
My favorite Fred line is "Go back to the dentist and buy yourself a new grill" and JONATHAN's is "Come on hillbilly, can your horse do a fuckin' wheelie?"
If you had the chance to change places with any other member of the band, who would it be and why?
FIELDY so I could be a dick all the time. [laughs] No, JONATHAN so I could be the front man. I'd like to change for one show, just be the front man. If I could sing like him though. Feel what it would be like to be the main guy.
What five albums would you want to be stranded on a deserted island with?
Faith No More's "The Real Thing," Deftones' "Adrenaline," Ice Cube's "Predator," U2's "Joshua Tree," and FOLLOW THE LEADER.
If you could bring five items with you on the road from your house, what would you take?
My toothbrush, jacuzzi, my bed, my bedspread (it's really soft), and my trees. My trees inside my house. I like to take care of them.
Describe your life, right now in five words or less.
Happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
If you could open for one of your favorite musicians, dead or alive, who would it be?
What's the best advice you have for an aspiring musician?
Best advice is to play from your heart and there are no rules. When I was coming up, people, like guitar teachers, were telling me all these things. We do some out of key stuff that totally works and people would tell me it's not right. Works fine for me.