From the September 1997 issue of Circus Magazine


          For a growing crop of heavy rock bands with throbbing bass, insistent beats and psychotic vocals, Kornhas effortfully risen to the top. With trademark manic-angry tunes like "No Place To Hide", "Daddy", and "Clown", the Bakersfield quintet -- vocalist Jonathan Davis, bassist Fieldy, guitarists Brian "Head" Welch and James "Munky" Shaffer, drummer David Silveria -- gained legions of new fans by co-headlining this summer's Lollapalooza festival with Tool and Snoop Doggy Dog. This year has become a big one for Korn so far, combined with increased recognition on MTV and modern rock radio airplay.

          Much is known about Davis, the former assistant coroner's employee, the one with the extensive musical background, the occasional bagpipe player, but the others are not as profiled. For one, Korn drummer David Silveria is a major contributor to their sound, with his powerful rhythms and bass drum backbeats. A practicing musician since he was seven years old, Silveria helped found the group in their earlier incarnation, LAPD. He's also worked outside Korn musicially, performing occasionally with Suicidal Tendencies and Infectious Grooves.

          Usually the drummer of a band is always in the background even if they got a lot to say, but Korn's drummer David is far too lively to shut up just for a second.

Circus: You've been with Korn from the start. Would you tell us something about the beginnings and how you met?

David: In Bakersfield there was not much to do. We had only two choices, making music or [going] completely crazy. We dicided we'd give the music a try but I wouldn't bet money on that we are not crazy.

Circus: There were some changes in the band.

David: Well, all of us except Jon had jammed together in different bands for years. Me, Fieldy, Head and Munky all met in high school, and then Munky wasn't with us for a while, and Head was out for a while, but for the most part we've been together a long time.

Circus: Do you get fed up with each other?

David: Not really. I mean, I would be lying if I'd say that nobody ever gets pissed off or angry, after all, we are human. We play a lot of jokes on each other, just kidding around, I guess. We need it. Really, I mean all that talk all of a sudden it feels so grown up and that is scary.

Circus: You spend so much time with each other. By now everybody must know what the others can take, I imagine.

David: Being together so long, we grew together as a band, learned to write songs together, and learned to be musicians together. We put out another record with a different singer under a different name, we called ourselves LAPD -- XXX Records. And it was a different band, it wasn't Korn.

Circus: So Korn started when Jon joined?

David: Shortly before he officially joined Korn. We had some trouble with that former singer, and we tried out some singers, but nothing really worked out. Then Head and Munky came and were talking about this guy they saw singing in a band. And they gave him a tape of [our] songs, told him to ignore the vocals.

Circus: Did he just come and join you?

David: We called him one day, he came down and started singing and we all just knew, right there. The chemistry was right.

Circus: Do you know why you never got any publicity?

David: We made several videos but MTV always forgot about them or they simply didn't like our sound, they never got shown. We just started playing and playing, doing gig after gig and support after support. We were really supporting everyone from KMFDM to Marilyn Manson to Ozzy to Megadeth.

Circus: So when you got the gold and platinum record, I imagine you had quite a ball.

David: It was so cool! We called our parents, and all the people that supported us from the beginning, and told them. That was the best part. But it's not like 'We made it... We got a gold record'. It is a success, I guess, and it's cool, but it's not that big of a deal. It's something to hang on your wall. Jon is the only one who is really crazy about it. When our manager called us and told us about it -- we were in a bar doing the soundcheck for a gig -- he broke down in tears.

Circus: He doesn't strike me like somebody who would break down in tears.

David: Well he did. Why, do you imagine him as the tough guy with the bagpipes? Damned he really takes those bagpipes out on every show.

Circus: He is half-Scottish, I think.

David: Wrong. His granny is Scottish, that makes him a Quarter-Scott. Hey I like that expression. I am going to call him that more often!!! Can you believe that, Jon even has boxers with a tartan pattern on them and listens to Scottish folk music quite often?

Circus: Brian told me you like quite a lot of different sounds, but the boxers are a bit weird, not that he has them but that you know about them.

David: Hey stop it, [by] being on tour with each other most of the time you really can't hide anything from the others. It's not that I should be blushing because Jon runs around in tartan boxers.

Circus: Hey, I was only joking. Is there a sound you all like?

David: Quite a lot of stuff, we all like reggae, Rage Against The Machine, the Ramones, Black Flag and Bad Religion. We are almost the Bad Religion fan club. We saw them playing at the Palace here in L.A. They were our teenage idols and it's great that they are still going strong. Probably stronger than ever because the guys still have a lot to say and they rock. When we went there we tried to watch the show but hell, we can't just sit there and watch a show -- even if we try. After 10 minutes we were out in the moshpit. Come on be honest, if you are seeing a great show you just can't act jaded and say: "Nice". That is something the execs from record companies can do, but that's not for us.