Korn’s Jonathan Davis: There’s ‘A Lot of Bad Music’ in Nu-Metal
Korn's Jonathan Davis sat down with Kerrang Wednesday (June 26) to introduce the band's "very dark" upcoming album The Nothing and its booming first single, "You'll Never Find Me." During the chat, the vocalist was asked for his thoughts on nu-metal, the subgenre Korn helped bring to music's mainstream in the '90s.
But when determining whether nu-metal got a "bad rap" back in the day, as Kerrang editor Sam Coare put it, Davis suggested some of the ire was due. Watch the interview down towards the bottom of this post.
"When I hear nu-metal," Davis replied, "I just think machismo, kinda rap-rocky, just…I don't know. Just a lot of bad music. There were some great ones, but there's a lot of bad ones too."
He continued of Korn being labeled as nu-metal, "I used to get so pissed off, but I don't fucking care anymore. I swear to God, call us whatever the fuck you want, I don't care. … In the beginning, in 1993 when we were doing this shit, '94 when it came out, we were not a metal band. A metal band was like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, and all due respect to them, that's what they were."
Korn's self-titled debut came out in October 1994. However, upon setting out to promote the effort, the group found that promoters had little idea what bands the Bakersfield, California-born act best complimented.
"We weren't a metal band, and that's what they were trying to lump us in [with]," Davis recalled. "They tried to stick us on all these different tours. I mean, we're opening for Pennywise and No Doubt. We're opening up for KMFDM. Just all these different bands, metal bands, and it just seemed like the metal community took us in. And that was great, and we're doing our thing, and then all [the] little copycat bands started coming out. And then it became a movement, and then it became nu-metal."
He added, "But whatever, who gives a fuck? I don't anymore."
The Nothing is out Sept. 13.
See Korn in the Top 50 Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time