Death, Isolation, Destroyed Gear: Jonathan Davis on Making Korn's "Cathartic" New LP | Revolver

Death, Isolation, Destroyed Gear: Jonathan Davis on Making Korn's "Cathartic" New LP

Singer details "darkness" that surrounded creation of band's 13th record, 'The Nothing'
korn PRESS 2019 CROPPED, Brian Ziff
photograph by Brian Ziff

Korn exploded back onto the scene last month with the intensely brooding "You'll Never Find Me," the lead single from their upcoming record The Nothing. In a conversation with Kerrang!, frontman Jonathan Davis details the personal darkness that inspired the record, how he's working entirely separately from the band these days, and more.

"I haven't had a chance to reach my full potential on Korn records for years, because I've always been so busy with stuff at home," the singer admits, citing how he cared for his son Zeppelin, who has type 1 diabetes, during his late wife Deven's struggles with mental illness and addiction prior to her death last year.

He explains that throughout dealing with hardships over the course of this record, he told everyone, "Fuck you all, just leave me alone," and finished his parts when he was ready. "I did it myself," he says, "and it was a very cathartic, dark experience."

It wasn't only this record Davis worked alone on, though, and he tells the magazine he's been following that style for "the past couple of records" at a studio in his hometown of Bakersfield, California. The band's process used to be more collaborative, but Davis explains the process now fits with their schedule better now since "we've all got families and lives, and it's so hectic." 

At one point when the band were all working together at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, an incident went down that nearly led them to name the track "Finally Free" something different altogether: "Raped at Paramount." Davis spins the tale of how some workers at the studio got drunk, came in, and went to town on the band's gear, destroying one of Bryan "Head" Welch's guitars in the process.

"You get your shit fucked with and it's like being raped – that's where that title came from. We made that motherfucker come back and face the band. I wasn't there and my band's more lenient than me, but I would have gotten up in that motherfucker's face. The band were like, 'We've all been drunk and done stupid shit,' but I would have scared the fuck outta him – touch my shit and I'll fuck you up."