Korn Frontman Jonathan Davis Discusses the ‘Nu-Metal’ Label


Korn’s Jonathan Davis – Story and photo by Anne Erickson

Jonathan Davis of Korn remembers when the band helped birth the “nu-metal” label, since the guys weren’t “metal” or “rock”

Korn recently announced details on their new studio album, “The Nothing,” which will arrive on Sept. 13 via Roadrunner/Elektra. The guys have been making music since the mid-1990s, and looking back on their career, frontman Jonathan Davis recalls the whole “nu-metal” label and how the Bakersfield, California, band got it.

“…In the beginning, in 1993 when we were doing this s***, ’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,” Davis tells Kerrang!

“We weren’t a metal band, and that’s what they were trying to lump us in [with],” Davis continues. “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.”

He added, “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.”

That said, it’s all in the past, and Davis says that he simply doesn’t care anymore.

Moving forward, when it comes to the new album, Davis says it comes from a very personal place.

“It’s a very dark record, it’s basically all the stuff that happened to me last year, it’s very emotional for me, but it is what it is,” he said. His wife Deven passed away last year. “I can’t wait for people to hear it, I really spent a long time on doing what I wanted to do this time.”

In other news, Korn and Alice in Chains will embark on a co-headlining tour of North American this summer, beginning with a July 18 date in Del Valle, Texas. The tour will run through a Sept. 4 show in Mountain View, California.