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Korn Interview

In Steam Magazine Nov. 2013 issue on page #25

Band member: James Shaffer – Guitar

Interviewed by: James Webster & Derek Signore

Photo : Sebastian Paquet



STEAM: On the album Follow the Leader do you regret starting the album on track 13?

KORN: We just wanted to mess with people (laughing).  It was plain and simple and that’s it.  A lot of people got tricked so bad that they took back their cd’s saying “no there’s nothing on this CD”.  There were a lot of returns actually, because of it.  So I guess the joke was on us.


STEAM: So I guess you guys won’t do that again, is that what I’m hearing?

KORN: No, probably not.


STEAM: Your latest album was heavily influenced by Dubstep, has Jon’s recent path in to the dubstep arena affected Korn at all or your songwriting process in general?

KORN: I think that we still do what we do, but I think that it has definitely brought some new life into what we do as well. For Jon it brought new life into his music, something that is hard to do after 20 years in the business. That being said we’re still Korn you know?


STEAM: You have a lot of heavy hitter producers on that album, how long was Jon into the dubstep scene before he approached the rest of the band with it?

KORN: Jon came into the studio one day and rattled off a bunch of names of up and coming DJ’s and producers, so we called them up to see if some of them wanted to come down and play. We just wanted to see who we could collaborate with. Some of them were in to it, some of them weren’t. 


STEAM: I’m just listing off the names here: Skrillex, Excision, Twelfth Planet.  Out of all of the producers you worked with, especially now that Skrillex has become a very house hold name, who was your favorite producer to work with?

KORN: Twelfth Planet was my favorite but I was not involved with most of the producers that was more on Jon’s end.


STEAM: Okay, let’s get off the dubstep train and focus on you…the guitarist, what is your favorite riff, so far, from being with Korn?

KORN: You know what, there is one song called It’s Me Again, while there are tons, that has to be one of my favorites, it’s crazy.

STEAM: What is it like working with Fieldy, how do you describe his playing style? It doesn’t really seem like anybody is really able to mimic it.

KORN: I don’t know what he is doing half of the time (laughing). It’s just like, when he and our band are playing together, it becomes like one instrument. He creates a nice groove for me to play like anything I want off the top of it. He makes a great beat.


STEAM: Is there any point in the future when you can see Dave (Original Drummer) might return to the band?

KORN: I would like to think so, I would hope he will at some point. Hopefully we can put everything aside one day.


STEAM: Talk a little bit about the endorsement deals as it seems to be a pretty popular thing nowadays.  You guys work with puma and basically that was after turning Addidas in to a brand that music-heads wore as much as athletes.  Anything in the future that you guys have that you are working on?

KORN: Music is such a popular element right now, pretty much mixing with everything. It is important for bands right now to, you know, get money, and that helps promote. Still waiting on that lucrative ‘Corn’ food endorsement deal though (laughing).


STEAM: Korn literally took over the rock scene in the mid-90’s, have you seen anybody in the mid to late 2000s that really had such an effect on the rock scene that kind of stands alongside with you, that pretty much just took over a decade?

KORN: I think the band Muse has done a really good job. As far a like a heavier band goes, I think the band Mars Volta has had a steady run as well.


STEAM: We have a bunch of Korn fans here in the office, and one song that they’ve always liked to hear you perform is Ball Tongue, does that ever make it in to the set list?

KORN: We have been playing a few old songs, so we’ll try to work that back in to the set at your request.  I love doing the back-up vocals on that because it’s just full on screaming.


STEAM: What’s next for Korn, are you going to stick with what you did on the last album, are you going to go back to the roots, just switch things up a little bit?

KORN: I think we’re going to keep going with stuff that’s a bit more simple and easy, but we still like that electronic feel.


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