FEAR AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, the project featuring James “Munky” Shaffer (KORN) on guitar, Billy Gould (FAITH NO MORE) on bass, Steve Krolikowski (REPEATER) on vocals and Brooks Wackerman (BAD RELIGION) on drums, will release its debut album digitally on October 25. The effort was produced by Jim Monti and Leo Ross.
FEAR AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM was an idea Shaffer had while on a long break after the release of KORN‘s “untitled” album. He had the extremely cool epiphany of putting together a “supergroup” comprised of top class musicians he admires and had become friends with.
“I had been sitting at home for too long of a time,” Shaffer explains. “When you are a creative person, you can’t sit still for very long!”
Adds Wackerman, “The inception of FEAR AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM began through Munk. After I did the KORN record, he asked if I would be interested in playing on this music project, which was un-named at the time. I’d had a great experience with him with KORN, so I was eager to see what this was.”
“Zac Baird and I had worked on a few ideas while touring with KORN,” Shaffer continues. “So, when we started to record, those song ideas were our jumping off point. But, 90% of the album was created on the spot, then recorded.
“We were lucky to get the people we wanted to become involved with the project.
“During the songwriting process, I wanted everyone to contribute equally, and feel open to try any and every idea they wanted. Then we would record it and see if it would work in any of the songs later. In the studio, it really began with Brooks laying down some amazing drum tracks for the rest of us to write and arrange the songs around. That is where most of the initial creative spark started. Also, I wanted to everyone to have a good time recording.
“There was no label (except myself) pushing any of us to do this or that, no schedules… we all wanted to have fun and write some interesting music.”
Quips Wackerman , “Besides hiring a band therapist, I remember it going well.
“All kidding aside, it was one of the best sessions I’ve had as a musician. I had a lot of freedom to experiment with.
“Most of these songs seemed to form in the studio, so we were able to go at it with different angles and maintain spontaneity throughout. Plus, the variety and quality of musicianship on this record added a lot to the sound.”
According to FAITH NO MORE‘s always-gracious bassist Billy Gould, “There are some stellar tracks on this album, and I have to say that James and the guys did a great job on it, and I tried to help where I could.”
The band name itself, FEAR AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM, pretty much says it all. The music fits the name: powerful, in-your-face and just a bit unsettling… in a good way.
“At the time of recording this album, I was, let’s say, ‘feeling unusual,'” Shaffer laughs. “I was getting into lots of books, movies, and music. I had been listening to the album from the band PEEPING TOM, thus I researched the 1959 movie ‘Peeping Tom’, where the band had gotten their name. The writer and the director’s stories were very inspiring to me. After obsessively viewing the film, I discovered that one of the characters (a psychiatrist) in the movie had written a series of books called ‘Fear And The Nervous System’. In the movie, the character’s father would conduct disturbing and frightful experiments on his son, then film and document them.”
“The first time I heard the name, I thought it represented the whole enchilada,” Brooks agrees.
So what else is in the cards for FEAR AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM? “Besides world domination? Hopefully we can take this to the stage when our schedules allow it,” Wackerman says. “I think the fans would love to see FEAR AND THE NERVOUS SYSTEM live, and I know we’d love doing it.”
02. Choking Victim
03. Chosen Ones
04. No Secrets
06. Beautiful Side
10. Slow Motion
11. Last Drive
Photo credit: Sébastien Paquet