MTV Hive recently spoke with KORN frontman Jonathan Davis about his introduction to dubstep, working with Skrillex, why new rock sucks, and the Illuminati conspiracy controlling the government. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
MTV Hive: What made you want to work with dubstep producers and how did you get involved with the ones featured on [KORN‘s new album] “The Path Of Totality”?
Davis: With dance music labels, things are different. They’re not pushing you. They want you to be you. They love you for your music and aren’t trying to conform for radio or anything else. It’s on some punk-rock shit. I love it. I’m a huge electronic music fan. I’ve been DJing at bars, clubs, and my own shows for years. I’ve been a fan of dubstep since I started listening to it in 2009. It was right before Sonny Skrillex‘s album dropped that I called him and heard a track off of it. I was like, “Oh my god. This would totally work with what we do. Would you be into doing something?” I took the music and I played it for [KORN guitarist] Munky and [bassist] Fieldy and everyone and they were totally blown away. We decided to experiment for the fun of it and to see what would happen. When Skrillex first came out we did a few songs with him. We did “Get Up”, which we finished in like three and a half hours. Then we did two more with him. There was no real effort with him because he had been in a band before called FIRST TO LAST and had been playing guitars since he was super young. He understood the concept of making a song in a traditional song-structured way. Then I worked with the other guys, like Excision. Excision is one of the biggest dubstep guys in North America and is heavily metal-sounding, too. The bass is really distorted and heavy. We worked with them next and they were deer caught in headlights ’cause this was totally new. We jammed stuff out with them until we came up with an idea and then we worked on it until we got it right. The only goal was to keep the integrity of the dubstep and drum-n-bass producers and also keep the integrity of what we do. To find a balance that was still true to both of us and actually worked. ‘Cause it could have been bad. Really, really bad. It was the hardest album I ever did. We were working eighteen-hours a day on these things. It was our trailblazing again. Like “Follow The Leader” all over again.
MTV Hive: Do you think that KORN fans will actually crossover into being dubstep fans though?
Davis: Some will, sure. I think we did that with “Follow The Leader”, too. Hip-hop was blowing up at that time. Now it’s all commercialized so this is kind of the new hip-hop in that sense. It was about being street and being underground and having skills. These guys, all the shows they do, the underground shows. You know, Skrillex, for example, he does so much for the scene. People say he killed the genre, others say he made it huge. He has a lot of haters but he’s got a lot of people who love him too. There are always purists. It’s like all the purist metal-heads that said we were really rock when we came out. Trailblazers of any kind of music are going to get that flack. People are going to want to hold on the past. This is the future; it’s the new hip-hop, it’s the new metal, it’s the new everything. Have you ever been to a dubstep show?
MTV Hive: Yeah, I have.
Davis: So you know how the crowds are. Metal shows are all hate, like, “I’m going to fuck you up in the mosh pit.” Electronic shows are all peace and love. They rage harder than metal fans. I played a show in New York and then watched NERO who sold out Webster Hall. That crowd went ten times harder than any metal crowd I’ve seen in my life. And NERO are soft dubstep, they’re pop dubstep. I actually got to meet them after the show back stage and said I was a huge fan. They said they were huge KORN fans. I don’t understand why. I was like, “You’ve gotta be fucking kidding me.” It’s cool when that happens. I watched the show from the stage and it was like watching an old Gary Numan show. The way the whole production was set up. It was just so cool. Kids are picking up on it now because they’ve never seen anything like that before. I’m forty years old, I saw Gary Numan do the ’80s and all the other acts from back then. How cool music was back then. This felt fresh and cool like the ’80s. There are so many different sub-genres and shit going on.
Read the entire interview from MTV Hive.
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