Jonathan Davis on Korn’s Role in Nu-Metal: ‘We Spearheaded That Whole Thing’
Korn vocalist Jonathan Davis recently recalled his band as being the "last big movement" in nu-metal. In a new interview, the musician proposed the veteran act birthed from Bakersfield, California, "spearheaded that whole thing" in relation to the metal style that first blossomed in the '90s and early 2000s.
However, as he previously outlined, the music environment around the time of Korn's emergence wasn't exactly welcoming to the quintet. In fact, Davis evoked the early group as metal's "outcasts."
"If we invented nu-metal then fuck yeah, cool," Davis laughed to Kerrang in an article shared this week. "It's pretty cool to say we helped invent some kind of movement, that's pretty insane. The last big movement was us. Other bands helped along the way, but we spearheaded that whole thing."
Elsewhere in the chat, he continued, "It's crazy. I used to hate being called this and that, I hated labels. When we first started we were like, 'We're not a metal band, y'all' then they'd go 'Oh, then you're nu-metal!' Well fuck you!"
The thinking seems similar to Davis' "In Conversation" with Kerrang, where he positioned Korn near top of the nu-metal lot: "There were some great ones, but there's a lot of bad ones too," he said in that video.
To Kerrang more recently, Davis remembered, "We were ultimately just outcasts. Nobody knew what to fucking do with us in the early days; we were doing tours with No Doubt, Pennywise and KMFDM, but the metal community took us in. We had distorted guitars and were heavy, but no one knew what to do with us."
Korn's new album The Nothing comes out Sept. 13. But thinking back to the band's start, Davis further illustrated some audience members' confusion when confronted with the burgeoning outfit.
"We didn’t fit in anywhere," the singer recalled of Korn before aping a typical listener's reaction at the time. "Who's this guy with a fuckin' tracksuit playing bagpipes? It's the weirdest fucking shit."
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