Full Name: Jonathan Houseman Davis
Jonathan was born on January 18, 1971 in Bakersfield, California.
He described his early years as "The normal hell-childhood."
His father was a musician (a keyboardist for Buck Owen.)
His mother was an actress/dancer.
Jonathan has asthma.
His father's name is Rick Davis. (Korngirl)
His parents divorced when he was 3 years old.
His mother remarried as soon as the divorce was finalized (she hooked up with a local actor that Jonathan didn't like much.)
He was in the hospital every month from the age of 3 to the age of 10 because of asthma problems.
Jonathan believes in guardian angels.
He also believes in ghosts and has seen them.
Jonathan started playing music when he was three.
Jonathan received a drumset as a Xmas present from his grandmother.
Jonathan actually played the drums during some of his dad's gigs.
When he was 5, he had a critical asthma attack and was clinically dead for 5 minutes.
He learned to play the piano, violin, upright bass, and clarinet by the age of 12.
Jonathan's favorite childhood toy was Robotron. (Natalie)
Jonathan's father remarried and Jonathan received the step-mother from hell. Jonathan's opinion of her: "I fucking hate that bitch. She's the most evil, fucked up person I've met in my whole life."
Jonathan was sexually abused by a neighbor during his childhood. He told his parents, but they refused to believe him.
Jonathan met Brian in junior high.
Jonathan's father was playing gigs with Fieldy's dad, so they also knew each other.
Jonathan's allergic to dogs.
Jonathan's favorite color is purple.
Jonathan is 6 feet 2 inches tall. (Natalie)
Jonathan has 3 sisters, Lisa, Steph, and Amanda, and a half brother, Mark Chavez, who is the lead singer for Adema.
Both Munky and David dated Jonathan's sister.
Jonathan's ex-wife, Renee Perez, once took a French class where she learned that "hiver" meant "winter" in French. So, she started calling Jonathan "Hiver" because "HIV" was in the word. (Natalie)
Jonathan only had one friend through grammar school and junior high.
Not only did his peers call him a fag but also his teachers.
He went to Highland High School (Wonder if he knows Beavis and Butthead....*snickers*)
He practiced bagpipes 6 hours a day in high school. (Natalie)
Jonathan was voted most likely to own his own mortuary in high school. (Natalie)
Jonathan's 16th birthday cake had a picture of Motley Crüe on it because he absolutely loved them, and his favorite member is Niki Sixx.
Jonathan's father later bought Buck Owen's studio, and Jonathan would sneak in there during the night, dragging along his portable keyboard, to record songs. He said he handed the songs out at school.
Jonathan was a huge fan of Duran Duran, and even donned make-up in high school just to be like them. His favorite album is Rio, and his favorite song is "The Chauffeur".
Jonathan wrote the song "Clown" about a guy who tried to take a swing at him after a show and said "fuck you go back to Bakersfield." When the guy tried to hit Jonathan, Jonathan bent down and KoRn's road mananger knocked the guy's ass out. (Added for Stephanie)
Jonathan once made a song on a tape called "My Neighbor" with some clips of Mr. Rogers show. He was going to show it to the other band members, but he misplaced it. (Natalie)
His other favorite bands in high school were Bauhaus, Ministry, Depeche Mode, and the Thompson Twins.
He was actually sent to the counselor at his school because of wearing make-up.
Apparently, he was fond of wearing Wet 'n' Wild and Mary Kay. He'd wait till he was dropped off at school and then run into the bathroom to put it on.
Cheerleaders tried to pick up on him as a joke. (Bet they're feeling pretty stupid now!)
He was called every conceivable name in the book in high school by his peers, including "pussy", "queer", "faggot" (or "faget", if we spell it Jonathan's way), and "HIV." This is how Jonathan earned his nickname of HIV, which is tattooed on his left shoulder.
He joined the pipe band at his school, but did take private lessons on the bagpipes as well. He competed in a lot of events and won several awards.
Jonathan frequented gay bars at times and was fond of getting into fights. His quote: "Everybody fights. That's what you do for fun, go beat the shit out of each other." He also says he is a little queer, "except for the dick part."
Jonathan's father became a born-again Christian and burned all of Jonathan's Motley Crue posters and tapes because the priests told him to.
His father also started to restrain his son's musical efforts, telling him he could not go into the music business.
Jonathan started taking trips into L.A. when he was fifteen, and the first band he saw was Cradle of Thorns (A band which was later renamed Videodrone and signed to Elementree Records by Korn....and also a band that broke up some time after that.)
Jonathan's step-mom gave him salsa tabasco (chili picante) instead of tea when Jonathan was sick, and that's partly why Jonathan hates her so much. (Komazo)
He was obsessed with horror films in high school. His favorite horror film is The Exorcist.
He was an Assistant Coroner at the California Kern County Coroner's Office, a job he got through his school. His comments: "I could cut up flesh and not have to go to jail! ....I could do things serial killers did and get paid for it. I could hack up bodies."
He graduated from the San Francisco School of Mortuary Science in 1990.
His musical tastes switched mainly to industrial and goth, notably Ministry, Skinny Puppy, and Christian Death.
He wound up having a part-time gig as a hip-hop deejay.
Jonathan's father divorced the evil step-mother and went through a bankrupcy.
Jonathan also was in an embalmer's apprenticeship at a local funeral home.
He actually wanted to be a deputy coroner, rather than the one cutting up the dead bodies.
One terrible experience on the job happened in 1991 when a middle-aged woman came into the mortuary, worrying that her daughter's husband was going to kill her daughter. Jonathan had no idea why she'd come to him, but did his best to calm her down and even called her daughter to make sure she was fine. The woman finally went home, seeming relaxed. Jonathan came in the next day to work and found the woman on a slab. She had gone straight home and killed herself.
Jonathan said that Catholic priests were calling him gay and trying to molest him. He was around them a lot when he worked for the mortuary, and he said he realized the religion was "wack." He does believe in God, just not organized religion.
He joined the band SexArt soon after visiting an astrologer who told him music would turn his life around.
Jonathan met Ryan Shuck of SexArt (now a member of Orgy) at a local beauty college where haircuts were free. Ryan says Jonathan was his "guinea pig" for haircuts.
SexArt only lasted about 4 months, and they never put out a demo. They did, however, have a song called "Inside" on the Cultivation '92 compilation. (Natalie)
Jonathan admits he had no idea what to do with his voice when he first started singing, but people liked it anyway.
Jonathan preferred to go drag onstage, and wore dresses and make up when performing with his new band.
Jonathan rarely eats meat. (Natalie)
Munky and Brian happened upon Jonathan singing in a local bar when the guys went home to visit family in Bakersfield. They got Jonathan's number and called him the next day. Soon after, Jonathan was headed down to L.A. to try out.
Jonathan was added quickly to the band, and moved in with the guys, leaving behind Bakersfield. He did retain his relationship with Renee Perez, however.
He also brought with him a desire for meth. He'd had a habit of it, but it became an addiction when he moved and got hooked up with a dealer. He just didn't want to sleep because he felt pressed for time. Working in the morgue made him realize how short life could be.
Jonathan brought out the dark side of the other four members in the band. They'd been into happier grooves till he joined, but they fed off of his vibes and the music grew darker.
Jonathan came up with the name for the band and drew the logo with his left hand using a black crayon to give it that childish look.
After the guys write a song, Jonathan usually sings a melody made up of nothing more than nonsense words. He waits until he's alone to write the lyrics.
Jonathan's use of meth grew worse during the writing of the first album. "I'd wake up in the morning and do a line to get out of bed. Speed in the morning, I'd have it all lined up for breakfast so when I'd lay down and go to sleep, I'd wake up and just snort and it's like, 'Yeah, okay, I'm up.' It was bad. It's like, you do one line and stay up all night, but then you have shit to do the next day so you have to do another line to be able to keep staying up to get that shit done. Eventually you start spinning out from sleep deprivation. You get hallucinations and shit like that."
Jonathan recorded the vocals for the self-titled album in Bakersfield. He felt it had to be done there to get the true feelings out of himself.
Once Korn hit the road in support of their first album, Jonathan's abuse of alcohol worsened, as he needed something to replace the speed he was forced to give up. "Everybody else would be walking around swigging from beer bottles, and I'd be doing the same thing, walking around with a Jägermeister."
As most Korn fans are aware of, Jonathan won't perform Daddy live, as he tried once and said, "It fucked me up bad." But he also will not even listen to the song.
For 15 to 20 minutes after a show, Jonathan will "freak the fuck out." He has to stay away from people for that time period, lest they meet his wrath.
Jonathan means "Gift from God" in Hebrew. (Natalie)
When Jonathan and the band first toured with Marilyn Manson, they loved it. "Manson are my buddies. I love hanging out with those guys. Every time we go out, we get in trouble. Just nutty, crazy shit."
Once, at Manson's house, a girl wanted Jonathan and Manson to hit her while having sex with her, and Jonathan has a tape of the girl being hit and kicked. (Komazo)
Jonathan hated the first time that Korn toured Europe. "We had a bad fuckin' experience in Germany, where some fucker tried to throw us out of a restaurant 'cause we were fuckin' American. The only places that were cool were London and Manchester--the English speaking places. And Amsterdam--Holland's cool."
Jonathan once said he felt schizophrenic because he was hearing voices. This happened sometime between Follow The Leader and Issues. (Ashley)
Jonathan thought that when Renee got pregnant that he was going to have a little girl, thanks to an astrologer. However, on October 18, 1995, he ended up with a baby boy. The couple named him Nathan Houseman Davis. Jonathan was not disappointed in the slightest that he couldn't use his well thought out name for a baby girl, Salaam Dementia. "All I know is, when I had a kid and I stared down at him, something happened to me. I thought, 'This is why I'm here--to pass myself on to another little human being.' Somehow, that makes sense to me. You grow up, you have kids, you die, and a piece of you goes on...Watching my kid being born was the most beautiful thing I ever saw."
Jonathan and his son were both born on the 18th of a month (January and October) on a Wednesday at the same hour. (Natalie)
On Jonathan's 25th birthday, he got a touch too drunk. He used Jack and Coke as a chaser as he drank fifteen shots of Jäger. He fell off the bar stool and stabbed himself in the face with a lit cigarrette, but kept smoking it because he couldn't feel much by that point anyway. He somehow made it back to his hotel room, but he was so hungover the next day that he fainted when he got out of the bus and when he got onstage that night. They slapped him a bit, threw him back on the stage and somehow, he pulled the show off. Another amazing Jonathan Davis moment.
Jonathan broke down in tears when Korn's self-titled album went gold, probably because he had exposed so much of himself to make it happen.
Some people in Europe were actually upset about Jonathan's lyrics for "Sean Olson," a song that was released on the Crow 2: City of Angels Soundtrack. In Europe, it was released on an EP. "In Europe, there's some shit with 'Sean Olson'...because of the end when I scream 'I'm cumming, I'm cumming, I'm cumming on you'....they take me too literally. That song really is about being fucked over by friends, or so-called friends, and getting them back in the end."
For Life is Peachy, Jonathan once again locked himself in a hotel room...this time with a bottle of Jägermeister and no speed. He'd just sit there and five songs would come out in one spurt. "They just come to me. It's weird. It's not like I have to sit there and screw with it. It just came out, bam!"
Jonathan's strange obsession with Mr. Rogers prompted him to write the song for Life is Peachy. "Back in the day when I was a speed freak, um...even further back when I was a little kid watchin' Mr. Rogers, that shit was scary. He was a freaky old man...Land of Make-Believe and Mr. Fuckin' McFeely and shit...made me sick. So back when I was doing speed, like for five or six days I'd be trippin' out and my brain would start to get freaky and schizophrenic and stuff, I'd tape it and watch it every day over and over...I don't know, I was sick in the head. As a kid he told me to be polite, and all it did was get me picked on. I fucking hate that man. Thanks for making me polite and trusting everyone and easy to take advantage of. So I spent three months on that one song, just tweakin' on it, and it was totally just my Mr. Rogers obsession, about how evil I thought he was. Pretty much drug-induced."
Jonathan doesn't like to lay down vocals without a good audience right there with him. The rest of the band would laugh about it and say "he likes to show off," but they know that Jonathan needs support and affirmation when opening up his soul.
Later on, Jonathan admitted that he wasn't happy with Life is Peachy. "Life is Peachy was the direction we wanted to go, but we were so rushed...We weren't that proud of Peachy. At first we were, but to live with it, no. We were just so rushed, it sucked."
Jonathan lashed out after a critic left this comment about Life Is Peachy: "...leaving the impression that frontman Jonathan Davis is turning his well-publicized childhood traumas into a cheap marketing device." Jonathan's retaliation: "Who's this fucking bastard to say that? These are my feelings you're talking about and I'm not putting my feelings out for myself and for other people; if I get money, that just comes with it, but I'm not one to be money-hungry. Fuck them, fuck those scared little bastards."
When Jonathan finally got to meet Simon LeBon of Duran Duran, his teen idol, he said "I thought I was gonna faint!" See, even rockstars are still fans!
Jonathan has a huge admiration for Ice Cube. "He's like my idol. I fucking love him. I was so scared to sing with him because he's like the one guy in hip-hop I respect. I've kind of lost it for hip-hop now, but old-school--I love that shit. Him in N.W.A., and then him sitting there singing with me; I was freaking the fuck out. Like, singing with your favorite artist ever."
Jonathan happens to be an avid porn collector. "Fuck it, I like porn. I don't give a fuck. I have a huge-ass collection, 'bout a hundred movies. I love fuckin' sex. I love it, I love it, I love it. I like raunchy porn--the nastier, the better." Jonathan is currently hooked up with Deven Davis, an ex-porn star.
Jonathan's love for the Manson crew ended in Australia in 1999 when Manson went so far as to say on stage that Jonathan should suck his dick. Apparently, Jonathan knocked Manson flat on his ass for the comment.
Jonathan actually began to realize he was having problems with alcohol in 1998. "Maybe I should start taking antidepressants, or go to AA. Because when the band's joking around, the only time I feel comfortable--like I can join in--is when I'm drunk."
Jonathan eventually did seek help, gave up the alcohol, and started taking antidepressants. He says he's much happier now than he has ever been.
What would Jonathan ask his fans: "Why do you like us so much?"
Jonathan has said that he has "always wanted to be a true singer." He felt he started towards that on Follow The Leader.
What truly inspires Jonathan? "The only thing that influences me is the '80's. I love that era. It was all just so musical. Everything was just fucking exciting. In every aspect of all the music: the goth scene, the industrial scene, the fuckin' new wave scene and the metal scene, everything was so new and fuckin' awesome. And it just seems that the '90's have totally just sucked, especially the alternative thing. The only thing that was good was the grunge movement. We killed everything. But stuff like Duran Duran, Culture Club...those melodies were incredible. They were all great. I mean, look how many hits Devo had! Like "Whip It" (singing)...'Everybody, it's a good thing.' All those songs. Just one after another. All that shit was really good and fun to listen to. It wasn't like this cheesy alternative shit right now. So yeah, I'd say that the '80s stuff--that way of singing--truly influenced me. I dug all that shit."
Jonathan's favorite song from Follow The Leader is "Pretty."
What 5 albums would Jonathan want to be stranded on a desert island with? New Wave Hits of the '80s Volumes 1-Whatever, Hank Williams' Greatest Hits, Limp Bizkit's Three Dollar Bill, Y'All$, Deftones Around The Fur, and Duran Duran's Rio.
What 5 items does Jonathan want on the road with him? "Five items? Damn! Aw, shit! My computer. Shit. I don't know how to make this cool. My computer, a picture of my son, of my family. My Hank Williams CDs (he's the most angst ridden, depressing singer I've ever heard in my life). Um...let me see. What else? That's three. What else would I bring? I'm trying to think. Um...fuck, that's it I guess."
If Jonathan could open for any musician, alive or dead, it would be The Doors.
Jonathan scored Queen Of The Damned with Richard Gibbs. His work on the film clearly influenced his contributions (in a good way!) to Korn's latest album, Untouchables.
He's also working on a DVD score for a DVD featuring Clive Barker's artwork.
Jonathan and Marilyn Manson have made up their differences. Manson agreed to lend his vocals on Queen Of The Damned because Jonathan could not appear on the album due to contractual obligations. David from Disturbed, Chester from Linkin Park, Jay from Orgy, and Wayne from Static X also helped Jonathan out by giving their vocals to the other 4 songs he wrote with Gibbs.
He recently laid down vocals for "The Key To Grammercy Park" on Deadsy's new album, Commencement.
Jonathan is now working with a vocal coach because he'd rather be remembered as a good singer, not just as "that guy who screamed."
He's currently in the studio with Marz, another of the newest Elementree bands. Jonathan has also pretty much taken Elementree into his own hands and has been bitten by the producing bug.
Jonathan has his own forum, JD's Place, on the Official Korn Bulletin Board.
Jonathan's going to build a museum somewhere in Cali that will house his collection of famous serial killer paraphernalia. He's also thinking about writing a dark musical.
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This biography was written by the webmistress of the korn morgue.