jonathan davis - vocals-bagpipes
fieldy - bass
j. munky shaffer - guitar
brian - guitar-vocals
david - drums

Korn was formed in 1993 with the dissolution of two bands: Sexart and LAPD. Sexart was the band that Jonathan Davis had led during his years as an assistant coroner, and consisted of Jonathan Davis on vocals, DeRoo (David DeRoo) on bass, Chaka (Ray Solis) and Ryan Schuck on guitar, and Denis Shinn on drums. Ty Elam, now with Cradle Of Thorns, supposedly only sat in to jam with the band, but is listed as sharing vocal duties with Jonathan on SexArt's only officially released song on "Cultivation '92", a complilation album. There are various SexArt tapes floating around Bakersfield to this day, although there was no real demo tape produced.

LAPD was the band which included Richard Morales (vocalist), James "Munky" Shaffer, Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arvizu, David Silveria, and on tour only (not on the album) Brian "Head" Welch. When asked about LAPD's material, Munky said: "Me, Fieldy, and David recorded it when we were about 18 or 19. You might even hear some Korn parts. That's when I played rippin' solos." They released only two recordings: the three-track EP "Love And Peace, Dude" in 1989, and "Who's Laughing Now" in 1991, both on Triple X Records.

The future bandmates first crossed paths when Munky and Brian were in Bakersfield one night, and they went to this bar where SexArt happened to be playing. According to Munky: "We were getting ready to leave, and just as we're walking out the door... Jon was the singer in that band, and we heard him sing and me and Brian both turned to each other and our jaws just... (drops jaw) oh my God. And so we turned around and went back in and watched the whole set."

Soon after SexArt's appearance on "Cultivation '92", Jonathan left SexArt to go to LA, and Smily (Brian Armer) joined SexArt as the new vocalist. At the time, Smily was singing in a band called Brother From Another Mother. All of SexArt loved his style, and he was their first pick to replace Jonathan. Although they had now found a permanent singer, SexArt continued on for only several more months before going their separate ways. Smily formed the band Glass Cut Eternity, and DeRoo and Chaka ended up in Huntington Beach with Denis and Ryan in a band called Supermodel, which featured Richard (who had left LAPD) as their frontman. Currently, the ex-members of SexArt are doing various things. Ryan is now in Orgy, Denis is a music producer in Southern California, and Chaka, DeRoo, and Smily are now in Juice.

At this point, LAPD had disbanded (thus the loss of Richard to Supermodel). Not willing to give it up, though, they reformed as Creep, with Brian joining on indefinitely. However, Creep still needed someone to fill Richard's shoes. It was during this time, when Brian and Munky were living in L.A., that they saw Jonathan at that fateful show in Bakersfield. They approached him about trying out for the fledgling band, but initially Jonathan didn't want to do it. However, a psychic had told him that he would be stupid if he didn't, so he went against his better judgment and tried out anyway. It was during this audition that they realized that Jonathan was the perfect singer for their new band. As Munky put it: "We just clicked."

After deciding upon the new frontman, the band needed a new name. Jonathan described the short decision making process: "We were trying to think of a name and this... "Korn" popped in my head, and I'm like 'What about "Korn"?' ... and we're all like, 'Fuck yeah!'" When he was asked about the name, David said: "To me it kind of means that it doesn't matter what your band's called. Name or not, the music makes a name, you know... 'cos "Korn", that's a dumb name, but once a band gets established, then it makes a name cool."

Korn later recorded their first demo tape, "Niedermeyer's Mind", which featured 4 songs: "Blind", "Predictable", "Daddy", and "Alive". Although "Predictable" remained basically the same in the transition to the self-titled first album, both "Blind" and "Daddy" were strikingly different, though the basic progression is the same. The demo version of "Blind" was much less rap-influenced, and featured more metal riffs. Although "Alive" was scrapped before the debut album, a few parts were ressurrected and transformed into "Need To".

After garnering a small following, Korn raised a few eyebrows at various record labels. Although many appealed to them, there was always a lingering fear of having to conform to the label's needs or desires, rather than being able to do what they wanted. Then Immortal Records came along: "They seemed to really get into what we were trying to do. They shared our vision of what Korn was trying to do. They didn't want us to conform to anyone's needs." Soon after, Korn was signed and the rest, as they say, is history....

Jonathan "HIV" Davis:
Jonathan Davis was born in Bakersfield, California on January 18th, 1971. At the age of 16, he got a job as an assistant coroner in the Kern County, CA, Coroners Department (also moonlighting as an undertaker at a nearby funeral home), having recently earned a degree at San Francisco's School of Mortuary Science.
His nickname is HIV, as a sort of agreement with the "faget" term he was dubbed in high school. He does not, in fact, have AIDS or the HIV virus, although he does have the letters "H I V" tattooed on his upper left arm. He says "That tattoo has probably saved my life. You know in situations when passion and lust take over your brain.... I take a look at that tattoo and I remember that the virus is out there and you never know who's got it." On his upper right arm is a tattoo of a crazed bishop ripping up his skin: "The bishop is a symbol of the atrocities that religion is making. He's ripping up my skin to reveal Christ. It's more of a symbol of how corrupt religion is. I don't believe in any of it because of shit like televangilism. Do you really think that all that money really goes to charity?"
Jonathan will be marrying his girlfriend, Renee, in late November 1998. They have one son, Nathaniel Houseman (Houseman being Jonathan's middle name, as well), born on October 18, 1995. He had been expecting (astrologically) a baby girl, but at delivery Jonathan was only slightly surprised to see, as he put it, "pink balls," and he had to come away from the girls name Salaam Dementia.
Jonathan is into Duran Duran, claiming them to be glam, but they don't sell out, but on the tour bus the band is known to listen to LL Cool J and Black Sheep. In fact, in concert, during a version of Predictable, called 'Predick,' they do a part of a Black Sheep song called, "You Mean I'm Not?" They also do a version of "It Takes Two", by Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock, during the live performances of Ball Tongue.

Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arvizu:
Reggie Arvizu was born in Bakersfield, California, on November 2, 1969. He is known for his alcohol related antics. For instance, on a photo shoot, a bucket had to be found in case he threw up.
Q: What do you like about touring clubs? A: The free beer.
At the end of May, 1998, Fieldy married his girlfriend, Shela. They have one daughter, Sarina Rae, born on September 30th, 1997, and are planning to work on the next baby when Sarina turns 1 year old
. When he was asked about his nickname, he said: "When I was younger, I had these fucking chipmunk cheeks, right... so they called me 'Gopher', and then it became 'Gar'. Then they started callin' me 'Garfield' (as in the cartoon cat). Then it became 'Fieldy'." On the album, his name is Fieldy Snuts (feel deez nuts).

James "Munky" Shaffer:
James Shaffer was born in Rosedale, California, on June 6th, 1970. Munky began playing the guitar after a accident as a child in which he cut part of his left index finger off. When he was younger, he had a three wheeler. One night, when he was sneaking out to go to a party, the chain slipped off. He wanted to quiet it, so he wouldn't get busted, and he slapped his hand down on the chain, but it got caught between the chain and the sprocket. When he pulled his hand up, he was missing the tip of his finger. His doctor said he needed to do something to help rehabilitate the finger, and then Munky remembered an old guitar that he had in his closet....
When he was asked about the "uniform" that he always wears on stage, he said: "I wanted to wear something on stage that was like... kinda trashy... dirty, you know? Because when I'm up there I feel like... sick. Really what it is, it's like that person I don't like in me, all the things I hate about myself, that's who I am up there."
His nickname "Munky" comes from: "My feet. I'd spread 'em out and everyone said they look like hands, like monkey hands."

Brian "Head" Welch:
Brian Welch was born in Torrance, California, on June 19th, 1970. Brian and Munky went to the same school where Brian showed Munky how to play a few songs. They were friends up through high school, and had a friendly sort of competition with each other. Brian would go to Munky's house and jam. If Munky would learn some new material, Brian would be like, "Damn I got to practice!" - that sort of thing. Later, Munky joined LAPD, while Brian would just sit around drinking their beer. LAPD decided that they needed a second guitar for when they toured, so Brian went on tour with them. Brian and Munky have been playing together for more than 2/3 of their lives.
Brian's wife is Rebekkah, who recently gave birth to their daughter Jennea Marie, on July 6, 1998. As a result of the birth, Korn had to drop out of the 1998 OzzFest in Europe. Brian would not travel overseas and be away from his wife at such a crucial time, and the rest of Korn were set in the fact that they would not use any replacement musicians in any situation if one of them couldn't be on hand due to an extenuating circumstance.
When asked how he got the nickname "Head", Brian said: "...Because I got a big head... Go get me any hat, and it won't fit."

David Silveria:
David Silveria was born in San Leandro, California, on September 21st, 1972. David has wanted to be a drummer since he was seven years old. His drumming skills caught the ear of Mike Muir from the Suicidal Tendencies. David can be heard on the new Infectious Grooves (Mike Muir's side band) album, as well as Sepultura's release "Roots". David grew up in Bakersfield, where he learned how to play drums at the age of 9. "I think one of the reasons music became such an obsession for everyone in the band is that there just wasn't a whole lot to do where we lived."
David married Shannon Bellino in April, 1997, and tattooed her first name on his back. They have a son, David Jr., born on August 22, 1997. David supposedly has a penis fetish and usually when he signs things he makes a penis somewhere on it. Along with the aforementioned tattoo of his wife's name, David has three more tattoos: a cheshire cat, a guy sticking out his tongue that has a bolt through it, and the Korn logo. He is described as the shy member of the band.
David has recently taken up a lucrative side job as a model. He has already completed a modelling assignment for skatepunk clothing company 26 Red. He proved such a hit that 26 Red's biggest rivals, Grind, have now also contracted Silveria to do a series of ads for them.

Interesting Tidbits
SexArt was the band that originally wrote the song "Blind". Denis and Ryan are credited for it on the video, but DeRoo and Chaka were not because Korn rewrote the bass and some guitar parts, eliminating what DeRoo and Chaka had contributed to the SexArt version. The lyrics and other parts are very much the same, though.

The riff for the chorus of "Need To" was originally used in the LAPD song "Excuse Me", before it was later changed to "Alive".

The name "Korn" is rumored to come from a party that Jonathan was at where he overheard two homosexuals talking about felching each other. One had diarrhea and shat on the others face and when he opened his mouth a corn kernel was on his tongue. From then on, whenever he said corn to anyone, they would get close to puking, hence the altered Korn (the way a child would spell it). It was also rumored to come from Kiddy pORN.

Sean Olson, from the Crow 2: City Of Angels soundtrack, is actually the name of a close friend of the band, supposedly the first jock that Jonathan considered a friend. He is also thanked by the Deftones in their album, "Adrenaline".

El Caco is the guy heard during the intro of "Helmet in the Bush". His real name is Michael, and he likes Taco Bell. He has been friends with the band for years.

David has said that the baby inside the self-titled album behind where the CD goes (and on the cover of the "Blind" promo) is the Charmin' baby. They put a wig on it and changed its eye around a little bit.

On the cover of the self-titled album, the man in the shadow is holding something in his hand. When asked about what it was, Jonathan said, "I'd like to leave it up to your imagination, but I like to say it's a horseshoe."

When asked about the Deftones, Korn says, "Deftones are like our brother band. When we were in California, they were from the North, we were from the South, we used to switch up and down the coast and when we play together we usually do a song together."

That clip of the argument that plays at the end of "Daddy", about 8:00 into the song, is not related to the band in any way. It was on a tape vthat a studio engineer had while Korn was recording the album, and they thought it was amusing, so they decided to put it on.

Jonathan has said that the lyrics of the first album are mainly about his childhood, and the lyrics from "Life Is Peachy" are about his experiences on the road over the last couple of years.

"Life Is Peachy" was originally supposed to be titled "Life is Pee-Chee", after the Pee-Chee folders that were popular school supplies on the west coast, with the cover art being a replica of one of those folders. That name is copyrighted, however, so they had to change it to "Life is Peachy".

Jonathan has said that he needs a completed song before he can even start writing lyrics.

Stories Behind the Songs
All quotes are from Jonathan Davis.
Ball Tongue: It's about a guy they had to work with on a T-shirt. He either had a pierced tongue or a wart or something on his tongue and he was a dick to them.

Clown: "We were playing a show in San Diego and this skinhead guy came up and said, 'Fuck you! Go back to Bakersfield!' I didn't understand that and I bent down and he tried to swing at me. Our road manager Jeff knocked his ass out. So that song is 'Clown'..."

Faget: "Everyone thinks I'm bashing gay people in this song, and I'm not. It's really about me going through high school being called 'pussy', 'queer', and all that stuff, about getting picked on by all these jocks."

Shoots and Ladders: "The lyrics are all from nursery rhymes, and a lot of nursery rhymes go back to the Middle Ages. They're actually pretty twisted if you know the stories behind them, like about Black Death and stuff."

Helmet In The Bush: "It's about a speed problem that I had. You know, you do a lot of speed and -- if you're a male -- your penis retracts severely." In the song he says: 'Please God let me sleep tonight.' Jonathan really had trouble sleeping, because that's what it does to you.

Daddy: "People think Daddy was written because my dad fucked me up the ass, but that's not what the song's about. It wasn't about my dad or my mum. When I was a kid I was being abused by someone else and I went to my parents and told them about it. They thought I was lying and joking around, so they never did shit about it. They didn't belive it was happening to their son. I don't like to talk about that song, this is the most I've ever talked about it."

From Life Is Peachy
Chi: "Chi is about a lot of alcohol and drug abuse; people turn to that when they have problems so that they won't have to feel their pain." Jonathan has said that Chi is actually Chi Cheng from the Deftones: "We named it after him because he used to call it reggae, and he loves reggae music."

Swallow: "That's about being paranoid. Drug-induced paranoia."

Lost: "It's the sterotypical thing about your best friend meeting a chick, and then you're nothing."

Good God: "It's about a guy I knew in school who I thought was my friend, but who fucked me. He came into my life with nothing, hung out at my house, lived off me, and made me do shit I didn't really wanna do. I was into new romantic music and he was a mod, and he'd tell me if I didn't dress like a mod he wouldn't be my friend anymore. Whenever I had plans to go on a date with a chick he'd sabotage it, because he didn't have a date or nothing. He was a gutless fucking nothing. I haven't talked to him for years."

Mr. Rogers: "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 Makebelieve and Mr. FuckinMcFeely and shit... made me sick. So back when I was doing speed, like for 5 or 6 days I'd be trippin out and my brain would start to get freaky and get schizophrenic and stuff, and I'd tape it and watch it everyday 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 3 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."

Kunt: "People think it's sexist but it isn't. It's more subconcious bitching at all the women who've been with me in my life. It's not about women in general, just those women who hurt me. Initially, we wrote it to send to American radio for a joke, because they always chop up all the other songs. So we were going to send a 'real' single seven days later."

No Place To Hide: This song is about Jonathan's anxiety about all the pressure that his fame was bringing him, and all the people who were hounding him because he was famous.

Wicked: It's an Ice Cube song from his album "Predator". Chino, the lead singer of the Deftones, covers vocals.

Ass Itch: "That was the last song I wrote, and I was so burned at writing out lyrics because everytime I write I get depressed because I start thinking about things, you know? So the whole song is about that. In the chorus it says, 'Before long, my song will be dying'. It's because I put myself on the line all the time and for what? Because people aren't going to be listening to it anyway."

Kill You: "It's about a relative I first met when I was 12. I fucking hate that bitch. She's the most evil, fucked up person I've met in my whole life. She hated my guts. She did everything she could to make my life hell. Like, when I was sick she'd feed me tea with Tabasco, which is really hot pepper oil. She'd make me drink it and say, 'You have to burn that cold out, boy'. Fucked up shit like that. So every night when I'd go to sleep, I'd dream of killing that bitch. In some sick way I had a sexual fantasy about her, and I don't know what that stems from or why, but I always dreamt about fucking her and killing her."

From Follow The Leader
It's On: "'It's On' is my shit peer pressure song. Me being so stressed out going out and partying. Everybody's just going 'Come on dude, it's on.' That's partying, it's alcohol, cocaine, women. All that wrapped into one. In the chorus I talked about why am I really doing this? It's all my fault that I'm doing this because all the alcohol, the booze, and the chicks do is just make it worse. They just rearrange all the problems in a different order that I can deal with at that moment."

Freak On A Leash: "One of the best titles I've ever heard for a song. That's my song against the music industry. Like me feeling like I'm a fuckin' pimp, a prostitute. Like I'm paraded around. I'm this freak paraded around but I got corporate America fuckin' making all the money while it's taking a part of me. It's like they stole something from me, they stole my innocence and I'm not calm anymore. I worry constantly."

Got The Life: "That's a song baggin' on myself. How everything's always handed to me. How I look up to God and don't want this anymore. Like I want something more out of life than all this, and I've got everything I really need but I sometimes don't like. I don't know how to explain it."

Dead Bodies Everywhere: "That was the song about my parents trying to keep me out of the music business. My father was in it and he knew how it was and I totally understand now that I have a son. I want Nathan to be a musician but I don't want him to go through the hell I went through. That's the same thing my Dad was doing. A lot of people can relate to it, because it's like the dads are wanting their sons to be football players and their sons want to be doctors or something. That peer pressure is like trying to make them something they're really not. And the Dead Bodies thing is like so I did it and all I got out of it was dead bodies everywhere and got all traumatized. Thanks a lot Dad, Mom."

Children Of The Korn: "That's the song that Ice Cube is on -- Cube came up with the title. I fed off of what he wrote, he was talking about growing up and puberty. Dictating what he can do, like how you gonna tell me how to live and who to fuck? And all this stuff. And I took that and in my stuff I was talking about being a kid always known as the fuckin' town faggot. It's funny how things change. That some of these people picked on me and all of a sudden look who's laughing now. Also, in another of the verses I talked about all these parents fucking hating me for what I do, saying I'm corrupting their children, but in turn these parents need to step outside of themselves and really listen to what I'm talking about. Then I think they can understand that they were kids before. They're just really quick to judge me. All the Children Of The Korn are all our Korn fans. All those kids going through that shit and feeling what I feel."

B.B.K.: "Big black cock! That's what I call a jack and coke. Those little glasses they serve in Europe and everything. That's what I named it, big black cock. And that's another song about me dealing with the pressures of this album and how I, you know, I'm trying to kill myself, but you know? Do I really want to kill myself? Things I'm just questioning myself. Most of this is self-structured."

Pretty: "It's a story about this little girl that came into the coroner's office when I was working there and she was fucked by her dad. She was an 11 month old little baby girl. Her legs were broken back behind her and he just fucked her like a toy doll and chucked her in the bathroom. It was the most heinous thing I've ever seen in my life and I still have nightmares about it."

All In The Family: "Fred was there after KornTV and we said, 'Let's do a song together. Hey man, let's go back and forth and rip on each other like an old school battle.' I don't know whose idea it was, I can't remember if it was mine or Fieldy's or Fred's, but we came up with the idea and we started writing and we worked on it together. I came up with some bags on myself for Fred to say. It was all in good natured fun."

Reclaim My Place: "This one is about the whole band and about all my life being called a homosexual. And then I became this big rock star in a band and I'm still called a fag even by my own band. So it's like I was fuckin' pissed off at them. It's like erase them all because I'm gonna reclaim my place and say hey, they owe a lot to me for what I did, and I owe a lot to them back. But, it still kinda sucks. I've never ever gotten away from that fucking 'fag' title, just because I'm a sensitive kinda guy, kinda feminine. It really sucks."

Justin: "Justin was the kid dying terminally with intestinal cancer. His last dying wish was to meet us and it really freaked me out. That threw a whole bunch of new kind of pressures on my head. That's really intense. Someone's gonna die and his last thing he wants to do is come hang out with us. So I truly just freaked out. It's like why would you want to meet me? What makes me so special? And in turn I talk about how I admire his strength and his life. I couldn't stare at him because he was so content he was gonna die. No one could look him in the eyes. I totally admire his strength. I wish I had it."

Seed: "That's all about the same thing again. Laying in bed in my hotel room, thinking about do I really need all this stuff? All this pressure on me? Because I'm a stressed out freak. It's about Nathan, it's about every time that I look into his eyes, I see myself how I used to be, innocent and stress free. I'm kind of jealous of it. It really sucks, I used to be that way. It's like I have to work so hard at this thing in my life. I have to become a stressed out freak. I put food on the table for my child. Every time I look in his eyes, I just see myself staring right back at my ass laughing. I was like care free, innocent as a child. It's really weird and I'm really jealous of it."

Cameltosis: "That's a love song. It's about women in general, women who hurt me. It's Tre's lyrics. He's going on about chicks and my chorus is like I'm so scared to love anyone and really let them in after I got hurt really really bad by a girl. I've let Renee in a little bit, to be honest, but I'll never be that in love ever again. That's what I'm saying, if you've loved twice, you're gonna get fucked, 'cause you usually do."

My Gift To You: "Renee always wanted me to write her a love song and that's why I called it 'My Gift To You'. I always had a fantasy of fucking her and choking her to death. I fantasize about what it would look like, me in her body and watching me do it. So it's like a really sick fucked up song. I love her so much, I want to take her out of this world. It's really strange. She used to leave notes on my pillow, like 25 ways she'd like to kill me. She's got this weird death fetish. We're kinda fuckin' freaky. She got it. She's all 'Thank you, that's kinda fucked up. I was expecting a fuckin' I love you, baby kinda song.' I'm all, 'No, you know me.' I mean, I can't do that."