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All day I dream about success: how Korn dragged nu metal into the big time

Korn frontman Jonathan Davis looks back on how four Bakersfield boys dragged bagpipes, Adidas and nu metal into the spotlight

Ho****w did you manage to strike such a strong chord with people?

Jonathan Davis (vocals): “We came up the right way. And it felt like we had a little gang in every town. We got to where we wanted to go through word of mouth – the people that loved us were obsessive! They’d make their friends listen to us. It wasn’t until Follow The Leader [1998] that the MTV bullshit happened to us, and that catapulted us even further. Back then, the metal crowd had leather pants and spiked bracelets and all that shit, and we started to see these kids wearing Adidas and tracksuits. It totally changed the scene. It was beautiful.”

Was it difficult that the audience connected to you through your lyrics?

“It was tough, because at that time I was a raging drug addict and alcoholic. This stuff just numbed me from the stuff that was going on outside. The only way I could really feel like I could tame this feeling inside of me was through my lyrics, and I had no idea that people were going to connect so heavily with that. It’s really hard to put all that on someone while they’re in the midst of this addiction. But a lot of people were having the same problems as me. It’s taken years for me to realise that I’m actually giving people hope, and it’s a positive thing.”


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