Korn's Head: "Meth Ruined My Mind, My Emotions, My Relationships, My Sanity"
The Korn guitarist on staying awake for five days, avoiding a drunk and violent Jonathan Davis and bleeding for his art
This article originally appeared in Metal Hammer #268.
WHAT WAS YOUR DRUG OF CHOICE?
“Definitely methamphetamine. It was a love/hate type of thing because the beginning high was just through the roof, but then it ruined everything in my life; it ruined my mind, my emotions, my relationships, my sanity. But I liked the idea of resisting sleep and fighting the stuff that we need, like food! Ha ha ha!”
WHAT’S THE LONGEST YOU’VE STAYED AWAKE WHILE DOING METH?
“I think it was four or five days. I’ve heard people go weeks or more, but I never could make it like that because I’d just get tired. And paranoid, too. I thought there were people in my attic, looking down my vents, and I thought they were going to ambush me. People would come over and they would give me some crank and I’d just go back to my safe and give them a few hundred dollars from there, so they knew that I had money in my safe. I was like, ‘What am I doing here?’”
DO YOU REMEMBER YOUR FIRST HIGH?
“Yeah, I was about 20 years old and I was hanging out with this girl who was just beautiful. We were at a party and they brought out this biker crank – it was, like, red or pinkish – and she did it. I wanted to impress her, so I did it too. After I snorted it, I stood up and I felt like my head had stretched into a cone... like it was twirling around my head, this weird, tingly sensation. Then I had the worst night ever! I thought I’d go to bed at like five or something and I got up the next day on no sleep and I tried to just be normal but the roof of my mouth was raw and I couldn’t chew because it hurt. It was a horrible experience! I don’t know why I kept doing it a few months later.”
THERE WAS A PERIOD WHEN KORN WERE SPIRALLING FROM SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND NOT ACTING TERRIBLY NICE TOWARDS EACH OTHER. DID THE FIGHTING EVER GET PHYSICAL?
“Just with Jonathan Davis. Jonathan was drinking at the time and that’s when it would happen – when he was drinking. When he’d drink Jäger, he would be on the prowl for us. He would be looking for us and we would be hiding in our bunks. He punched Munky in the face one time, and he’s not even a fighter! He’s a sweet guy but he was a drunk, so when he was drinking, he was just a different person. Then Munky used to charge certain people. He never did it to me. When he would get blackout drunk, I’d just stay away from him because he didn’t know who he was or what he was doing and he had zero memory the next day.”
WHAT WAS THE WORST INJURY YOU EVER SUSTAINED ONSTAGE?
“We were playing a festival in England and I was banging my head so hard that I smacked my guitar and blood started pouring out of a cut above my eyebrow. I still have a scar. I had a white guitar and there was blood all over it – it was awesome. The photographers started focusing on my thing and I was getting close to them, looking all creepy. It was sweat mixed with blood, so it looked even bloodier.”
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ARRESTED?
“No, the closest I got was when I was 14 years old with some friends and we ended up going to a cemetery and drinking beer. The cops came and they were going to arrest us, but they did worse: they took me home! My parents were asleep and they woke them up and told them what I did. Oh, man... There was another time when I got pulled over while driving drunk. The cop pulled me over and did an eye test on me and then he gave me my ID back and said, ‘Brian, you’re drunk, go home right now and don’t do this again.’ And I drove the three blocks home. It was crazy.”
WHAT’S THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS THING A FAN HAS EVER OFFERED YOU?
“This guy offered me his dead racoon head that he carried around. He would have it in the front row at our concerts. He was this trippy guy who carried around a real racoon head. I was like, ‘Dude, what kind of germs does that have?’ Ha ha ha!”
WHAT KIND OF DANCER ARE YOU?
“Ha ha ha! I’m a comedic dancer. If I dance, it’s for laughs only. I was doing the Running Man dance to Psychosocial by Slipknot the other day. That’s really the only dancing I ever do: comedic.”