The past couple of years haven't allowed Korn
the luxury of taking it too easy. Between guitarist Brian Head Welch
's departure in 2005 for religious reasons and drummer David Silveria
's hiatus from the band last year, Korn has been in a constant state of adaptation. The latest untitled album is proof of that change and delivers a more atmospheric sound than the band's usual groove-oriented rock.
While it was original members Jonathan Davis
, James Munky Shaffer
, and bassist Reginald Fieldy Arvizu
that led the way on the latest CD, guest drummers Terry Bozzio
(Frank Zappa, Missing Persons) and Brooks Wackerman
(Bad Religion) did contribute their own percussive styles to the new tracks. Fieldy, who one could easily argue has defined the sound of Korn, was particularly impressed with Bozzio, who he joked was so good that he didn't know what Terry was doing sometimes.
recently talked with UG writer Amy Kelly
about the new direction of Korn and said he was actually somewhat disappointed with part of the untitled album's final mix. Although he loves the band's new musical direction, there are a few songs on the record that have a decided lack of bass - to the point where he could barely hear his work at all. More than a few musicians would seethe at having their sections hidden in the mix, but Fieldy has learned to roll with it. And while there was talk that Fieldy would be showcasing his legendary 15-string bass, the latest album has yet to document the awe-inspiring sound of the Ibanez creation.
At the time we talked with Fieldy
, there was a rumor swirling around that one of Korn's backup musicians was gored by a bull during a video shoot for the single Hold On
. Unfortunately, Ultimate Guitar could not get full confirmation on what happened - if anything happened at all. Fieldy did not know of anyone who was hurt at the time we spoke with him, but he did want to emphasize that Jonathan, Munky and himself were doing just fine.
UG: You definitely took a new direction with the latest record. Were you intimated at all by the idea of trying out a different sound?
It's a gothic-type dark sound, but we just went for it because it felt good. It wasn't really a scary thing.
There's been a lot of talk about your 15-string bass, which is an extremely impressive-looking instrument. Did Ibanez approach you with the idea of making it?
I actually approached them with the idea because I already played 5 strings. So I figured that when you have a 5-string bass or something, each string is just 3 strings and that would make it 15 strings - 3 on each. I talked to them and they said that they didn't think anybody has ever done that in the history of music. So I thought, Well, make me one then!
So they put it together and made me one. I can't wait. I've got to try and fit it in somewhere. Everyone's asking about it, so I'm going to have to play it on the next Korn album.
How did it feel the first time you sat down with the 15-string?
|"Its a gothic-type dark sound, but we just went for it because it felt good."|
When I sat down with it, it was really like powerful and heavy. I don't know. It just sounds so mean. At the same time, you can make it sound pretty, too. It's kind of weird. I might have a mean-pretty song!
Which songs on the untitled album do you feel were a huge step forward in terms of your songwriting?
I don't really know. It's hard to tell because really on this new Korn album a lot of the bass got buried in the mix. It was just one of those things that just slid by. I even told Jon. For instance on Starting Over, it's probably one of my best bass lines that I've ever written and you can't even hear it. I was telling Jon, and Jon was just like, Sorry.
That's all he could say. Sorry. We'll make sure next time.
It kind of sucks, but it happens sometimes. It wasn't intentional because it happens.
Would producer Atticus Ross might have been the one who took out a bit too much of the bass line in Starting Over?
No. I don't think Atticus mixed it. I forget whose mix it was. (Talk to someone in the room) Who was it? Alan Moulder.
That's unusual that he would choose to do that, particularly considering the bass line is one of the most distinguishing parts about Korn. Does that make you want to sit in on the mixing sessions for the next album?
Yeah, I think so because I was kind of bummed. I think on the new Korn album, a lot of those bass lines that got buried that you can't even hear, I can use them on the next one! You can't even hear them, so I'll just wait!
The track Do What They Say has a slow, industrial club feel to it. Do you enjoy playing that style?
I like it. I think it's cool. It's good to have some different sounds going on. You've got to give that to people. Today with music, somebody can hear that song and if they don't like it, all they have to do is press fast-forward. So it's kind of cool, the variety.
What was it like having Jonathan playing drums on several of the tracks?
His first instrument was drums. He is a good drummer. I like his style. He's more of like a sling drummer, so it brings a different flavor. I like it. I like it when he plays drums. It's good. He played drums on Issues, too, a little bit. I don't know if he put it as a credit, but I remember I was in the studio with him when he did some. I did a little bit of drum loops. I'm not really a drummer, but I can play a little bit.
On your fan message boards, some people are discussing the possibility of David returning to Korn. Do you expect that to happen in the near future?
|"On the new Korn album, a lot of those bass lines that got buried that you can't even hear, I can use them on the next one!"|
It's really weird because I've never heard of when a band members leaves that everyone is cool. Like, Okay, cool. If you want to come back, then we're here.
It's weird. It's almost the same with Head, too. Everybody is like, Well, if he wants to come back, then okay.
When bands break up or whatever, they're all pissed off at each other. We're just like, Well, if they want to come back, we're here.
So the door is open to both David and Head to come back right now?
I think so.
I understand you're working on a new side project called Fieldy's Nightmare. How would you describe the musical direction of that project?
I have been working on it, but it's not like a priority. When I've got other projects going on, I'm doing those first. Like for instance, I'm doing a project called Capital Q. Formerly he was Q-Unique. I've been working on that, and it's going to be coming out in '08. We just released a video for it on KushTV.com, and you can see the whole video for it, the making of the album, and all of the special guests on there. I've been doing that and putting all of my time into that right now. But with my solo project, I've been working on it. I've got 7, 8 songs that are possible. There is a lot more singing and it's a whole different direction. It's real heavy.
Are you currently writing more material on the road? If so, will it continue to try out different styles in the future?
The direction that we were kind of talking about writing was just real raw and heavy, something like we've never done. Even more raw than like on the first Korn album. Real different. So we have a song that we've been working on that's crazy. People are going to flip out on this new direction that we're going on.
|Korn's new video "Hold On" can be currently viewed at korn.com.