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Korn’s Jonathan Davis Discusses Mayhem Festival, ‘The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition’ + More

Korn
Kathy Flynn, WickedGoddessPhotography

Korn are having a great summer, playing the main stage of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The band is promoting ‘The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition,’ and ‘Loudwire Nights’ host Full Metal Jackie had a chance recently to chat with Korn frontman Jonathan Davis about both the disc and the Mayhem Festival, as well as digging up some of his surprise favorite albums. Check out the chat below.

This is Loudwire Nights, Full Metal Jackie. Jonathan Davis with us on the show tonight. From the Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival to Family Values and Ozzfest — what makes Korn such a great band to see outdoors on a summer night?

I don’t know. It is just fun. I mean there is something about being outdoors and everybody having a good time, and it’s summer. I think taking all of those things into consideration it just makes for a killer show and people are just losing their minds out here with this tour. It has just been amazing.

Jonathan, why is it important that Korn pushes the conventional boundaries of metal by trying to create a dance party onstage during the Mayhem Festival shows?

I think it is because we have always been — we have always thought outside the box with trying not to stay conventionally metal. We have always been a band that has fit in. Yes, we are a metal band but we have never really fit the mold so for us we are always pushing ourselves to make new kinds of music, not try to make the same record because that would get boring. And we were thinking this would be mostly a metal tour so let’s just think outside the box and make a big ol’ disco dance party up there. It worked and it seems like everybody is having a good time — letting loose and dancing. There is mosh pits and everything it is just about everybody, you know, having a good time in their own way.

It happens all of the time, fans associate bands with the music they play never considering that the band members probably listen to styles of music far beyond their day job. What are some of your go-to albums that would surprise most Korn fans?

My go-to albums: right now I have been listening to a lot of Rick James. My guilty pleasure is listening to the ‘Xanadu’ soundtrack — I love ELO and I love all of the songs on that soundtrack. I mean I am all over the place. There is all kinds of music I like so it just depends on the night.

What have been some of your favorite bands to watch during the Mayhem Festival?

Definitely Body Count and Cannibal Corpse.

‘The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition’ is out now with new songs and live tracks recorded in London, Moscow and Denver. What did you hear in the recordings of those shows that made it important to get these tracks out to the fans?

You know, sometimes we go into the studio and review the songs. We think our songs are better played live than actually than when in the studio. The studio can’t seem to catch the live aspect of it so we wanted on this version of the album we wanted to put some good live tracks out there from all of these live places that we have played and let people hear it for themselves.

Is it too soon for it for you to start thinking about new music; does your creative side just never stop?

I already have new songs written for the next record. I am always constantly going, that is where ‘Hater’ came from and ‘The Game Is Over.’ When I am off tour I go home for a week to hang out with the kids and then I go back to the studio while they are in school and keep creating new songs. I can’t wait to get back in there with the band and start hashing out another record. We are really excited.

The members of Korn have all gone through plenty of personal turmoil over the years, yourself included. What has helped this band most in terms of surviving all of the trials and tribulations that could have easily derailed so many other bands?

Honestly, I think that we are just lucky people. We have been very lucky, we have all gone through our own hell like every band goes through. I just think that we finally got over the hill and now we are going down the hill when it comes to drugs and alcohol and all of the other crazy drama that went on in the beginning of the band. I think right now we are all really centered and we love what we do. We love playing shows, we love making music and it has turned something very positive for us as a band that we just like playing our shows and making people smile and have a good time. That is where we are at right now.

Thanks to Korn’s Jonathan Davis for the interview. You can pick up ‘The Paradigm Shift: World Tour Edition’ exclusively via Best Buy. Look for the band on the Mayhem Festival at these remaining dates. Tune in to Loudwire Nights With Full Metal Jackie’ Monday through Friday 7PM through midnight online or on the radio. To see which stations and websites air ‘Loudwire Nights,’ click here.

Watch Korn’s Munky Chat With Full Metal Jackie

See Photos From Korn's Opening Day on the 2014 Mayhem Festival

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