Certain bonds last forever. No matter what happens, they can’t be bent, bruised, or broken. There’s something indescribable that fastens them together, and the links only tighten with time.Â The members of KORN built that kind of bond back in 1993 the first time that Jonathan Davis, James “Munky” Shaffer, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, and Brian “Head” Welch decided to make music as a unit. They shed blood, sweat, and tears in the studio and on stage, fashioning an undeniable, unsettling, and unique sound that would permanently alter the course of rock music. After six seminal albums, two Grammy Award wins, and countless sold out shows, Head left the group in 2004 to face down the demons of addiction on his own. KORN soldiered on, adding drummer Ray Luzier to the fold in 2007 and releasing four more epic full-length releases, most recently 2011’s groundbreaking dubstep-metal hybrid The Path of Totality. In 2012, a triumphant happened on stage as the group headlined the Carolina Rebellion festival with Head reprising his legendary part on “Blind.” The initial bond came back into focus, but it was time to change the game again.
That brings us to KORN’s eleventh studio album, THE PARADIGM SHIFT. With Head back in the fold, the group retreated to where it all began” Bakersfield. Writing new music in a hometown rehearsal spot, everything immediately felt as if it was meant to be. “We’re all at the right place in our lives,” admits Head. “That’s the main reason I came back. There’s nothing negative out here anymore. Things had really changed. Everybody has his head on straight. The opportunity to rejoin the band presented itself and I thought, ‘I’ve known these guys for my whole life. Love is unconditional. The time to reconcile is right now.’ Every sign was there for me. When I left, I rebuilt myself. The guys did as well. It’s better than ever.”
KORN have come a long way since their iconic self-titled debut, and they haven’t stopped challenging themselves or heavy music. Why is that? It all goes back to that irreplaceable and inimitable bond. “Our bond is at its tightest,”concludes Head. “Munky, Fieldy, Ray, Jonathan, and I strengthen each other. The fans are amazing. This is all for them. We have a gift, and we’re giving it to them. They’re uplifted by what we do. That’s the biggest thing. There’s nothing better than that.” Jonathan leaves off, “These are my brothers. We’re doing exactly what we want to do. Yeah, this is a new chapter. This is also fucking Korn.” Rick Florino, June 2013
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