Bob "Head" Welch
Features - KORN
Twenty Years Later KORN has still Got the Life as They Unleash Mayhem
By Jenssen Rivera
Foreward: Jenssen Rivera is the teenage son of Rivethead Senior Staff Writer Wendy Jasper-Martinez, who has been with Rivethead nearly since our beginning. Jenssen has worked as a photo assistant with Wendy for nearly three years for pieces that have appeared in various music magazines. While many of his photographs have been published to accompany his mother’s written work, this is his first original written piece. Jenssen was 12 when this was originally published.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is an experience that every metal fan should have at least once in his or her life. The festival organizers make a concentrated effort to make sure that there are multiples genres of heavy metal music represented so that there are bands that appeal to every fan. One of the headliners for this year’s festival was Korn.
Korn are veterans of their trade and have been able to hone their skill in entertaining large crowds for the past twenty years. This tour marks the return of guitarist Brian “Head” Welch and he and drummer Ray Luzier joined the press teams for a quick conference before the show.
Before the show started I had the chance to ask them something that weighed heavily on my mind as their release Path of Totality has a completely different feel than their other, more traditional records like Issues and Follow the Leader. What was their motivation? What did the fans think?
“Wow, that’s an insightful question,” Luzier said. “We tried to do something that people wouldn’t expect. For example, you hear a band like Iron Maiden and you always know that is who it is and you generally know what their next record is going to sound like. We tried to do something that you wouldn’t expect, like using the whole dubstep idea. The amazing thing about Korn is that you never know what the next song or album is going to sound like. We have always had various elements like dance, metal, scat, and our catalog differs in its entirety. It may have thrown some fans off at first but the overall reaction was great.”
The entire festival ground was awash with people of all ages and you could see that many fans brought their children with them. The band has noticed their fan base is diverse and has vast age groups.
“This is great,” Welch said. “It is great to see that we are able to reach all groups of people. All ages, genders and you see generations of fans. People are bringing their kids so our goal is to be a band that anyone can listen to. Our next record is a mystery but we are working on something that should be available within the next year and it is going to shock fans just as much as the last record. We want to entertain and we want to expand our imagination. “
Once the band took the stage, they embodied all of the topics they discussed in the interview. The ambient strains of “Falling Away From Me” opened the show and the band moved into their hour long set list with high energy. Then they came back with “Twist” and that was an apt title because it was a twist indeed.
After that, they played “Got the Life”. That’s one of their really popular songs, and it has a good vibe to it. Speaking of the vibe, I took a look back at the crowd. It is great to see all sorts of people in the crowd. I swear I saw a kid who was probably only about five years old jamming out. The band did showcase their new song “Hater” and it got an outstanding crowd response and it was discussed in the interview that this is the song that will start a new era for the band.
As we left the photo pit we encountered a fan who was sitting near the pit exit and she was in tears. We asked what was wrong and her older sister told us “She loves Korn a lot, she’s just really excited.” I observed this reaction from a fan and thought “Whoa! This is what this band inspires in so many of their fans”.
After “Freak on a Leash”, which is an amazing song in my opinion, they ended with “Blind”, the song that, in Jonathon Davis’s own words, “started all of this 20 years ago.” What was even better than that was that they brought kids on stage with them to jam out to the show closer! It was quite the show and while I have listed the songs that most spoke to me, the full set list below indicates that the band played something for everyone. They truly are multi-faceted! It was the best show experience I have had in a long time and all I can say is that I can’t wait until they come back through again!
Full Set List:
Falling Away from Me
Got the Life
Did My Time
Spike in My Veins
Shoots and Ladders
(with "Somebody Someone" snippet afterwards)
Here to Stay
Freak on a Leash
All Photos by Jenssen Rivera/Copyright 2014
BECAUSE THE MUSIC MATTERS!!!