Through an alleyway, up multiple flights of narrow, graffiti covered stairs, KoRn devotees anxiously poured into Dim Mak studios – a dark venue with an underground vibe and bass beats that shook the walls. The night began with a listening party for The Path Of Totality. Then, DJs “Back From The Future” and “Sluggo” got fans revved up for Jonathan Davis’ “J Devil’s” midnight DJ set.
The crowd was sprinkled with local musicians and fans alike, including Randy Mathias of “London After Midnight” and Mickey Avalon – all equally excited to see J Devil perform. Just before Jonathan and Ray Luzier went on stage, they sat in the corner of a red velvet booth and discussed the evolution of the music from the very beginning to “The Path to Totality” – KoRn’s tenth studio album.
KoRn has evolved from hip hop and punk influences on earlier albums to more of an electronic influence on “The Path to Totality.” Jonathan has been heavily influenced by artists such as Skrillex, Datsik, Downlink, Incision, Kill the Noise, Noisia and Steve Aoki.
Fans cannot deny Jonathan’s musical evolution – especially his deep involvement with Skrillex. “I love Skrillie. He was in a band, ‘From First to Last.’ I kept tabs on him for a long time. He’s very talented kid and we work well together and I love him to death. Datsik is another one – I mean all these guys that I work with, they became family. They’re all my brothers. We work so much together, we tour together. They’re very talented guys and they taught me a lot. I came into this not knowing sh*t and now I’m producing my own stuff and it’s because of them taking the time to show me how to do this.”
During his DJ set, Jonathan picked up the microphone and credited one artist in particular that holds a special place in his heart. “If it was not for Steve Aoki, I would not be doing this sh*t right now.”
Jonathan prides himself on being an innovator. “I think it’s just us being creative and wanting to do what we want to do and, you know, different stuff. I don’t want to do the same album over and over again. Like “Follow the Leader” where we fused hip hop and rock, punk – just like the north American dubstep scene. I heard it, was really into it and I felt like it would mesh well so we’re just bringing those influences in. It’s the same thing – it’s just trying to do different things and make different types of music.”
Ray, having only been in the KoRn for 5 years of their 19 year career, stated that he loves “being in a band that’s not afraid to be creative,” and agrees with Jonathan about not putting out the same music on every album. “A lot of my favorite bands put out the same record year after year after year. It’s kind of redundant after a while even though I still listen to them. But it’s cool to be in a band that’s not afraid to keep it fresh.” Then, with a smile, he pointed at Jonathan and said, “He’s the man.”
The Path Of Totality is available now on iTunes.
Chelsea Lauren, CBS Radio Los Angeles