Korn (stylised as KoЯn) is an American nu metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band’s current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis (vocals, bagpipes), James “Munky” Shaffer (guitar), Brian “Head” Welch (guitar, backing vocals), and Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu (bass), with the addition of Ray Luzier (drums), who replaced the band’s original member, David Silveria in 2007. Korn was originally formed by three of the members of the band L.A.P.D.
When thinking of a band name, someone suggested “corn”, but the band rejected that name, so Shaffer had the idea to spell the name with both a “K” instead of a “C”, and a backwards “R”, so the band’s name would appear as “KoЯn”. The logo was designed by vocalist Jonathan Davis. Silveria explained, “the music makes the name, because Korn’s a dumb name. But once we get established, it makes the name cool.”
Korn rented a studio from Jeff Creath, called Underground Chicken Sound, in Huntington Beach, California. While they were recording at Underground Chicken Sound, a crowd had been loitering outside the studio. The band began playing a prelude to a later song, “Clown”, resulting in a larger crowd gathering. Arvizu said the crowd gathered because it sounded so “different.” Korn started performing at gigs in the summer of 1993, with members saying that touring was a “pain-in-the-ass.” While in Huntington Beach, the band was spotted by Epic Records A&R employee Paul Pontius. Pontius would describe Korn’s sound as “the new genre of rock.”
In 1993, Korn released their first demo album, Neidermayer’s Mind. The album had very limited printing, and was not well received by critics or the public. It was released to record companies and to people who filled out a flyer given out at gigs they played for free with Biohazard and House of Pain. With this demo, Korn pioneered the nu metal sound.
The band later went on to release their self-titled debut album in 1994, followed by Life Is Peachy in 1996. The band experienced mainstream success with Follow the Leader (1998) and Issues (1999), both of which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200. Korn’s mainstream success continued with Untouchables (2002), Take a Look in the Mirror (2003) and See You on the Other Side (2005).
A compilation album, Greatest Hits Vol. 1, was released in 2004, spanning a decade of singles and concluding the band’s recording contract with Immortal Records and Epic Records. They signed to Virgin Records, releasing See You on the Other Side in 2005, and an untitled album in 2007. Korn’s other recent albums, Korn III: Remember Who You Are (2010) and The Path of Totality (2011), were released via Roadrunner Records, with the latest album The Paradigm Shift (2013) being released via Prospect Park and Caroline Records. The Serenity of Suffering, was released on October 21, 2016.
As of 2012, Korn had sold around 35 million copies worldwide. Twelve of the band’s official releases have peaked in the top ten of the Billboard 200, eight of which have peaked in the top five. Seven official releases are certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), two are certified double platinum, one is certified triple platinum, one is certified five times platinum and two are certified Gold.Korn has released seven video albums and thirty-nine music videos. The band has released forty-one singles, twenty-eight of which have charted. Korn has earned two Grammy Awards out of seven nominations and two MTV Video Music Awards out of eleven nominations.
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