On the occasion of the release of Requiem, 14th album by the American neo metal band Korn, WECB went to meet singer Jonathan Davis. He talks about the creative process.
In what state of mind did you compose this album?
At the time of writing, I was afraid of the virus. I think we were all scared! Yet, when I walked into the studio, that feeling sort of… went away. I was so happy to do something. To be in this cocoon. I was able to leave my house and I was very excited about it. Being able to go to the studio, play, be useful, whatever! It was a real mix of excitement and fear, both fueling each other: you need the lows to be able to appreciate the highs.
So the current pandemic has influenced creation?
There are so many links with the pandemic… In our personal and professional lives, in creation, in conversations… It’s a whole, a permanent presence whether conscious or unconscious: it’s normal that the theme resurfaces in our actions and thoughts.
Hence the name of the album title, Requiem?
Requiem is both the symbol of a fight we are waging and a prayer for our dead. It’s a memory as much as a summary of several feelings… And it’s precisely this multiplicity of implied reasons that I liked, in addition to the sound of the word. I love the way it sounds and rolls off the tongue… Good thing because our guitarist, James Christian “Munky“ Shaffer, came to the same conclusion: remember, take note… Perfect!
But is it resignation, impatience or the desire for a return match?
We did not necessarily choose this name for all its meanings. We just took it as a sign. A label on the period. And it was a way to celebrate the previous album which is also now dead… So today it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. And that’s what it means to me Requiem… The Nothingin 2019, was, on a personal level, too difficult.
Anger and depression were often your creative driving forces. By inviting, via the first single “Start The Healing”, to heal from it: how can we renew ourselves?
By facing my feelings, by expressing them… Writing, performing and then sending it out into the world has always been therapy, whatever the mood or content. And it is once this process is complete that I can renew myself, recharge myself…
I have the privilege of being able to play this every night. It really sucks to get back into the emotion of writing… But it makes me feel like I haven’t accumulated anything in myself. So when I sit around for too long and don’t tour, it starts to affect me… That’s why I’ve never been in such a hurry: I have to play! I want to play!
Find this interview with Korn in full in the weekly WECB n°70
Requiem, Korn’s new album, is available. Buy/Listen