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Interview:
Korn embraces DJ culture on latest album
 

By GARY GRAFF
for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Electronic music is hardly foreign to California headbangers Korn. As frontman Jonathan Davis points out, the group’s 2005 “See You on the Other Side” and 2007 untitled album featured plenty of electronic influences although used in an admittedly “more industrial” manner.

But after the return-to-roots of 2010’s “Korn III: Remember Who You Are,” the group’s latest release, “The Path of Totality” — loaded with collaborations with electronic artist/producers such as Skrillex, Excision, Nosia, Datsik and others — took fans by surprise.

“I’ve always been a fan of (electronic) music,” says Davis, 41, who’s also making his own electronic music under the moniker J Devil. “It just felt right to do this. When I first heard Skrillex and Excision and Downlink, I was really taken aback at what they were doing, and the idea hit me: What would it be like if we messed around and collaborated with these guys and see what we come up with?

“It was just an idea. I figured we’d do an EP or something, but it went so well and the music came out so great it became a full album and ... one of the best things we’ve ever done, I think.”

Davis says he’s well aware that “The Path of Totality” took Korn out of the industrial-strength metal box — again. That inspired Korn to create a three-part show for its current tour, sandwiching the new material between one set of older and more obscure songs and a closing blitz of fan favorites.

“It just felt like we couldn’t mix the new songs up with the old songs; when we play the new songs they totally dwarf the other ones, sonically,” Davis explains. “It’s a different show experience, and the kids have a blast. They’re excited we play these old songs, and they get to see the new stuff done a different way, ‘cause we play them entirely live.

“A lot of kids have come up to us and said, ‘Oh my God, it’s even heavier when you guys play it (live),’ and they love it. So it’s working great.”

Korn performs Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Fillmore Detroit, 2115 Woodward Ave. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $49.50, $39.50 and $29.50. Call 313-961-5450 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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