Korn was formed in 1993 with the dissolution of two bands: Sexart and LAPD. Sexart was the band that Jonathan Davis had led during his years as an assistant coroner, and consisted of Jonathan Davis on vocals, DeRoo (David DeRoo) on bass, Chaka (Ray Solis) and Ryan Schuck on guitar, and Denis Shinn on drums. Ty Elam, now with Cradle Of Thorns, supposedly only sat in to jam with the band, but is listed as sharing vocal duties with Jonathan on SexArt's only officially released song on "Cultivation '92", a complilation album. There are various SexArt tapes floating around Bakersfield to this day, although there was no real demo tape produced.
LAPD was the band which included Richard Morales (vocalist), James "Munky" Shaffer, Reginald "Fieldy Snuts" Arvizu, David Silveria, and on tour only (not on the album) Brian "Head" Welch. When asked about LAPD's material, Munky said: "Me, Fieldy, and David recorded it when we were about 18 or 19. You might even hear some Korn parts. That's when I played rippin' solos." They released only two recordings: the three-track EP "Love And Peace, Dude" in 1989, and "Who's Laughing Now" in 1991, both on Triple X Records.
The future bandmates first crossed paths when Munky and Brian were in Bakersfield one night, and they went to this bar where SexArt happened to be playing. According to Munky: "We were getting ready to leave, and just as we're walking out the door... Jon was the singer in that band, and we heard him sing and me and Brian both turned to each other and our jaws just... (drops jaw) oh my God. And so we turned around and went back in and watched the whole set."
Soon after SexArt's appearance on "Cultivation '92", Jonathan left SexArt to go to LA, and Smily (Brian Armer) joined SexArt as the new vocalist. At the time, Smily was singing in a band called Brother From Another Mother. All of SexArt loved his style, and he was their first pick to replace Jonathan. Although they had now found a permanent singer, SexArt continued on for only several more months before going their separate ways. Smily formed the band Glass Cut Eternity, and DeRoo and Chaka ended up in Huntington Beach with Denis and Ryan in a band called Supermodel, which featured Richard (who had left LAPD) as their frontman. Currently, the ex-members of SexArt are doing various things. Ryan is now in Orgy, Denis is a music producer in Southern California, and Chaka, DeRoo, and Smily are now in Juice.
At this point, LAPD had disbanded (thus the loss of Richard to Supermodel). Not willing to give it up, though, they reformed as Creep, with Brian joining on indefinitely. However, Creep still needed someone to fill Richard's shoes. It was during this time, when Brian and Munky were living in L.A., that they saw Jonathan at that fateful show in Bakersfield. They approached him about trying out for the fledgling band, but initially Jonathan didn't want to do it. However, a psychic had told him that he would be stupid if he didn't, so he went against his better judgment and tried out anyway. It was during this audition that they realized that Jonathan was the perfect singer for their new band. As Munky put it: "We just clicked."
Then....Korn later recorded their first demo tape, "Niedermeyer's Mind", which featured 4 songs: "Blind", "Predictable", "Daddy", and "Alive". Although "Predictable" remained basically the same in the transition to the self-titled first album, both "Blind" and "Daddy" were strikingly different, though the basic progression is the same. The demo version of "Blind" was much less rap-influenced, and featured more metal riffs. Although "Alive" was scrapped before the debut album, a few parts were ressurrected and transformed into "Need To".
After garnering a small following, Korn raised a few eyebrows at various record labels. Although many appealed to them, there was always a lingering fear of having to conform to the label's needs or desires, rather than being able to do what they wanted. Then Immortal Records came along: "They seemed to really get into what we were trying to do. They shared our vision of what Korn was trying to do. They didn't want us to conform to anyone's needs." Soon after, Korn was signed and the rest, as they say, is history....
jonathan davis-vocals, bagpipes
Jonathan Davis born in Bakersfield, California on January 18th, 1971. His nickname is HIV, as a sort of agreement with the "faggot" term he was dubbed in high school. He does not, in fact, have AIDS or the HIV virus, although he does have the letters "H I V" tattooed on his upper left arm. He says "That tattoo has probably saved my life. You know in situations when passion and lust take over your brain.... I take a look at that tattoo and I remember that the virus is out there and you never know who's got it." On his upper right arm is a tattoo of a crazed bishop ripping up his skin: "The bishop is a symbol of the atrocities that religion is making. He's ripping up my skin to reveal Christ. It's more of a symbol of how corrupt religion is. I don't believe in any of it because of shit like televangilism. Do you really think that all that money really goes to charity?"
Jonathan recently married his girlfriend, Rene, on November 14, 1998. They have one son, Nathaniel Houseman (Houseman being Jonathan's middle name, as well), born on October 18, 1995. He had been expecting (astrologically) a baby girl, but at delivery Jonathan was only slightly surprised to see, as he put it, "pink balls," and he had to come away from the girls name Salaam Dementia.
james "munky" shaffer-guitar
James Shaffer born in Rosedale, California, on June 6th, 1970. Munky began playing the guitar after a accident as a child in which he cut part of his left index finger off. When he was younger, he had a three wheeler. One night, when he was sneaking out to go to a party, the chain slipped off. He wanted to quiet it, so he wouldn't get busted, and he slapped his hand down on the chain, but it got caught between the chain and the sprocket. When he pulled his hand up, he was missing the tip of his finger. His doctor said he needed to do something to help rehabilitate the finger, and then Munky remembered an old guitar that he had in his closet....
When he was asked about the "uniform" that he always wears on stage, he said: "I wanted to wear something on stage that was like... kinda trashy... dirty, you know? Because when I'm up there I feel like... sick. Really what it is, it's like that person I don't like in me, all the things I hate about myself, that's who I am up there."
As to how he got the name "Munky", James says "My feet. I'd spread 'em out and everyone said they look like hands, like monkey hands.
brian "head" welch-guitar, vocals
Brian Welch was born in Torrance, California, on June 19th, 1970. Brian has been friend with Munky throught high school. Brian show Munky how to play a few tunes. They both always had competitions to see who was better, and Brian, used to get jealous if Munky could play something new.
Brian who's wife is named Rebecca, recently had a baby daughter named Jennea Marie, on July 6th, 1998. During the birth of Brian's baby, KoRn had to drop out of Ozzfest 98' in europe. He refused to travel overseas because he would rather be with his wife during the birth. Since Korn is such a loyal band they didn't want to "order" a replacement and they wouldn't in any situation.
As to how he got the name "Head", Brian says "Because I got a big head... Go get me any hat, and it won't fit."
reginald "fieldy" arvizu-bass
Fieldy is known for his alcohol related antics. For instance, on a photo shoot, a bucket had to be found in case he threw up.
At the end of May, 1998, Fieldy married his girlfriend, Shela. They have one daughter, Sarina Rae, born on September 30th, 1997, and are planning to work on the next baby when Sarina turns 1 year old.
When he was asked about his nickname, he said: "When I was younger, I had chipmunk cheeks, right... so they called me 'Gopher', and then it became 'Gar'. Then they started callin' me 'Garfield' (as in the cartoon cat). Then it became 'Fieldy'." On the album, his name is Fieldy Snuts.
David Silveria, born in Bakersfield, California, on September 21st. David wanted to be a drummer since he was seven. His drumming skills caught the ear of Mike Muir from the Suicidal Tendencies. David can be heard on the new Infectious Grooves (Mike Muir's side band) album, as well as Sepultura's release "Roots". David grew up in Bakersfield, where he learned how to play drums at the age of 9. "I think one of the reasons music became such an obsession for everyone in the band is that there just wasn't a whole lot to do where we lived."
David married Shannon Bellino in April, 1997. They have a son, David Jr., born on August 22, 1997. David has a penis fetish and usually when he signs things he makes a penis somewhere on it. He is described as the shy member of the band.
David has recently taken up a lucrative side job as a model. He has already completed a modeling assignment for skatepunk clothing company 26 Red. He proved such a hit that 26 Red's biggest rivals, Grind, have now also contracted Silveria to do a series of ads for them.