Local Wire

Korn

Last year was a fascinating one for Korn: Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch found Jesus and quit the band (i.e., the "Korn Holy, Oh!" incident), and the remaining foursome found The Matrix (the production team known for its work with Hilary Duff, Avril Lavigne, and Liz Phair), which helped guide the quartet through its recently released See You on the Other Side. Realizing that the brand of nü-metal they helped pioneer is deader than all the residents of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery -- where Korn announced its current tour in January -- the band opted to go in a somewhat more industrial direction, and in many ways they sound like a fairly polished, more groove-oriented Nine Inch Nails these days, although some naysayers have likened them to onetime protégés Orgy. To make those dense electro-metal sounds and moods happen live, the band has recruited not only another touring guitarist to replace Head's seven strings of fury, but three additional temp musicians as well -- a keyboardist, a percussionist, and a backup vocalist. Word is this eight-piece juggernaut is reinventing some of the old tunes, but fear not, Korn nuts -- front man Jonathan Davis is still rockin' the kilt, bagpipes, and rampant nihilism.
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Michael Alan Goldberg