KoRn’s James ‘Munky’ Shaffer Talks Mainstream Media Snubbing Heavy Music After Supporting It

KoRn Forgotten Review

Are you ready for a hit of nostalgia you didn’t know you needed or could even remember? I want to take your mind back to the late 90s/early 2000s when mainstream media — radio, tv and magazines — weren’t afraid to report on hard rock and heavy metal bands. A time when there was no division in music, just a mutual appreciation for all kinds… unlike in this day and age!

Back to the time when you would be watching Channel [V], Video Hits or MTV and you’d see music videos for KoRn, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park and Slipknot surrounded by the likes of Britney Spears, Eminem, Backstreet Boys, blink-182 and N*Sync.

That was the generation we grew up in and the scene in which bands like KoRn (and Linkin Park as they mentioned to us back in 2020) were able to rise in popularity to the top of the nu-metal echelon which they were pioneers of. Then, slowly over time, mainstream media turned their backs on all things heavy and it’s considered too much of a “risk” to play these “niche” acts because of the fear of losing viewers and not taking into consideration the longevity of their careers compared to that of some questionable one-hit-wonders that come and go through your radio like a house in a tornado.

In doing so, mainstream media have since lost all credibility from the fans, bands and viewers that supported their platforms back in the day. The same supporters they used to get ahead – who have since found their own ways of supporting and promoting their fav acts – just like how Wall of Sound was conceived.

With KoRn set to drop their 14th studio album Requiem on Friday (our review here) we scored time to chat with guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer for our Virtual Hangs series and reflect back on the glory days mentioned above – and to ask his opinion on mainstream media’s backflipping.

Munky, explained that while it doesn’t bother him, the supply/demand for heavy music comes in waves and it’s only a matter of time before they come crawling back:

“Personally, I feel like it doesn’t matter because if it’s good and it’s coming from a real place they come a knockin’ [laughs]; Pop music has evolved into something so synthetic, you know, it’ll get to the point where it’s so not real, people crave real instruments and someone that’s actually singing live and you know, that whole thing will come around again because there’ll be a need for it. It kind of comes in waves.”

He also reiterated that the band didn’t get into this business for notoriety, they’re in it for the loyal supporters in their crop:

“It’s okay because we’re not in it for the fame, We’re in it for the fan.”

KoRn has been in integral part of the heavy music industry throughout four different decades – the 90s, 2000s, 2010s and now as we head into the 2020s – they’ve stayed true to themselves and in doing so, remainded at the forefront of nu-metal.

The lads haven’t been reported on, or played in Australian mainstream media since (from my recollection) the release of 2005’s See You On The Other Side… but with fourteen studio albums behind them, the admirable role of 2018 Download Festival Australia headliners, over 40 million albums sold worldwide, a guest appearance on South Park and two Grammys under their belts – something tells me it’s only a matter of time before the mainstream sweaters come crawling back for another serving…

Also, check out the trailer for their upcoming Requiem Mass Livestream taking place on Thursday, Feb 3 8PM PT FYI – that’s 2pmAEST/3pm AEDT below!

Written by Paul ‘Browny’ Brown @brownypaul

Requiem is out tomorrow via Loma Vista Recordings.
Pre-order here

KoRnRequiem tracklisting

1. Forgotten
2. Let the Dark Do the Rest
3. Start The Healing
4. Lost in the Grandeur
5. Disconnect
6. Hopeless and Beaten
7. Penance to Sorrow
8. My Confession
9. Worst Is On Its Way

About Paul 'Browny' Brown (3765 Articles)
Dad, Wall of Sound Boss Man/Editorial Manager, Moshpit Enthusiast & Professional Beard Grower!