Korn (sometimes rendered as KoRn or KoЯn) is a Nu Metal band formed in 1993 from Bakersfield, California. Well, we say a nu metal band. What we actually mean is the nu metal band. Korn are notable for being the first nu metal band - though others had fused rap and metal before (Rage Against the Machine, Faith No More), Korn were the first to play the famous style of nu metal, adding angsty lyrics, downtuned guitars and funk-influenced bass playing and removing guitar solos. Korn's surprise success in the mid-nineties spawned a legion of similar bands that were more geared for the mainstream, resulting in nu metal becoming a separate genre from Alternative Metal.Korn themselves are one of the few nu metal bands to try and reject the commercialism of other bands of the movement (not that they're uncommercial, mind you. After all, their latest album throws in Dubstep, a genre which they had no familiarity with). They even commented on this trend-hopping tendency with the title of their third album, Follow the Leader. They also try and reject all genre classification, including rejecting the term "metal" to describe their music, though this had more to do with a dislike of being classified, period.
Their lineup consists of:
- Jonathan Davis - lyrics (occasionally Guitar or Drums; and sometimes Bagpipes)
- James "Munky" Shaffer - guitar
- Brian "Head" Welch - guitar (1993–2005, rejoined in 2013)
- Reginald "Fieldy" Arizvu - bass
- Ray Luzier - drums (2007-present)
- David Silveria - drums (1993–2006)
- 1994 - Korn
- 1996 - Life is Peachy
- 1998 - Follow the Leader
- 1999 - Issues
- 2002 - Untouchables
- 2003 - Take a Look in the Mirror
- 2005 - See You on the Other Side
- 2007 - MTV Unplugged
- 2007 - Untitled
- 2010 - Korn III - Remember Who You Are
- 2011 - The Path of Totality
- 2013 - The Paradigm Shift
Korn has the following trope examples:
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- Album Title Drop:
- "Trapped Underneath The Stairs", a bonus track for Korn III: Remember Who You Are, does this in the chorus (without the Korn III).
- Debatably "Shoots and Ladders", which includes a faintly whispered "Jimmy cracked corn" somewhere in the bridge.
- Alternative Metal
- Audience Participation Song: "Y'All Want A Single". Before singing it, Jonathan calls out the name of the city they're in, thanks the audience for being fans and coming out to see them, and asks them to hold their middle fingers in the air and shout "Fuck that!" before singing.
- Big "Shut Up!": "Right Now"
- Bowdlerise: In the radio edit of "Y'all Want a Single", the word "fuck" became "suck" (as in, "Say 'Suck that, suck that, suck that!'").
- Calling the Old Man Out: "Daddy", from the first album, despite being about a woman who molested Jonathan and his parents not believing the abuse.
- Country Matters: In the chorus of "Cameltosis."
- Cover Version: "One", "Low Rider", "Wicked", "Earache My Eye", "Another Brick in the Wall", "Creep", "Word Up!", "Kidnap The Sandy Claws" and "Fight the Power".
- Cluster F-Bomb: In "Y'all Want a Single", the F word appears 89 times!
- Deadpan Snarker: Jonathan, of all people, gets his moments on "All In the Family." Where Fred Durst mostly responds to Jon's insults with "Say what, say what" or "Oh yeah?" or other phrases that really just exist so Fred can keep time, Jon comments on many of Fred's lines. For instance...Fred: Nappy, hairy chest / Look, it's Austin Powers!Jon: Aw, yeah, baby!
- Everything's Louder With Bagpipes: Jonathan played bagpipes in high school and transferred his talent to Korn. Now at least once per album, there's gonna be some bagpipes somewhere in the songs, and somewhere in the live shows.
- Fun with Acronyms: "A.D.I.D.A.S.": A ll D ay I D ream A bout S ex.
- Guttural Growler: Whenever Davis wants to be threatening his voice goes really low.
- In the Style of...
- Inelegant Blubbering: The sobbing at the end of "Daddy".
- Intercourse with You: "Getting Off", "Inside Out", "10 or a 2 way", "It's Me Again", "Beat It Upright", "A.D.I.D.A.S.".
- Ironic Nursery Tune: "Shoots and Ladders." Never has "Ring around the Rosie" sounded more disturbing.
- Last Note Nightmare
- Metal Scream/Careful with That Axe
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: For obvious reasons, Korn tends to reside on the higher single digits of the scale, usually around the 5-7 range. Untouchables is arguably one of their heaviest albums, with songs going up to as high as 8 or 9, helped in no small part by the production. The Path of Totality occasionally creeps up to 10 due to the heavy brostep and Harsh Noise influences.
- Mondegreen: In "Falling Away from Me", towards the end of the bridge, Davis shouts out "FALLING!!!", which almost sounds like an Atomic F-Bomb.
- Mood Dissonance: The lullaby at the end of "Daddy."
- Rap Metal: Despite pioneering nu-metal, their music rarely features actual rapping outside of collaborations with Nas, Ice Cube, Biggie, Q-Tip, Xzibit and Slimkid3.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Counting on Me
- Scatting: Davis' demented mixture of beatboxing, grunting and babbling.
- Take That: Despite the lyrics being very ambiguous, "Y'all Want a Single" (especially, it's videoclip) is a song against the music business.
- Trope Makers and Ur-Example - Of nu metal, though they deny it.
- The Unintelligible: Sometimes crosses into this territory.
- The Unpronounceable
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: "Dead Bodies Everywhere."
- Animated Music Video:
- Brick Joke: "Falling Away From Me" starts where "Freak On A Leash" left off (with a security guard holding a bullet while several animated kids run past him) before the scene changes to live-action.
- Bullet Catch: The aforementioned "Freak on a Leash" video.
- Bullet Time: Most of the "Freak on a Leash" video, as well as the damage the bullet causes.
- Cover Drop: The "Freak on a Leash" music video starts with the cover of its album, Follow the Leader (a girl playing hopscotch on a cliff).
- Hypocritical Humor: The video for "Y'All Want a Single".
- Lady Looks Like a Dude: The music video for "Falling Away from Me" shows a teenaged girl with Boyish Short Hair being beaten by her Abusive Father because of who she is. Feeling like a Damsel in Distress, she opens the magic box to evoke Korn's help. Just then, a group of kids arrive to help her, and she escapes through the window, never to be beaten by her father again.
- Monster Clown: Their video for "Clown" contains several. And a few Creepy Dolls.
- Music Video Overshadowing: "Freak on a Leash".
- Self-Deprecation: The video for "Alone I Break," to the band as a whole; it depicts Jonathan killing the other members of the band. And then the cameraman, possibly.
- Take That: In the video for "Y'All Want a Single", some of the captions say that Britney Spears' music video for "Toxic" cost $1,000,000 to make, while their video only costs less ($150,000).
- Avant-Garde Metal: If you don't consider them Nu Metal...
- The Backwards R: Their logo is "KoЯn", though it's to look childish, not Russian.
- Band Toon: The Halloween Episode of South Park Korn's Groovy Pirate Ghost Mystery, a Scooby-Doo Homage, Small Annoying Creature and Hoax in all. They at one point pull a Power of Rock-esque One-Winged Angel moment. The band also debuted its single "Falling Away From Me" after solving the hoax. The song's content and heaviness rather surprises the townspeople gathered, as it heavily contrasts the band's sunny disposition throughout the episode.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Korn's 2009 tour was called the "Escape From The Studio" tour as a break from recording Korn III. The tour name was ripped off from a previous Metallica tour.
- Genre-Busting: How they view themselves, which is why they hate being classified in any genre.
- Genre Shift: To Dubstep on The Path of Totality.
- Then back to Nu Metal on The Paradigm Shift.
- Great Balls of Fire
- Iconic Item: Davis' creepy mic stand, designed by H. R. Giger.
- The Invisible Band
- Long Runner Line Up: The band was the same for 12 years before Head got religious and left. Subverted when Head rejoined in 2013.
- Man of a Thousand Voices: Jonathan Davis has made an art form out of his voice, doing operatic cleans, gravelly baritones, death growls, shrieks, rapping, beatboxing, thrashy grunts, and scatting.
- Because of this amazing vocal versatility, fans have compared him favorably with the likes of Mike Patton, Devin Townsend, Christian Alvestam, Tooru "Kyo" Nishimura, Travis Ryan, Serj Tankian, and Roughton Reynolds, all of which are some of the best examples of this trope from the heavy metal scene.
- Nu Metal: The first band of the genre. They deny it, saying "Korn is Korn."
- Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: Averted; the title of their nineth album, "Korn III: Remember Who You Are."
- One-Hit Wonder: Technically, "Did My Time" was their only top 40 hit on the Hot 100, but they are one of the most well known rock bands of the past 15 years. Not to mention, "Did My Time" is certainly not their most famous song; that would probably be "Freak on a Leash."
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Sorta. Their album The Path of Totality was a Dubstep album, a genre they have never done before. Their next album The Paradigm Shift, however, reverted back to their usual Nu Metal style.
- Put on a Bus: Head, followed by David.
- The Rival: Ben Folds. Korn mocked him as an opening act as a lame Cheers performer. Folds responded with the savage mocking song Rockin' the Suburbs (aka Korn Sucks), with such lyrics as "I'm rocking the suburbs / I take the checks and face the facts / That some producer with computers / Fixes all my shitty tracks".
- Also Eels. The two bands didn't get along at all during Lollapalooza 1997.
- The Rockumentary
- Unfortunate Names: Davis named two of his kids Pirate and Zeppelin. Yeah.