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Music / Korn

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From left to right: Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, Ray Luzier, Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, and Brian "Head" Welch
Something takes a part of me,
Something lost and never seen.
Every time I start to believe,
Something's raped and taken from me, from me.
"Freak on a Leash"

Describe something that was taken from these guys here.

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, The Path of Totality threw in Dubstep, a genre which they had no familiarity with beforehand). 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:

  • James "Munky" Shaffer - rhythm guitar, backing vocals
  • Reginald "Fieldy" Arizvu - bass
  • Jonathan Davis - lead vocals, bagpipes
  • Ray Luzier - drums (2007-present)
  • Brian "Head" Welch - lead guitar, backing vocals (1993–2005, rejoined in 2013)

Former member(s)

  • 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
  • 2016 - The Serenity of Suffering
  • 2019 - The Nothing


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    Song tropes 
  • 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
  • Atomic F-Bomb: In "Y'All Want a Single", which is loooooong.
  • 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!'").
    • The radio edit of "A.D.I.D.A.S" replaces "fucking" with "humpin'", as in "all day I dream about humpin'"
  • Calling the Old Man Out: "Daddy", from the first album, despite being about a woman who molested Jonathan and his parents brushing off the abuse.
  • Country Matters: In the chorus of "Cameltosis", and the aptly titled "K@#Ø%!(Kunts!)"
  • 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." 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, however, comments on many of Fred's lines. For instance:
    Fred: Nappy, hairy chest / Look, it's Austin Powers!
  • Drowning My Sorrows: "Chi".
  • 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.
  • Evil Laugh: There's a few that pop up in "Never Around". And what sounds like one also appears in "Insane", but it's hard to tell.
  • 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: The bonus track at the end of their debut, after “Daddy” and a long silence. A grainy recording of unknown origin, which consists of a couple arguing over a Dodge Dart. A bit funny considering how they argue, but the fact that it was a random tape found in a shed is a bit creepy.
  • Longest Song Goes Last:
    • The untitled album ends with "I Will Protect You" (5:29).
    • The Path of Totality ends with "Bleeding Out" (4:49).
    • A special mention to how much the band screws with this trope must be mentioned: several albums feature long songs at the end, but there are hidden tracks containing even more songs embedded within the finishing track, which don't qualify for the tropenote .
  • 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."
  • Rape as Drama: "Daddy" goes without saying.
  • 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.
  • Rearrange the Song: The band's first demo tape Neidermeyer's Mind had the song "Alive" on it. The band reused the music as "Need To" on their first album, and "Alive" remained exclusive to the demo tape for 10 years, inspiring great interest from fans. "Alive" was eventually rerecorded for Take a Look in the Mirror to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the tape. The rerecording is in a different key and the music has been changed somewhat from the "Need To" arrangement, though the lyrics and chorus remain the same.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Counting on Me".
  • Scatting: Davis' demented mixture of beatboxing, grunting and babbling.
  • Studio Chatter: The album version of "Clown" starts with about a minute of the band goofing around in studio. Notably, David Silveria says he'd rather play "Twist" instead - "Twist" wouldn't be recorded until the next album.
  • Take That!: Despite the lyrics being very ambiguous, "Y'All Want a Single" (especially its 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."

    Video tropes 
  • Animated Music Video:
    • "Freak on a Leash", directed by Todd McFarlane.
    • "Right Now" recycles some Deranged Animation taken from shorts played at the Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Animation Festival.
  • 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 Dodges You: Neo can evade bullets by hacking into the Matrix with his mind. According to the video to "Freak on a Leash", Jonathan Davis can stop, alter the trajectory and repel a bullet. Mostly by shouting GO!! at it.
  • 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.
  • Louis Cypher: The music video for "Thoughtless" has a bullied protagonist who goes by the name of "Frank Louis Cifer" (played by then 22-year-old Aaron Paul).
  • 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).

    Misc tropes 
  • Addled Addict: Brian Welch, and it led to him leaving the band and converting to Christianity. By the end of his original run, he was a raging alcoholic, borderline methhead, and also had a problem with benzodiazepines, and the road warrior lifestyle was enabling all of it and was going to lead to a spectacular crash if he didn't leave of his own accord.
  • Avant-Garde Metal: If you don't consider them Nu Metal...
  • The Backwards Я: Put to good use in their logo.
  • 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.
    • Also, Jon makes an appearance as Succulentus in OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, where everything he says consists of parodies on lyrics by Korn and similar bands.
  • Bald of Awesome: Fieldy in the band's early years.
  • Badass Beard: All of them.
  • The Bus Came Back: As of 2013, Head is a full-time member again. Lampshaded by an album titled The Paradigm Shift released that very year.
  • The Cameo: They can be seen on the In Extremo DVD "Live 2002"
  • 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, although a few electro-ish elements stuck around from Totality.
  • 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. David Silveria left several years later and was replaced by Ray Luzier. Head returned to the band in 2013, and their lineup has been consistent since.
  • 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.
  • 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 ninth album, Korn III: Remember Who You Are.
  • 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. They did keep some of the more subtle dubstep stylings from the previous album, however.
  • Put on a Bus: Head, followed by David.
  • Randomly Reversed Letters: Their logo is "KoЯn", though it's to look childish, not Russian.
  • 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".
    • 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.
  • We Used to Be Friends:
    • Jonathan Davis and Brian "Head" Welch's friendship disintegrated after Welch decided to leave in 2004 due to his disillusionment with the band and ultimately converted to Christianity as he then denounced his time in the band before ultimately making amends with Davis in 2011, resulting in his return to the band in 2013.
    • David Silveria and the rest of the band, whose friendship ended in 2006 as Silveria left in anger following disagreements with his bandmates and since then, has made some critical comments towards his former bandmates except for James Shaffer, as he has said that he has no hard feelings for him.


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