Korn's Bassist Fieldy Talks About Braving Bomb Scares and Sobriety
After breaking the news three years ago they were adding Skrillex-influenced electronic beats to their nu-metal sound in "The Path of Totality," Korn have not only transformed their musical direction, but have shifted the band perspective with positive morale that is audibly noticeable in their latest album and collaborative sober lives.
Coming off of a worldwide tour in support of October 2013's "The Paradigm Shift," vocalist Jonathan Davis, guitarist Munky Shaffer, bassist Fieldy Arvizu, re-instated guitarist Head Welch and drummer Ray Luzier are coming home to tour the United States for Rockstar Energy Drink's Mayhem Festival. Korn will share the main stage with Avenged Sevenfold, Asking Alexandria and Trivium on Saturday, July 5 at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino. Recently, Fieldy talked to us about a bombing scare Korn dealt with while in Russia, touring sober, and how his religious views affect his tattoo choices and daily lifestyle.
OC Weekly (Rachael Mattice): What's been going on with Korn and your lives lately and since the release "The Paradigm Shift" in October?
Fieldy: We've been touring all over the world. We just got back from Europe and Russia and we're hitting the whole world now. The touring cycle now to hit every area is usually a two or three-year cycle.
We canceled one of our shows in Kiev, Ukraine because it was getting too gnarly. Another situation was when we were in Russia on the other side of the border of Ukraine; we finished the show when our manager came in and told us to stay put because we heard reports that the airport was going to be bombed. We didn't really know what to do.
We waited and were trying to figure out a plan. We had 10 vans that were driving at 2 a.m. to try and get out of that city. They were going to spot us.
Then, we were told we were going to drive to the airport anyway even though we heard the reports that it could be bombed. They ended up opening the airport back up and we got out of there safely. It was a little scary for a minute.
When you released "The Path of Totality," Korn was one of the first heavy bands to mesh electronic music into their traditional sound without really sounding like an industrial metal band. Why did you decide to go in this direction with the development of Korn's music?
Jon found Skrillex online doing some weird sounds. He played it before and sounded like it would be so cool if we added heavy music on it. We wanted to put out a few songs like that for fun, and we started liking it more. Then we thought we'd turn it into an EP and then into a whole album.
One of your signature bass styles is slapping. Was it intentional to fade that out and not use that as much in the making of "Paradigm Shift?"
It's 50/50. There are quite a few songs with slapping in it and several that don't. It's mostly when the song calls for it. That's what it is now. "Love and Meth" has a lot of slapping; "Pray for Me" has a lot. I can't go through the whole song like that, but it's at least fifty percent.
I know you just released an album last October, but have you started working on another full-length yet?
Not really. There's dabbling here and there. As far as dabbling though in a specific direction, we don't really know what's next or what it's going to be until we start messing around.
Korn's toured around the world and played numerous festivals throughout the years. Is there anything that sticks out about Mayhem Festival from any others?
Honestly, it always just has to do with the lineup. This year it's going to be cool at Mayhem because there's going to be a lot of great bands we are friends with on the roster. I can walk to Zacky (Vengeance) from Avenged Sevenfold's house who is a friend of me. It's cool to be working with people you know and be backstage working on a set with them.