Former KORN drummer David Silveria spoke to RadioactiveMike Z, host of the Riverside, California radio station 96.7 KCAL-FM program "Wired In The Empire", about his memories of making the band's "Follow The Leader" album, which recently celebrated 20th anniversary.
"When we did 'Follow The Leader', it was pretty much complete chaos every day and every night when we recorded that record at a studio in the [San Fernando] Valley called NRG," David recalled (hear audio below). "We rented a house in Hollywood. We basically had parties every night after we would be in the studio. And there was a fenced-in backyard, and everyone would be drinking beer and we'd tell everyone to throw their beer cans off the balcony in the backyard. By the time we were done recording the record to move out of the house, I think the entire backyard was covered in three feet full of beer cans. Yeah, it was pretty ridiculous. I think one of our crew guys, we actually paid him to go… He took all the beer cans and recycled them and made a bunch of money. And I think, honestly, if I remember correctly, in our budget, we spent $85,000 on liquor and other things. But I think we spent about 85 grand doing that record just on booze and extra stuff."
Silveria also talked about what it was like to work with rapper Ice Cube and famed comedian Cheech Marin during the recording sessions for "Follow The Leader".
"Back then, our band was still pretty new, so when Cheech Marin came in the studio or Ice Cube came in the studio, we were kind of a little starstruck, because of just how much N.W.A. had been an influence for me using 808s and those hip-hop-ish kind of beats in our music," David said. "So I think having [Ice Cube] come in and work on the record, that was a really big deal."
According to Silveria, one of the highlights of the "Follow The Leader" touring cycle was performing at Woodstock '99, the infamous festival in Rome, New York that started out as a 30th-anniversary celebration of a watershed moment in American pop culture and ended in blazing riots.
"I remember going on stage in '99 at Woodstock and looking out at the crowd, and as far as my vision would take me, I could see people until they just disappeared into nothing — there were so many people," he said. "I think it was 275,000 [people]. They had two sets of sound systems. There was a millisecond delay, so when everyone jumped, they jumped in a huge wave, starting in front of the stage and going to the back. You can go on YouTube and see the overhead cameras and see all that stuff online — it's pretty amazing. But being in front of 275,000 people, that was probably the biggest rush of it all."
"Follow The Leader" was a massive commercial breakthrough for KORN, debuting at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart, selling five million copies in the U.S. and yielding two hits singles in "Got The Life" and "Freak On A Leash".
KORN celebrated the 20th anniversary of "Follow The Leader" last September by playing three very special shows in San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
Silveria has just launched a new band called BIAS, also featuring bassist Chris Dorame, guitarists Joe Taback and Mike Martin and singer Rich Nguyen.
Silveria, Dorame and Taback previously played together in CORE 10, which "imploded" last year after releasing a couple of singles and playing a number of local shows.