In a brand new interview with Live Nation TV, KORN guitarists/co-founders James "Munky" Shaffer and Brian "Head" Welch spoke about singer Jonathan Davis's recent comment that the band's new album title, "The Serenity Of Suffering", defines both his life and the record.
"The way I see it is it's his take on the record, the things that he was going through at the time of writing," Shaffer said. "I felt that he was kind of suffering — he was battling inside of himself to get to that creative place that he felt comfortable to start writing for the album, but it made a great record. This time for him, though, it felt a lot more difficult."
Added Welch: "I mean, he's not perfect — obviously none of us are — he's just a sweet guy, and, unfortunately, he lets people hurt him a lot and he lives with it. He feels like normal when he's suffering because he has suffered so much. So he literally went through something for the last few years — I don't know how much personal stuff he's sharing — but he's just been really going through it and on this record he dug deep. He does on every record, but this one was special."
Continued Shaffer: "Even for him to come up with that title that [says] he feels some serenity in his suffering is a major breakthrough. He is realizing what is behind this madness, this chaos he is going through in his mind. I think a huge step out of that suffering is seeing the problem and realizing it, and for him to use the record and lyrics to get that out feels probably like a relief."
Said Welch: "But the title 'The Serenity Of Suffering' — I totally relate to that because I've been through so much. I just wrote my book ['With My Eyes Wide Open: Miracles And Mistakes On My Way Back To Korn'] and I share a lot of the suffering that I went through. But there's a promise that you get paid back for your suffering; in life it always happens. I went through it over and over again, especially with my faith; it's a promise and so there is a serenity in my suffering because I know that something's going to come out of it."
Shaffer and Welch also talked about working with producer Nick Raskulinecz on "The Serenity Of Suffering" after collaborating with someone like Ross Robinson on some of KORN's earlier efforts.
"I think Nick is as passionate; he just has a different sort of approach," Shaffer explained. "It's not as psychological; it's more about passion and fun. Once, when we went to record, Ross actually went to Head's house when he was living in Phoenix and not in the band. He jumped the fence and ran up to Head's door because he wanted him to be part of [the recording]. He physically went up to his house, knocked on his door."
Added Welch: "I knew somebody was knocking and I was [pressed against] the wall and just didn't answer."
Continued Shaffer: "That just tells you that it wasn't time. He wasn't ready, he wasn't in that place, because you know he's knocking on the door, and you know why he's there."
Said Welch: "Ross left a note, and I was like, 'Ewww.' Then someone came back and started knocking like crazy and I knew it was him. I wrote in my book, 'How does two walls in front of your house scream 'Come knock on my door'?' It wasn't just him; I was getting all these knocks."
Due on October 21, "The Serenity Of Suffering" marks the band's return to Roadrunner, which previously released 2010's "Korn III - Remember Who You Are" and 2011's "The Path Of Totality".
The cover art for "The Serenity Of Suffering" was created by acclaimed artist Ron English. It depicts a teenage KORN fan at a dystopian acid-nightmare funfair who is clutching a disembowelled and skeletal version of the doll who adorned 1999's "Issues".
KORN has hit the road this fall with co-headliners BREAKING BENJAMIN for the "Nocturnal Underground Tour". The trek kicked off on September 24 in Fargo, North Dakota and will run through late October.