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  1. Korn

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Once pioneering nu-metal party boys, Korn has in recent years lost two founding members, a label and some might say their signature sound. But through it all they've discovered sobriety and a willingness to explore new musical ground, as bassist Fieldy explains to Truepunk.

As a Spanish Basque man married to a Mexican woman, Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, admits he's right at home in Latin American surrounds.

"I like the style here; the clothes, the tiles, you know my house is Spanish anyway so I like that sort of thing," says the five-string bassist of Korn's current tour stop, Mexico City.

"We've only been here maybe once or twice but it's one of the biggest cities in the world so you can only see so much of it. I went out today to like a flea market on the street and I'd never been there before, it was pretty cool.

"But we were in Sao Paulo in South America a couple of days ago and the way that place is laid out, man that looks like the biggest city I've ever seen in my life! I've been all over the world but we went to South Africa on this tour for the first time ever and I really had a good time down there. I enjoyed doing a safari and hiking up the table mountain and you know, just shopping around the streets. It was a good time."

Still on the road promoting last year's strangely untitled eighth album, Korn recently trimmed another member, losing long-time drummer David Silveria in 2006.

"From my understanding he wanted to get into the restaurant business or something and that's about all I know," shrugs Fieldy who describes Silveria's immediate studio replacement, 57-year-old former Frank Zappa drummer Terry Bozzio (Fantomas), as a breath of fresh air.

"When we recorded this album we were really open to seeing what we could do," he enthuses. "And when Terry came in the way that he played drums was so busy that we couldn't really stay on just one note. We had to move notes around a lot and it was real progressive and that took the album to the next level.

"The new record is really insane. To me it's going to take some time for people to go back and say 'man, there's some great songs on there' because it's real different and it's nice to have some variety in the catalogue of all the Korn albums."

Enjoying the challenge of working with new musicians - Korn currently use four extra members to fatten up the stage show - Fieldy says he's impressed with the band's latest touring drummer Ray Luzier (Army Of Anyone).

"You need to have somewhat of a change," he says. "Right now we're playing with Luzier and he's probably one of my favourite drummers I've played with over my whole music career. He's a real straight forward heavy hitter with nice drum fills and he's right on man. I'm real happy with him."

Whilst guitarist Brian "Head" Welch walked out on the band "to be with God" prior to the recording of 2005's See You On The Other Side, Silveria's departure in the lead up to their latest album further reduced the band to a core trio - Fieldy, singer Jonathan Davis and guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer. Together, they opted to collaborate again with pop hit machine The Matrix before seeking additional production from British studio wunderkind Atticus Ross.

"He's real creative and he takes our songs and he build on them," says Fieldy of Ross, a former Nine Inch Nails programmer who has also worked with Dillinger Escape Plan, Rancid and his own duo Error. "He's like a creative genius, he's real good and he fits right in and it was nice working with him last time so we decided to do it again.

"He likes to work with the whole band and likes us to play the songs and be a band together. He also likes to be there the whole time, he's not one of these producers who just comes in and puts a little icing on the cake. He lets us create as a band."

A conduit for Korn's often-eccentric notions of musical progression, Ross' industrial-based modus operandi never ceased to impress.

"We'd have a song and he'd add these weird sonic sounds to it, almost eerie sounds but they just sounded so cool because it was the undertone we've always wanted. It was like we were writing a book with him and we were on the same page."

Fifteen years into their career and more than a decade on from their successful 90s benchmarks Life Is Peachy and Follow The Leader, Korn's twisted metal is now resonating with a whole new generation of kids. If only the band had given the new album a name, laments Fieldy.

"I wish we would have titled it!," he laughs. "But we just couldn't come up with a name, something that fits, so what are you gonna do? Normally we sit down and think of a title but this time nobody could come up with anything - that was the whole problem! So in the end we just left it open for people to call it what they want to call it."

But try explaining that to Korn's marketing people.

"It's easier when you're going out to buy the new Korn CD you can just ask for See You On The Other Side or whatever," says the bassist who ironically doubles as the band's merchandising boss. "And the same for us going out on tour, you know, you can put the album title on the tee-shirts. There's so many benefits from titling the album."

On tour this month, Korn promise a crowd-pleasing spread of tracks new and old, including one of Fieldy's favourites, Blind. "We've been playing that since '91 every single night - and it's still exciting to play believe it or not!"

Fans will also witness on stage an alcohol and drug-free Korn, a first in the band's long and chequered history.

"I've been sober for three years after partying for 20 years seven days a week," confides Fieldy, who has a warts n' all autobiography Got The Life due out in October. "It's a whole new life, almost like the second half of my life. Jonathan's been sober about eight years and Munky's been sober for a couple of months and I think we're tighter than ever.

"It's unbelievable the way we're sounding these days. Just where we're at today with the music, to watch it all the way from the first Korn album, it's our legacy and it's exciting to know that we keep on growing. So long as we keep growing then I want to keep on going."



Mark Knopfler

2013-05-08 - Lodz, Atlas Arena 19:30 165-616 PLN

Roger Waters The Wall

2013-08-20, Warszawa, tickets: 242 zł - 1310 zł

Sonisphere Festival

2013-10-12 - Wroclaw 19:30, tickets: 165-1616 PLN

Iron Maiden

2013-08-20, Warszawa, tickets: 242 zł - 1310 zł

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