Jonathan Davis Shares The Korn Album That Changed Everything
In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Jonathan Davis shared his thoughts about Korn‘s most famous track ‘Freak On A Leash, which changed the band’s career trajectory.
Korn was already living their biggest dream with two top-tier albums under their belt, but they wanted to go big and change up their sound a bit for their third album. After ‘Follow the Leader’ came out, and fans caught on to their second single, ‘Freak On A Leash,’ Korn’s career skyrocketed, and they became the biggest nu metal band during those years.
‘Freak On A Leash’ resonated with fans as Korn criticized the music industry for the way they handled artists and turned the creative process into a chore. The song reflected how the band members wanted to create their music without anyone’s input. Korn even worked with Evanescence’s Amy Lee for a string-led version of their most famous track for MTV Unplugged in 2006, which resurfaced the track after its initial release in 1998.
Jonathan Davis stated that the entire process of making the ‘Follow the Leader’ album was fantastic. He added that they wanted to take the sound to a different level, so Davis reached out to Richard Gibbs to help with the strings. The frontman said he was an emotional child when he wrote ‘Freak On A Leash,’ which eventually featured Amy Lee.
He described the lyrics were a representation of where they were in their lives at the time. The outcome was worth it because even though the song takes him back to how he felt then, the record helped Korn create their path in the industry without depending on record labels. Their career after the album set them free and ‘took them off the leash.’
Jonathan Davis’ words about the Korn album that shifted the course of their career:
“The whole experience was amazing. We practiced for months, and we brought in one of my dearest friends, Richard Gibbs, who helped arrange all the strings – we knew we wanted to take it over the top and do something different. Getting Amy to do that song was amazing.
When I wrote ‘Freak On A Leash,’ I was a kid and very emotional. It was a snapshot of where we were at the time, but lo and behold, after that record, we never had to depend on a record label again. That was the vehicle to get where we are now, so playing that song these days represents that time and what I was going through. It took us off the leash!”
The album sold more than a quarter of a million copies in the US in its first week, peaking at number 1 on the Billboard charts, and the single became Korn’s biggest hit, which ultimately made room for the band to take over the reins, and they have continued to steer the band to this day.