Korn’s Munky Says Being Forced Into A Psychiatric Ward Saved His Life

Korn guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer spoke to Metal Hammer and recalled being mentally unstable and struggling to cope with some personal tragedies. He stated that being held in a psychiatric ward for a while changed his dangerous way of living for good.

Munky’s longtime dedicated fans know that 2008 was a very challenging year for him as his father passed away. He felt so sad and lonely because of his father’s death, as it meant that he had no parent left, and unfortunately, he started using drugs and alcohol to soothe his unbearable pain. The Korn guitarist’s addictions problems got worse and worse every day, and he started living isolated from everyone around him in a beach house.

However, his neighbors weren’t happy with the guitarist turning up the music all the time and not answering any of their calls and complaints. Therefore they decided to call the police and an officer came to his house one morning to ask whether he possessed any guns in the house. Munky responded to the question by saying that if he had a gun, he would show it to him in a very offensive manner.

Then, he had to deal with a SWAT team that came to take him and the team realized that his severe drug and alcohol abuse wasn’t the only problem. The guitarist remembered those times in his interview and said they arrested and took him to the psychiatric ward after concluding that the musician wasn’t mentally stable. Munky highlighted that waking up handcuffed to a hospital bed and spending 3 days in there made him understand that he can’t live like that and saved his life.

Shaffer recalled these moments saying:

“Around the time of my father’s death, I had severely slipped into bad drug use and alcoholism. I had lost both my parents now, and I didn’t want to deal with it, didn’t want to face it. I had a beautiful house by the beach, and I basically barricaded myself in, with all the windows blacked out, and turned the music up really loud in every room. It was a very quiet neighborhood until I moved in, so my neighbors must have been like, ‘This motherf’cker, we can’t take this anymore…’

So, one day this policeman knocked on my door, at like 6 am, as the sun was rising. He asked if I had any guns in the house, and I responded, ‘If I do have any guns, you will be the first to know,’ and slammed the door in his face. About 15 minutes later, I had a SWAT team outside my house. They got me out and arrested me, and they knew I was not okay: they could obviously see, like, ‘Okay, not only is he high, and drunk, but he’s mentally unstable.‘ I woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed in a psychiatric ward, on hold for 72 hours. That was the moment where I was like, ‘I can’t go on like this.”

Consequently, it can be understood from the Korn rhythm guitarist’s words that one of the darkest days of his life turned into a gift when he decided to change his life. He battled his addictions and stopped using drugs and alcohol to numb his pain and deal with other challenging problems.