Download 2018: Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis

Download Festival

Zippo Encore Stage

Friday, June 8, 2018


By Eric Mackinnon


KoRn mainman Jonathan Davis is in typically reflective mood and as keen to stare down the barrel of difficult subjects many bands shy away from as he prepares to drop his début solo album later this month.

His solo record is more than a decade in the works as Davis has been so busy with his main project as frontman of nu-metal legends KoRn he has had to put his solo dream on the back burner.

But now as there is a rare slowing of the pace with KoRn – temporarily he vows – Davis is preparing to release 'Black Labryinth' on May 25.

Never afraid to feature subjects from drugs, bullying and abuse in his music, Davis is a frontman who leaves it all in his music and open to share his innermost thoughts, secrets and fears.

The fast-approaching release of his album will be followed with a set on the Zippo Encore Stage at next month's Download Festival which is sure to draw nu-metal and KoRn fans like a musical flame to thousands of rocking moths.

On the new record Davis plays most of the instruments with a number of guest musicians including fellow nu-metal legend, Limp Bizkit's Wes Borland.

But how different is the solo project to what he is most famous for with KoRn?

“For one, it’s not all tuned down to A,” he says. “That’s the biggest thing. It’s like any other band that plays a fucking eight-string, it’s going to sound like Meshuggah to me. Because they were the first band to do that. The album has a different-world vibe. Some songs are heavy, some aren’t. But it’s a different beast. It’s just me, writing and doing what I do.”

On the subject matter of the solo record he continues: “I developed some different stuff,” he says. “There’s some stuff on there that has to do with religion. I was writing it was when Head [Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch”] left the band, so I was very angry at religion at that time.

“Not that I care about beliefs — it’s all good. I just have a problem with the preachy religion. Christians telling you that you need Jesus. Those are the ones I have problems with. So there was basically me dealing with that, and then me coming at, ‘Why am I here? What is it I believe in? What is my higher power?’ Questioning everything.”

“I’ve had to wait this long for it to come out,” he says with a sigh.

“A label signed me and everything was good, and then the president left and the guy who was going to produce it didn’t have time to do it. I was getting shit left and right. When that was done I was looking to put it out, and then Korn Korn Korn Korn Korn. Tour tour tour tour tour. Now, I can finally put it out. I’m finally putting out my art project.”

Catch Jonathan Davis out of his KoRn comfort zone at the Zippo Encore Stage on Friday, June 8.