"We're mixing metal and electro music” states frontman Jonathan Davis,”and you're not supposed to do that. Since day one, Korn has always been all about going against the grain, experimenting, and trying to take music different places." In 2009, Davis began to envision the place where Korn would venture next. A lifelong electronic music fan and DJ, he'd cruise Beatport and fervently download the latest tracks from various underground dubstep artists.
Last year, his obsession intensified. Speaking to his band mates, James ‘Munky’ Shaffer (guitar), Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizu (bass), and Ray Luzier (drums), the four agreed to tread new ground and incorporate dubstep into a couple of tracks. Davis called longtime Korn fan and rising electronic music star Skrillex to join the band at his studio for a collaboration. After merely three hours, "Get Up!" was born. A staggering deluge of wobbling synths, bludgeoning riffs and propulsive hooks, the song instantly became a 21st century arena-ready anthem in the vein of "Blind". The buzz began in Coachella's dance tent in April, when Jonathan and Munky joined Skrillex on stage for a show-stealing unannounced performance of the song. Korn released the track in May and it caught fire online, selling over 200k digital downloads and became the surprise rock hit of the summer in the US. There was no question. Korn knew they needed to do an entire album following this muse. The band would record with dubstep DJs back in Davis's home studio in Bakersfield during inspired sessions. Vocals were actually tracked in the singer's home theater or in closets and hotels everywhere from Korea to Japan. The record came together at light speed. Before they knew it, the eleven songs comprising The Path of Totality were complete.
"Get Up" started as a bit of an experiment,” states Munky “but we had such an amazing response from our fans and had such a great time collaborating, that a full album of tracks came together in a couple of months. We couldn't wait to get to the studio every day to finish the next song. You need to be pushed out of your comfort zone to take chances. We were able to do that by collaborating with all of these brilliant writers and challenging ourselves. We're still pushing ourselves to grow."
"It was a very different recording process," Fieldy adds. "In fact, it was the most easy and organized album that we've ever done. We got a bunch of different flavors from the DJs. Instead of picking up a guitar or bass and jamming out, we'd get inspired by these weird sounds and work around them. It's a new approach to an old formula."
Lyrically, Davis also broke ground. Known for his heart-wrenching introspective verbal exorcism, the singer turned to both the world around him and inside his own head for inspiration. "I came at the
lyrics from a different direction," he goes on. "I wasn't writing about me on this record. I was writing about things I've witnessed and things I'm into. I'm looking at what goes on in my mind."
The album's second official single, "Narcissistic Cannibal" featuring Skrillex and Kill the Noise, is the perfect example. Davis delivers a haunting and theatrical refrain over synth swells as a glitch hop death march commences. Everything blossoms into one of the catchiest hooks of the band's career. "The key changes make it so unpredictable," Shaffer exclaims. "It's not how we would traditionally write, but it's still extremely heavy. That song is a good representation of this record as a whole."
Davis reveals, "It's about me watching people who are so narcissistic destroy themselves. They basically eat themselves alive because of their narcissism. That's the gist of the story."
Taking on a project of this magnitude that encompasses two genres is a monumental moment for the band. That's why the title proves so apropos. Davis actually asked Shaffer to come up with ideas for an album name. While on a flight to Asia, the guitarist watched a documentary about solar eclipses, and he came upon the phrase The Path of Totality. As soon as the plane landed, he shared it with Davis. "I wanted to come up with a name that felt otherworldly," Shaffer explains. "A shadow is cast on the earth when a solar eclipse occurs. The moon has to be perfectly aligned with the sun to create this flawless shadow that completely covers the sun from the earth. Similarly, all of the producers and writers had to come together at the perfect time to cast these songs onto tape."
Ultimately, Korn's rebirth starts at The Path of Totality. "I want people to experience something sonically that they never have when they listen to this record," Shaffer states. Davis echoes that sentiment, "I want to trail-blaze. I want to change things. I want to do things we're not supposed to do. I want to create art that's different and not conform to what's going on. We didn't make a dubstep album. We made a Korn album."
The album will be released in two configurations: as a standard 11 song CD and a special edition CD that will include bonus tracks as well as a DVD of ‘The Encounter’, a full length video concert of Korn's once in a lifetime performance in the middle of a 900ft long crop circle in a Bakersfield wheatfield. The complete concert, previously seen last year on TV and online in an abbreviated form, will be offered in its entirety to those who purchase the deluxe version.
For further info point your mouse at www.korn.com.