The Faith No More and Korn Connection
FNM and Korn will embark on a huge 26 date of North America and Canada in the summer of 2020, we examine their history together.
Faith No More have always vehemently refused to take any responsibility for inspiring the 90s alternative movement of nu-metal, where-as Korn reluctantly take credit for inventing it. Both bands suffered from hapless pigeon-holing by the music press who were unable to define their unique sounds and had to invent labels for convenience - FNM funk metal , Korn nu metal.
The two bands recently announced they would play together for dates at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles alongside System Of A Down and Helmet. Soon after it was revealed that Korn and FNM would co-headline a large scale tour across North America (with a stop in Canada). A revelation that was favourably received by many fans, but questioned by others. Here we will look at the connections between the two band's histories.
We start with the influence FNM's music has had on members of Korn, who have always cited Mike Patton, Chuck Mosley and co as inspiration. Despite what members of FNM say, you can hear nods to FNM in Korn's music - African rhythms, slapped and distorted bass tones, plus hits of rap and eastern melody lines from frontman Jonathan Davis.
"My favorite Faith No More record is The Real Thing. That's when Mike Patton took over. That's the one. I do like We Care a Lot. We got a lot of our influences from The Real Thing. It showed everybody you could do heavy music and not be "metal". It was something completely different." - Jonathan Davis 2015
"They can do no wrong by me. They sound great. I like their new stuff, too. It fits right in with the old stuff, I think. I think everyone is so excited to hear them and see them playing together again, I know a couple of the guys, they're great guys and phenomenal musicians. To me, they're not a metal band. They always say they're not a metal band. I've always kind of felt that way about Korn. They inspired Fieldy and I to start a band and start playing. That was back in 1987, so it's inspiring that not only are they still going, but they sold out that place three nights in a row. It gives guys like me hope." - Munky Shaffer 2015
"The chemistry of the way that Bill Gould plays bass in Faith No More is incredible. He and I kind of play the same, but he plays on-beat and with a pick most of the time, even though it sounds like he’s slapping. As much as I practise, I can’t play like that." - Fieldy 2020
In 1996 Davis and Patton recorded the song Lookway with Sepultura which would appear on the acclaimed sixth album by Max Cavalera and co Roots. During an interview in 2015 Max recalled working with the two singers:
"Mike Patton was on the song, and Jonathan's a huge Faith No More fan. He was actually freaking out that Patton was there. He was really nervous, which was actually kind of funny. He kept chewing on his hair the whole time he was in the studio. Ross Robinson teased him at one point and told him to calm down. [Laughs]"
"'Lookaway' came out of a jam. It's a really heavy riff. Patton started singing this Indian chant, and it gave me goosebumps in the studio when he did that. It was so intense. He showed up in the studio with a Samsonite briefcase. I was like, 'Mike, what's up with the briefcase?' He said, 'It's what I need to record.' It had an echo pedal inside for his voice and a bottle of wine. He opened the wine and we drank it. At one point, the three of us were on the floor of the studio going crazy and making weird noises and sounds! Jonathan took it to another level. He's singing about people with a fear of pussy, which is a crazy concept. It came out as a really cool, obscure song on 'Roots'."
In 2000 Korn's drummer David Silveria was sidelined with a wrist injury and Mike Bordin filled in for approximately 7 months and nearly 100 dates.
"When I joined Korn, I definitely perceived common starting points, so I felt pretty comfortable. But Korn takes everything to greater extremes. It's like the difference between a Model A Ford and a Porsche Turbo Carrera. It was an exciting time to play with those guys, because they were a little vibed about playing in front of 70,000 people each gig opening for Metallica. But they stepped up to the plate, and they were amazing." - Bordin 2001
Fear and the Nervous System is project that was set up by Korn guitarist James 'Munky' Shaffer in 2008. The band recorded one album which was released in 2012. Bill Gould featured on bass.
"My guitar tech for 15 years used to tech for Faith No More. He was Jim Martin’s guitar tech back when Jim Martin was back in Faith No More. Him and Billy had a relationship and I was saying, “Man, I gotta get someone to play bass on this thing,” and he said, “Do you want me to ask Billy?” and I said, “Well, yeah! I’m a huge Faith No More fan!” Ever since they had Chuck Mosley in the band and the first record, I’ve been a fan. So, that goes way back. And Korn and myself and everyone that has anything to do with this band have been Faith No More fans. And Billy said, “Let me come down and I’ll fly down.” He came down and I picked him up from the airport. He liked a lot of the tracks and started working on them later that night. So that came together." - Munky 2012
In 2009 Davis was invited to guest on Chuck Mosley's debut solo album Will Rap Over Rock For Food, resulting in one of the album's stand out tracks, The Enabler.
"The last time Korn was out here with Ozzfest, I met those guys -- they've given me a lot of props. I gave them my demo, and they played it before they went on. They were like, 'Yeah, it's cool, send us [a copy].' I was like, 'Hopefully it will be done in a month,' and that was two years! I don't want to get ahead of myself anymore, so I'll just wait until we get it totally finished." - Mosley 2006
“I was blown away by his voice. So original. Chuck has a great style that you can tell it’s him as soon as he starts singing. I’m a big fan and I was honored when he asked me to appear on his new stuff.” - Davis 2019
When Chuck sadly passed away in 2017 Korn guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch was one of the first to offer his condolences.
"I remember living in a tiny apartment in Burbank, California, living with most of the guys who would later form Korn They were in their funk rock band called L.A.P.D. I was just hanging out drinking beer trying to figure out life. They were so into the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More, and I wanted nothing to do with those bands. Little did I know that FNM would grow on me so much that it changed my whole outlook of what metal could sound like. I remember Fieldy waking the whole house up every single day singing the background vocals for the song 'We Care A Lot'. Every morning he would scream, 'whoa whoa uh oh!' Drove us all crazy, but looking back now, it's a funny memory. FNM with Chuck Mosley were a huge part of our everyday lives back then... RIP Chuck Mosley, I'm so grateful that you and your family came to see us a couple months ago at our show." - Welsh 2017
In 2016 Korn released their cover of We Care A Lot via the 30th anniversary issue of Metal Hammer magazine. This version of the 1985 FNM classic was originally recorded by the band in 2005 for a proposed covers album titled Korn Kovers.
Korn have shared the lineup only a handful of times previously to the 2020 tour, they were onstage at Download 2009 right before FNM and at Greenfield festival the same year. It will be interesting to see which order the bands perform in and how much stage time each band is allocated.
We believe this these shows are an interesting coupling and will be a lot of fun, we are sure all involved care a lot and it will be just peachy. Please comment below with your opinions.