We have a series of columns around here we like to call "Ranked", where we take a band's discography and rank them from worst to best. Or, if you want to keep it positive, we rank them from least best to best.
Looks like Noisey got Korn frontman Jonathan Davis in on the fun with his own music. It must be a bit challenging to rank 20 years of output, especially when you consider all of them your babies. But here is how Davis ranked them:
11 – “Take A Look In The Mirror”
10 – “Korn III: Remember Who You Are”
09 – “Untitled”
08 – “Life Is Peachy”
07 – “See You On The Other Side”
06 – “The Paradigm Shift”
05 – “Issues”
04 – “Follow The Leader”
03 – “The Path Of Totality”
02 – “Untouchables”
01 – “Korn”
It's funny that Davis ranks Untouchables so high up, because I remember that was the album where Korn basically lost me. I feel like everything after Issues was just rehashing old sounds poorly.
Davis also went into detail about the process of each album and there is some interesting insight into the band. For example, his initial reaction to being label nu-metal:
“Yeah, that nu-metal thing. It was funny how they came up with that shit, because when we first came out, no one knew what the fuck to do with us. I’d like to find that fucking writer that coined that term, nu-metal. When we came out, we toured with everyone fromNo Doubt, Pennywise, Cadillac Trance, Sick of It All, KMFDM, it was all over the place. So finally someone came up with “nu-metal” and everyone copped our shit. I didn’t understand it, like I never thought of us to be metal to begin with.
Yeah, we’re heavy and downtuned, but metal, to me, is like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, that’s metal man. I always thought of us as a funk band, that funky groovy shit. When they came out with that nu-metal shit, like, I’ve always been fighting that shit. ThenLimp Bizkit came up and we found them and took them on tour and blew them up, and all the other bands came and we had a scene which was really good and solidified with the Family Values Tour.”
On being the biggest metal in the world during the Follow The Leader era:
It was insane, brother. Making that record, for one, almost killed me. Our booze and alcohol budget… like, we spent $60,000 on alcohol to make that record. [Laughs] Last record of me getting fucked up, and it was insane. First we started out and wrote “Freak on a Leash” and “Got the Life” and all this other stuff in a rehearsal studio in Gardenia or some shit like that. We did it all ourselves, and we had all these producers come in trying to sell us shit, and we ended up going with Steve Thompson. We picked him because he actually did his homework and came into the studio with a couple cases of Coors Light. And because he did that, he got the job. [Laughs] Eventually we got in the studio with Steve and he’s a great guy but it just wasn’t working out. So we had the engineer Toby Wright come in and he got us through everything. It was also the first record without Ross. Like, that record would’ve never been made without Ross. He’s into that guttural and emotional real shit. I love it too and I appreciate it, but it was time for us to do different types of songs. And it paid off, man. It worked.
On blowing a whole lot of money on recording Untouchables:
“We were coming off of Issues, and we wanted to make an amazing record. That’s when we hooked up with Michael Beinhorn, and Beinhorn’s whole vision was to make an amazing sounding rock record that could never be made again. Untouchables cost us four million dollars, we did shit that couldn’t ever be done again. And I wanted to shoot a documentary about that record. We spent so much money, the drums alone we spent a whole month just getting drum sounds. There were 50 mics just on the drumset that they picked out and tested. It took two years making it, four million, and it was the very first 96k recording done at that sample rate, so there was some shit that hadn’t been done.
We had to get someone to make clocks to clock the sample rates. It was crazy. Usually I do my vocals and it takes me a month or two weeks, but just vocals it took me five, almost six months. With Beinhorn, sometimes I’d walk in and sing and he’d just say, “Go home, your voice ain’t right.” It was ridiculous, all the shit we did. I can’t explain how crazy or scientific it is. To this day, when I turn it on in a big system, it’s the most thickest heaviest sounding record Korn has ever made. It was the peak and pinnacle of everything in Korn. I still can’t believe how much work went in on it. It was a lot. [Laughs]”
If you're interested in more insight about the band's discography, check out the Noisey piece.
How would you rank Korn's discography. Chime in in the comments…