Having spent practically two years engaged on their 2002 album Untouchables with perfectionist producer Michael Beinhorn, Korn determined they needed to bang out their sixth studio album, 2003’s Take a Look within the Mirror, shortly and rely extra on the impulse and spontaneity that impressed them within the early years of their profession. To keep away from an prolonged entanglement with one other high-profile producer, frontman Jonathan Davis produced the album at his house studio in Tarzana, California, recording most of it between April and June 2003.
“Earlier than that album, we had executed all this shit with large budgets and all this work with completely different producers and all these individuals, and a few of us had gotten actually into meth and different stuff and we had been so bummed for all these completely different causes,” Davis informed me. “We had been like, ‘You already know, fuck this. Let’s simply do an album actually shortly and get again to how we used to do issues.’ So we produced the album ourselves and put the shit out.”
Korn, “Did My Time”
In step with the spirit of returning to their roots, Korn included a brand new model of “Alive,” which had beforehand solely been featured on the demo that received them signed, Niedermayer’s Thoughts. The vibe of the tune set the tone for the album, which was louder and heavier than Untouchables and featured an abundance of dense, surging seven-string riffs balanced by cleaner, extra atmospheric segues. The singles “Did My Time” and “Proper Now” had been paying homage to songs from Korn and Life is Peachy, the band having written many of the songs whereas they had been on tour for Untouchables.
“I had my bus, with a studio on it, and an engineer that might come out and arrange the writing rooms every single day,” Davis stated. “We bought out the previous Wembley Enviornment in London the primary time we performed it. We bought that motherfucker clear out, and proper after the present all of us went in and began writing music. None of us had been partying, we simply needed to put in writing music. We did the identical factor at Madison Sq. Backyard. Bought that bitch out, and proper again to writing. We wrote a ton of music, after which we needed to document proper.”
Korn, “Y’All Desire a Single”
After ending the tour cycle, the band labored in Davis’ house studio with Beinhorn’s engineer, Frank Filipetti. “We labored collectively rather well,” Davis stated. “We did it fast like we used to and the title says all of it. Have a look within the mirror. We had all gone on this large rock star journey and we needed to strip it again and take it again to the way in which we used to do issues and get a few of that pleasure. My assistant [Jim] ‘Bud’ [Monti] was the engineer on there as a result of my different assistant Pebble bailed. However we simply went with it and put that bitch out and everyone favored that so much.”
Along with that includes some old-school nu-metal and a pair killer singles, Take a Look within the Mirror included a collaboration with rapper Nas referred to as “Play Me.” Korn met Nas backstage after they performed Untouchables in full at the album’s launch celebration on the Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. The 2 turned tight and the chemistry on the observe is tangible although the 2 artists had been on completely different sides of the nation after they recorded the tune.
“I had ISDN strains in my studio,” Davis defined. “There was a datafax and he was in a studio in New York and we had been linked by way of this particular line. We did the entire thing in actual time, which isn’t any large deal in the present day, however again in 2003 that was fairly forward of its time. So Nas is rapping about individuals taking benefit and I used to be similar to, ‘Play me. Yeah, that’s it. You wanna play me?’ That was the shit. I really like that man. He’s the person.”
Whereas Korn had been capable of recapture the spirit of their early days on Take a Look within the Mirror, their followers didn’t react to it the way in which they needed to the band’s earlier data. It went platinum lower than a month after it was launched, however it acquired combined critiques; the one tune Korn nonetheless play from the document is “Proper Now.”
Korn, “Proper Now”
“I simply consider that document as a ‘no matter’ document to me,” Davis stated. “It’s not my favourite album by any means, however we did what we got down to obtain, which was to get again to the form of band we was earlier than all this loopy shit began taking place. And I feel we form of did that.”
Take a Look within the Mirror could have compelled Korn to re-examine themselves, however paradoxically, after doing so, guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch didn’t like what he noticed. He had turn out to be hooked on meth and was hardly ever sober, so he give up the band and have become a born-again Christian.
Korn continued with out him for nearly a decade — with guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer taking the only riff writing roll –- however with out Head, they lacked the galvanic spark the 2 guitarists generated collectively. And whereas Korn continued to launch inventive, agonized music, many followers argue they didn’t hit full stride once more till Head rejoined the band in 2013 for The Paradigm Shift.
Loudwire contributor Jon Wiederhorn is the creator of Raising Hell: Backstage Tales From the Lives of Metal Legends, co-author of Louder Than Hell: The Definitive Oral History of Metal, in addition to the co-author of Scott Ian’s autobiography, I’m the Man: The Story of That Guy From Anthrax, and Al Jourgensen’s autobiography, Ministry: The Lost Gospels According to Al Jourgensen and the Agnostic Entrance ebook My Riot! Grit, Guts and Glory.