KORN Bassist FIELDY 'Wasn't Quite Ready' To Go Back On Tour, Says MUNKY
June 26, 2022
During a June 19 press conference at this year's Hellfest in Clisson, France, KORN guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer was asked about the current status of the band's bassist, Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu. Fieldy announced in June 2021 that he would sit out KORN's ongoing tour in order to "heal" after "falling back" on some of his "bad habits."
Munky said about Fieldy: "He needed a little time at home with his family to kind of regroup. We decided we were gonna make a record during the pandemic and use that time constructively. And once the pandemic was over and we were ready to go back on the road, he wasn't quite ready to do that yet. So the rest of us were anxious to get back in front of our fans and play for everybody."
Earlier in the month, KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch told Kerrang! Radio that he had "been in contact" with Fieldy. "I just e-mailed him the other day," he said. "So we're gonna get together and talk to him, see how he's doing, see where his head is at, after this tour. Me and Munk were just talking about it. We love him, we've been in communication with him, and we'll see."
KORN drummer Ray Luzier told Germany's MoreCore that Fieldy is "doing good. He's our brother. We love him. We support him 110 percent," he said. "Bands are like marriages. Sometimes you need to step away a little bit to look at the picture and see what's going on with your individual life, and I think that's where we're all at now with Reggie. He's such a great dude and he's one of my best buds, so we support him in everything he does. No one has a crystal ball — I don't know what's gonna happen in the future — but we definitely miss him out here."
According to Luzier, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES bassist Roberto "Ra" Díaz, who is filling in for Fieldy, is "doing a great job. He's doing a hell of a job. But there's a sound about Fieldy that isKORN," he said. "There's that signature thing that not many bass players can say that. Just that sound — you pop a KORN album on, and you're, like, 'Woah.' That bass, you take that out and it wouldn't sound normal, because Munky and Head [Brian Welch] don't sound normal, and neither does Jon [singer Jonathan Davis]. But that bass, man, it's just leading a lot of those older records."
This past February, Welch told Spotlight Report that Fieldy was "just taking a little time to be with his family. He is a great dad," Welch said. "He has so many kids. He has adult kids, teenagers and young kids. He is just taking time, and we are giving him the time. We want everyone to be healthy and happy.
"I guess we will go and tour this record," Head continued, referencing KORN's recently released album "Requiem". "I don't know a lot more other than that. We love him very much and we hope to communicate with him during the year at some stage, to see where everyone is at."
Welch previously addressed Fieldy's position in KORN during a November 2021 interview with U.K.'s Kerrang! magazine. At the time, he stated: "The best thing to do is stay at home, be with your family, and start processing. He's got to find that healing. I still struggle with it. I had a few slip-ups with my 'bad habits' three to four years ago, so I understand it, but I dealt with it by hitting it head-on and stopping it from becoming a problem. I'm not concerned because I know he's going to be okay."
Davis expressed a more worried outlook on Fieldy's predicament, saying: "I love him; he's my brother. But I watched somebody I care about die and I'm not going to fucking do that again. I refuse to. I will feel guilt for the rest of my fucking life because of that. I tried my hardest but perhaps if I'd been a little bit tougher there'd have been a different outcome. I pray that he can figure it out and get better and come back and be a huge part of this band again."
Despite the fact that he is not joining his KORN bandmates on their current tour, Fieldy did play on "Requiem".
Earlier in November, Shaffer told "Loudwire Nights" host Toni Gonzalez about Fieldy: "Right now he's just taking some time to kinda figure out what makes him happy and figure out his happiness and what he wants to do with his life, I guess is the best way to put it. And make sure his mental health is at its best, because if your mental health isn't good, or you're not clear, you're gonna make bad choices.
"I make an example," he continued. "I had my own challenges through the years, and once you get clarity, your life becomes a lot easier to manage. We're just giving him time to, like, no pressure, just figure out what you want to do because we can still work and we can still go out and tour. But we miss him. We love the guy, and we want him to just be healthy."
Regarding how KORN ended up recruiting Díaz to fill in for Fieldy, Welch told 97.9 GRD: "Well, there's COVID and everything, so when we started talking about it, it was a thing where we wanted to be careful still and whatnot. So we just started brainstorming and hitting up friends and whatnot. We need the slap — we need the slap bass, we need the finger playing, we need someone, 'cause Fieldy is unique — very unique. So it just kind of happened that way, man, where Ra, he was open because SUICIDAL [was] not going out [on tour] until [the following] year. So it just worked out, man. He came down, we jammed. He's a really humble guy, and just very talented. He can play anything — from jazz to slap to anything. He played all the songs with, like, three mistakes out of 10 songs or something — little mistakes. I mean, not even mistakes — it was just, like, 'I thought I heard it that way.' They weren't even mistakes. So we were, like, 'Okay. You got it down.'"
A year ago, Fieldy broke the news of his absence from KORN's summer trek, writing in a social media update: "To all KORN fans worldwide. The past 6 years I've been dealing with some personal issues that at times have caused me to fall back on some of my bad habits and has caused some tension with the people around me. It's been suggested to me to take some time off to heal. I'm going to respect what was asked of me and take that time. Unfortunately you will not see me on stage with my band. I will be working towards getting the bad habits out of my system. In the meantime I will be staying creative to keep my mind & soul in a good place.
"I'm thankful for all of your support, patience & understanding as we all have something that we deal with.
"Jonathan, Munky, Ray and Head, I love you and I don't want to bring any tension or bad vibes to the circle."
A short time later, KORN's official social media shared Fieldy's statement, along with the following message: "We love and support our brother, Fieldy. Health and family always comes first."
Back in 2017, METALLICA bassist Robert Trujillo's then-12-year-old son Tye Trujillo filled in on bass for KORN's South American tour after Fieldy was unable to make the shows due to "unforeseen circumstances."
Fieldy's 2009 memoir, "Got The Life: My Journey Of Addiction, Faith, Recovery And Korn", detailed his struggles with drug and alcohol addiction during KORN's early years and how he became a born-again Christian to help get his life together and get sober.
Fieldy's STILLWELL side project released its third album, "Supernatural Miracle", in September 2020.
"Requiem" was released on February 4 via Loma Vista Recordings.
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