KORN lead guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer has left the band's current European tour for both personal and family reasons. The group's frontman Jonathan Davis said in a statement, "We fully support Munky's need to be home right now and because we want to come through for all of our European fans, the tour will go on. It's what Munky wants us to do, too. We promise to give it our all every night!"
Shaffer recently posted an update online about his current activities, including his Emotional Syphon Recordings label and KORN's current European tour. But Shaffer also hinted at his own future plans, writing, "Before I hit the road, I wanted to let everyone in on a little secret. I have a big surprise announcement coming very, very soon. It's something I'm extremely passionate about, and I have a feeling everyone is going to love it. Be sure to keep checking this page, because this announcement is going to be big..."
Shaffer did not provide any further details about his "surprise announcement," although there is speculation that he'll record a solo album.
Whatever Shaffer has planned, he'll have some free time to work on it. Although KORN began a European trek on Sunday night (January 13) in Dublin, Ireland, Davis told The Pulse of Radio he doesn't expect the band to schedule any further touring after it's done. "After the world tour, I think we're gonna just take four months off," he said. "We're done and we're gonna do another record, because we've been going solid 14 years and I think me, (bassist) Fieldy and Munky really want to just take that time, get together and regroup, and do an amazing record together."
KORN's current touring lineup includes guitarist Shane Gibson and ex-ARMY OF ANYONE drummer Ray Luzier, in addition to Davis and bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu.
KORN performing live at Ambassador Theatre in Dublin, Ireland on January 14, 2008: