KORN's BRIAN 'HEAD' WELCH: Revisiting Covers Project 'Could Be A Good Idea'

May 5, 2020

KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch says that the band could revisit the idea of completing a covers album.

In the new issue of Metal Hammer magazine, Welch was asked by a fan if the project will ever be released. He replied: "We have five or six [songs] done, and [singer] Jonathan Davis was really hyped on the idea of doing unique covers — just something fun. So we need to get back into that frame of mind. With this time off, that maybe— something to do while we're at home."

Last summer, KORN bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu confirmed that the band had been quietly recording and stockpiling cover tunes for an eventual album.

"Over the years, we've been dabbling with covers, and we do have a handful of covers that we haven't released," he told "The Art And Span Show". "We're still trying to get 'em right.

"People think it's, like, 'Oh, you can just cover this song and then it'll blow up.' And it's, like, it's not as easy as you think. If that was the case, we'd just go, 'Oh, what was the number one biggest song? Let's just cover that. We're gonna blow up.' That's just not the blueprint.

"We have a handful of covers, but they're quite not there," he continued. "They're pretty bangin'. And there's some songs that… I really can't say what they are, because I don't even know if they'll ever get… I mean, at some point, they're gonna get released. But we did two covers on this last KORN [album, 'The Nothing', released last September via Roadrunner Records] that we're releasing now, but they're making it on the album… And I hear 'em, and one of 'em needs a little work, and the second one needs a little less work. So they're not quite there. But they're songs that you would never, ever think that we did, but they turned out so insane. One of 'em, I can't even believe… I'm, like, 'How are we gonna pull this off?' I almost wanna go back and go, 'Can we please go fix it a little bit and put it on the album anyway?'"

Asked to offer a hint as to the identity of the group whose song KORN chose to cover this time around, Fieldy said: "All I can say is they are probably one of the oddest bands… I don't even know where their heads were at. It was probably one of the hardest things I had to learn. I put my bass on and I was walking back and forth, and I was, like, 'I don't know if I can do this.' These guys are crazy weird writers, and it was tough, man. And we pulled if off; we finished it. It's recorded, it's mixed, but it needs some tweaks on it. Some of the harmonies are too high, and this and that."

According to Fieldy, KORN has already begin discussing what song it wants to cover next. "So pretty soon, as soon as we get all these, obviously, we're gonna go back, and once you do that, just fine-tuning will be quick," he said. "And next thing you know, maybe we'll release… who knows? We always talked about we wanna do 'Korn Kovers', with a 'K,' and release a whole covers album instead of just throwing a cover tune on a KORN album.

"I like the idea of being able to buy a CD with just KORN covers, so it's not like you're trying to make your band blow up off of a cover," he explained. "But you never know how that works, 'cause we did do [PINK FLOYD's] '[Another] Brick In The Wall', and that song turned out amazing. But we don't play it that much. I wish we would, because there's nothing but good feedback, from what I hear. For some reason, it doesn't make it into the set too much. It does, but it doesn't."

Davis also talked about the proposed covers album, telling Live Nation: "We've got, like, four or five [covers]. We've just got to get enough to make a record and we'll probably do it sometime. But every time we do it, the manager comes, like, 'They're useless. Why would you put that out? We're doing the album cycle here. It's something you do on the side.' We've got some really good covers, man. We can do covers good. I hope one day that comes out."

Guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer told The Pulse Of Radio a while back about the band's approach to recording other artists' songs: "It's a process in the recording studio. It's meticulous. It's gotta be mathematic. Do we want to use that original line, or create a minor kind of sounding, spookier thing that still won't affect the body of the song and keep the respect of the original artist in it, but giving it the, you know, essence of KORN."

Shaffer said in a separate interview, "There's a handful of cover songs that nobody's ever heard before," while Davis added, "We've been talking about the cover album forever. But it's making its way because each year we kind of add to the pile of it." Neither musician divulged which songs the band has recorded. They've previously released covers of WAR's "Low Rider", CAMEO's "Word Up" and the aforementioned "Another Brick In The Wall", among others.

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