KORN guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer spoke to "Loudwire Nights" host Toni Gonzalez about the current status of the band's bassist, Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu. Fieldy announced in June that he would sit out KORN's recent tour in order to "heal" after "falling back" on some of his "bad habits."
"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," Munky said. "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."
Despite the fact that he didn't join his KORN bandmates on their recent tour, Fieldy did play on the group's upcoming album, "Requiem", including first single "Start The Healing", which was released earlier this week.
Back in July, KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch told the 97.9 GRD radio station that Fieldy was doing "good" and was spending time with his kids. "I wanna say that Fieldy's a good dad," Welch said. "He's a good dude, and he has his life structured. The bad habits he talked about in the press — everyone has their issues in life. But those he'll work on in his own way. But that dude is — I look up to him as a dad, actually. He's had five kids. He always says, 'I've got two thousand kids,' 'cause it feels like it some days. But he's a good dad. He's gone through a lot, man, personally, and he just needs some time off to reflect on himself and his family. That's it."
Welch went on to say that everybody in the KORN camp is still on good terms with Fieldy and they are all looking forward to him returning to the band in the not-too-distant future.
"Dude, no judgment at all to anyone," he said. "I was the worst with addiction. So, it's nothing like that. It's all good vibes. There's no negative vibes as far as no hard feelings on either side. So it's all good, man.
"I think [Fieldy] and Jonathan [Davis, vocals] and Munky have gone 26 years with hardly any breaks, man — with a record cycle and a tour. I got eight years off, so I'm rested. And I come back. I'm hopefully looking at Fieldy like he's just gonna take a break, man, and get recharged. So we'll see."
Regarding how KORN ended up recruiting Roberto "Ra" Díaz (SUICIDAL TENDENCIES) 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. 'Cause it was a couple, a few months ago or whatever. 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 is not going out until next year. I think Mike Muir has a back surgery or something this 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.'"
On June 21, Fieldy broke the news of his absence from the 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" will be released on February 4, 2022 via Loma Vista Recordings.