KORN's MUNKY Says He Had Some 'Hard Moments' During Pandemic

December 15, 2021

KORN guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer has told Finland's Chaoszine in a new interview that he "had a couple of hard moments" during the pandemic. "And then I'm thinking, like, 'Okay, it's not that bad,' 'cause when this is all done, I'm gonna go back to making music and rocking out," he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). "But then I'm faced with the reality of the present moment. When is it gonna end? How are we gonna make our mortgage payments and support our families? 'Cause we all have big families at this point. So there's moments of high stress. What are we gonna do? We can't have another online fucking concert. They're done. People are over that."

Shaffer also reflected on the fact that he was one of three members of KORN — along with singer Jonathan Davis and drummer Ray Luzier — to contract COVID-19 during the band's recently completed U.S. tour.

"When the tour started, Jonathan was so worried about getting it," Munky said. "He was so fucking freaked out. He wouldn't leave his bus. He wouldn't leave his hotel. The only time we saw him was when he was out on the stage. [We were going], 'Hey, man. Good to see you,' rocking out. At the end of the show, bam — back to his bus. It was kind of funny; there was something quite funny about it. But then he still managed to get it. But then I'm thinking, like, well, we're up on stage. There's thousands of people screaming at us with their germs and air. And, of course. I'm surprised that everybody didn't get it."

James went on to say that he believes KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch had COVID-19 in 2020. "But he's protected by God," Munky said.

Asked what it was like being back out on the road for the first time in more than a year, Munky said: "It was fun — it was fun all the way until I got a positive result. And I was, like, 'Fuck!' And then I was in hell. It was like [going from] the best thing to the worst. I was staying in Salt Lake City. I had all the symptoms, and it was terrible… There was a little bit of [mental hell as well] — seeing videos of my fill-in play on stage [with KORN while I was recovering from COVID-19]. And they came through L.A., which is where we're from, and some West Coast shows that I missed. That was frustrating; that was a little challenging, actually. But nothing a little NyQuil [cold, cough and flu medicine] can't handle. [Laughs]"

As a result of Davis's infection in August, KORN postponed six dates and canceled two on its recent U.S. tour. A month later, Munky also contracted COVID-19 and was temporarily replaced by J.R. Bareis from LOVE AND DEATH. In October, Luzier became the third member of the band to get infected, forcing him to miss three shows on KORN's U.S. tour. Filling in for him was FEVER 333's Aric Improta.

Davis, who was reportedly fully vaccinated, had been taking a seat on a custom throne near the drum riser at KORN's later shows due to lingering effects of his bout with COVID-19.

KORN's new album, "Requiem", will arrive on February 4, 2022 via Loma Vista Recordings. The official music video for the disc's first single, "Start The Healing", directed by Tim Saccenti (FLYING LOTUS, RUN THE JEWELS, DEPECHE MODE),was made available last month.

"Requiem" was produced by Chris Collier and KORN.

Fans had been anticipating new music after KORN previewed a snippet of "Start The Healing" within an augmented reality filter and billboards bearing the band's iconic logo began appearing worldwide earlier in the month.

"Requiem" is available for pre-order in an array of collectible formats. These include an exclusive silver vinyl variant strictly limited to 1,000 copies.

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