When I talk to people who are into heavy music, it’s always interesting to ask how they got into metal. Everyone has their own story I suppose, and it’s nice to look back. For the next couple of weeks, you can expect us here at Heavy Blog Is Heavy to regale you on how we got into heavy music. I have to thank our writer Chris for setting this in motion. He’s currently working on a piece of his own and I saw the draft and beat him to the punch. Sorry Chris, your idea was too sweet to pass up!

I think it’s safe to say that if it weren’t for the band Korn, I wouldn’t be as deep into music as I am now. Not just heavy music, but music in general. Despite not being a huge fan for a while now, I have yet to find another band that has captured my heart and attention like Korn did in my early high school years. Between the Buried and Me came close, but they haven’t reached that level. I don’t know what it is, but it’s kind of sad to think about. Here’s where my love of music got started:

Before I was into anything even closely resembling metal, I listened to a lot mainstream popular music. You know, stuff that you’d hear on the radio. I was 12, and we had recently upgraded to satellite television in the way of Dish Network, and I was glued to MTV2 and Fuse, where my doors for music swung open. At that time I was moving in and out of my rap phase thanks to Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit sort of bridging that gap between rap and rock. I would listen to rock bands, but nothing overly heavy. Eventually, I saw a “Making the Video” feature on MTV2 for Korn’s Alone I Break” and fell in love with the song.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ryfwfc_946w]

I soon heard another Korn song in the way of “Thoughtless” and I once again loved the song. Around this time I had discovered the magic of bittorrent. We still had dial up at this time, so most of my music downloading took a good while. Early one morning, before my mom got up and expected to use the phone, I fired up a torrent of their Greatest Hits album and waited several hours to get it. When I finally got it, I burned it to a CD and took it back into my room to listen. At that point, my music listening habits changed forever. Their blend of grunge, metal, funk, and hip hop elements through the course of their career made for the perfect gateway.

These pieces fell together like magic. Not long after that, we got DSL and I was able to download their entire back catalog, and by the time 2005’s See You On The Other Side came around, I was obsessed with Korn. As far as 15 year old me was concerned, there was no other band better than Korn. They were the soundtrack to my life and helped me cope with my teenage troubles. In retrospect it all seems angsty, juvenile, and silly, but Korn made my early high school years bearable. I loved and listed to them and remained a huge fan up until a few years ago, until I grew out of them and into heavier music (more on that later.) I even loved 2007’s Untitled album, which rekindled my love for them for a period of time. Since then though, they have yet to release another album, so I suppose I just moved on. I honestly want to love their new work that’s surfaced from the upcoming Korn III, but sadly, I’m just not feeling it.

Not only did they get me into a passion for listening to music, but for playing it. Korn are the reason I own a 5-string bass, and a big contributing factor for why I now own my first guitar, a 7-string. What better place to start playing than by learning their music? It’s not too difficult, and eventually, like my listening habits, I’ll move on up to heavier and harder stuff.

I don’t think they really deserve all the hate they catch in the community, but I can see why a lot of metal heads can’t stand them; they can attract a lot of idiots and they inspired a bunch of terrible copycat bands in the 90s. However, I think I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Korn. I would love to see them live one day as I never got to. I still listen to them from time to time, and the nostalgia is great.  Some of the songs still get my blood pumping! I know it’s kind of taboo in the metal community to listen to Korn, but fuck it. I love these guys for creating music that moved me so much those years ago, and I can’t thank them enough for it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVPvzX-AeSM&feature=related]

Now they just need to get Head and David back into the fold and make music like they used to. What I’m hearing from the new stuff just isn’t cutting it.

– JR

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