Aaliyah Really Wanted to Release a Song With Korn For ‘Queen of the Damned’

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Queen of the Damned is a nu-metal classic, through and through.

A vampire lead singer brings the end times, and of course, all the band’s singing is performed by Korn frontman Jonathan Davis. Along with singer Aaliyah, the movie is a perfect encapsulation of everything great happening in music at that time.

In an oral history of the film for Vulture, members involved with the film’s production recount what went into making the movie work.

Recounting Korn’s involvement in the film, composer Richard Gibbs says,

“One day, my agent calls me up and says, “Hey, do you know the band Korn? The singer from Korn is interested in getting into film scoring. Would you meet with him?” I was immediately taken with his attitude, which wasn’t, I’m a rock star, let me write some music. He was interested in learning the craft of film scoring. We got put up for Gone in 60 Seconds and wrote some demos for it, but we didn’t get the gig.”

Davis was thrilled for the role, saying,

Then this opportunity for Queen of the Damned came around. I’m always trying to learn new things. They wanted the songs before they even cast the movie. Whatever we came up with for the vibe of the music was going to set the tone for the whole fucking movie.”

Turned out, the tone of the movie was exactly right. Halfway through the movie, the crew was figuring out a song for Aaliyah to have in the song. Composer Gibbs said,

“In Australia, there wasn’t any song for Aaliyah to sing in the movie. We were exactly halfway through the shoot, because they threw a half-wrap party at some club in Melbourne. I hadn’t met Aaliyah. She walks over to me and says, “Richard, we haven’t really ever talked, but I just want to let you know how much I love the songs that you and Jonathan wrote.” She saw the look of puzzlement on my face. I wouldn’t have seen that coming given the style of music that she does. And she goes, “No, no, you don’t understand. I love Korn. Would you guys write a song for me?” Then we reported back, and Warner Bros.’ music department gets wind of this [and says], “Are you kidding me? That’ll be the end-credits song. That’s gonna be amazing.”

Aaliyah tragically died in a plane crash in the Bahamas on August 25, 2001. The song never had a chance of happening.

Davis was sad it never happened, saying,

“I never got to meet her. I wish I could have.”

Still, the film stands as an excellent tribute to Aaliyah’s memory, and we can only dream of what would have happened.

Read the full interview here.

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