Korn Refuses to Play This Classic Song Live Anymore

Fadewood Studios (copyright transferred to Jonathan Davis), CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
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Korn’s music obviously deals with dark subject matter, especially those early records where Jonathan Davis truly let his childhood demons out on display for the whole world to hear.

So, it’s not incredibly surprising to learn that some of those songs are too emotionally taxing to play night after night, year after year.

While you could certainly take your pick of the songs that would be too dark for Jonathan to relive in a live environment, the one in particular that he just does not want to play anymore is the epic (and chilling) closer of their self-titled debut, ‘Daddy.’

‘Daddy’ is perhaps most remembered for Jonathan’s now legendary emotional breakdown at the end of the track, which is so chilling because you can literally hear the man relive and process his trauma in real time on a song.

As he recalled about the recording process:

“It was just a special moment that I did not know was being recorded, for one, because Ross [Robison, album producer] is a prick and kept the fuckin’ tape running.” Korn bandmate Brian “Head” Welch weighed in:

“It was one of the most intense things I ever witnessed in my life. It was so crazy; I thought he was joking at first ’cause he was really bawling and everything. But it was very, very intense.”

Davis pretty much outright refused to play the song live for most of Korn’s career, breaking his rule only once for the 20th-anniversary tour associated with the self-titled album a few years back. As he describes it:

“I felt like I robbed the world of doing that live for so long. I felt like I owed it to our fans that were hardcore enough to come and see us on the 20th anniversary of that album, but I don’t wanna do it again.

Going out and touring that record, I realized how dark it is – it’s some depressing shit. As we got into (1998’s) Follow The Leader, it became more about groove.

The emotion was there, but it wasn’t that particular darkness we captured on that first record.

I don’t think I wanna go through that again. It was difficult, and I think I was proving to myself that I could do it too.”

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