The year is 1996. Korn hadn’t yet taken over the world, but they had completely turned the world of heavy music on its head with the one-two punch of their self-titled debut followed by the impressive-as-hell sophomore follow-up, Life Is Peachy.
For our money, Life Is Peachy deserves its due props. Can you imagine the amount of pressure Korn must’ve felt when making the record?
It’s hard to make any sophomore album when your debut had a taste of success. But Korn’s self-titled didn’t have just a taste of success- it invented a whole damn new genre.
Despite fan admiration for the record (and its commercial success), frontman Jonathan Davis and guitarist Head both don’t love the record. The band’s hard-partying ways and pressure from their record label seem to be the culprits.
On the insane partying happening in 1996-era Korn, Davis recalled:
“We were drinking mass quantities of everything, and when we were really fucked up you didn’t want to be around us. I’d bite people when I was drunk. I bit everyone in the band hard. I didn’t know what I was doing and I didn’t care.”
Maybe the excessive partying helped cope with the pressure to follow up on the explosive success of Korn’s self-titled. On that pressure, Davis said:
“Definitely it was a thing where [the label and band management] tried to scare us. They were, like, ‘Sophomore jinx. You don’t want that. So you guys need to go work. But at the same time, we need you to have an album ready in six weeks.’
Decades after the album’s release, when Davis ranked Korn’s discography for Vice, he placed it incredibly low at number 8:
“It’s killer but it was very rushed. We just did the first Korn record and we went out and toured for 18 months, and we had to hurry up and do this record and get the fuck back out there to keep touring, so it’s really rushed.
And he’s been blunt about his thoughts on the quality of the album in other interviews since as well: “We weren’t that proud of Peachy. At first we were, but to live with it, no. We were just so rushed. It sucked.”
Guitarist Head also shared his own low opinion on the “Do You Know Jack?” podcast:“I feel like that’s not the best record as far as sounding and production-wise and everything: “If it weren’t for those three or four songs, we would be in trouble, I think.”
Korn’s entitled to feel however they want about their art. But for our books, all these years later, they still smashed it out of the park on LP 2.