As one of the leaders of the nü-metal movement, it's always a bit surprising to me how much Korn despises the label. They brought the whole scene up, and they are still going strong over 20 years later, when most of their peers have faded into obscurity.
But still, Jonathan Davis doesn't consider the band nu-metal, and he explained to NME why:
“Oh man, that scene was full of misogynistic, opportunistic dickhead jocks. The sort of people who’d be bullying me at school if they weren’t supporting my band at shows.
“I’m about the art. We got lumped in with that stuff kinda because of the way we dressed. We were kinda hip-hop, but there was nothing really hip-hop about Korn other than the basslines to an extent. I didn’t rap!
“In the beginning, nobody knew what we were – we’d play shows with No Doubt or Pennywise and then when the metal community embraced us we went with it because it felt like we’d found a home.
“But I hate thinking that some people hear the name Korn and think we’re some douchebag, misogynistic, fucking macho dickhead band. I think the fact that we’re still here says a lot…”
I am not sure where in the rule book it states that you have to have rapping in your songs to be nu-metal. There were plenty of bands in the scene that did not rap, like Orgy, Adema, Staind, Disturbed and Drowning Pool to name a few.
Yes, there were definitely jocks – but that's because the music was mainstream. Mainstream music attracts jocks! That's what happens when your band gets played on TRL.
Either way, I guess Davis isn't putting on any Sevendust records anytime soon.