Jonathan Davis

As one of the pioneers of nu-metal, Jonathan Davis was the bagpipe-playing, dread-locked, goth misfit who purged a sea of emotional demons on stage and led Korn to become a giant, influential force of the US alternative scene in the 1990s. After his parents divorced when he was three, Davis grew up in Bakersfield, California with his father who had been a keyboard player with Buck Owens and Frank Zappa in the 1970s. He would join his father on stage at local bar gigs, before he struck out as a DJ playing new wave, industrial and electronic music when he was 16-years-old, and then fronted alternative metal band Sexart. He fled a tortured childhood scarred by bullying, depression and sexual abuse to study embalming at the San Francisco School of Mortuary Science and was on his way to becoming a mortician, until he teamed up with former members of local funk-metal outfit LAPD and formed Korn in 1993. His diverse love of indie outsiders The Cure, soul man Rick James, industrial-electro icons Depeche Mode and West Coast gangsta rappers meant that even amongst the outcasts of the metal scene, Korn were a jaw-dropping collision of styles and personalities, who were central in blowing away the remnants of the grunge movement and went on to score chart topping albums such as 'Follow the Leader' and 'Issues'. More than two decades of relentless touring and lengthy spells of excess took its toll on Davis though and he was suffering with a debilitating, bleeding illness when he first began writing solo material in his sick bed in 2006. The birth of his first son helped him sober up and re-think his life, and live albums under the name Jonathan Davis and the SFA followed, but record company disputes and the continuing success of Korn meant that it took over a decade for him to complete his debut solo album. 'Black Labyrinth' was finally released in 2018 and, led by single 'What It Is', was designed as a typically intense, senses-blowing experience that offered Davis's insight into religion, consumerism and para-psychology and sought to rise above the swamp of modern detritus and go in search of higher enlightenment. Over the years Davis also worked on a string of different projects with artists including rapper Xzibit, metal icons Sepultura and rap-rock contemporaries Limp Bizkit, as well as DJ-ing under the name JDevil and playing with electronic side project Killbot.

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