I'm a big fan of Korn. I vaguely remember seeing a poster for Untouchables when I was 11 and telling my parents "I wouldn't listen to music as scary as that". Guess I'm wasn't a man of my word, because just a few years later, I was into Korn and everything Nu-Metal.
As a music video enthusiast, it can be hard to find good music videos. I figured I'd start off with Korn because they went through the whole spectrum of technological evolution, with 1994's Blind. We barely knew what the internet was and YouTube was years away. Creative freedom has also changed in the 22 years that the Bakersfield quintet got together and started off a genre that was loved and hated.
So bring out your baggy pants (or Adidas tracksuits, whatever you feel most comfortable in), your dreadlocks and a whole lotta attitude, because today is about Korn!
Blind, an all-time classic. That bass riff, that guitar riff and those drum plates at the beginning and Johnathan Davis growls out a "Are you ready?".
Well, in 1994, probably not, but starting off this article, ohh freaking yes!
It was actually Davis's vocals, along with this "weird music" that made Korn stand out. Until this point, nobody was willing to break the rules and this whole video is one hell of an introduction. From this point onwards, these were the leaders of the whole Nu-Metal movement.
Shortly after came Shoots and Ladders. It ended up being one of those weirder songs that came off their debut album. Starting off with bagpipes and singing a medley of kids nursery rhymes, this was definitely one for the books.
Whatever castle Korn was rocking out on, McG (director of Terminator: Salvation and other blockbusters) was gaining experience working on music videos that would later make him one of the most influential filmmakers today. If only time would tell.
Between a mix of live footage and some kind of story being told here, what transpires are the mid-nineties video editing. Everybody now be psychedelic!!! And now it's scary!
Closer to the end of the song, that riff that follows into The Old Man, all the anger behind it gets unleashed and there is no stopping hell!
It was written because all these little kids sing these nursery rhymes and they don't know what they originally meant. Everyone is so happy when singing 'Ring Around the Rosie' but it is about the Black Plague. All of them have these evil stories behind them.
For something released in '96, this is creepy as hell, specially since Stephan King's It came out half a decade before this.
Also, this high school is creepy... Are they going to kidnap someone and torture them? And that girl is already got a Korn tattoo!? That's music traveling further and fast people!
The ultimate F-U song for us misfits!
After the huge success that the self-titled album was, Korn were set to become the new big thing. And with that, Life Is Peachy was released in 1996, with one of my all-time favorite songs A.D.I.D.A.S. having it's rather fun music videos released in early '97.
All Day I Dream About Sex. That's what the backronym stands for and has nearly 4 minutes to prove how that much not be such a good idea.
Also, that special edition Adidas tracksuit that shines and really gives JD that pimp look... Could the mid-nineties be any better?
Got The Life has to be many people's favorite music video, with a safe spot in my all-time top 10.
It doesn't get any more baller than this! Fast cars, shady wardrobe, a black dude dancing at the sound of "Get your boogy on!"
It's also the first step towards telling the world one big F-U, due to all the attention they have been receiving up to this point. Nobody crashes a Ferrari like that for no other reason. Like I said, baller.
Freak On a Leash is Korn's last single off Follow The Leader and went onto doing something that would set their image forever.
With Todd McFarlane now an established individual in the cartoon and animation world, following the huge success with his very own Spawn, he turned his creativity towards this rather peculiar and partially animated music video, about a whole bunch of kids doing stuff they're not supposed to and some best early 3D effects ever seen, along with most trigger happy footage I've ever seen.
And it has a sequel...
Picking up where the previous music video left off, this continuation was directed by another Nu-Metal icon, Limp Bizkit's Fred Durst.
Bringing it back into the real world, you can sense that this is the aftermath of all the shooting done in the last video.
With a story about domestic violence, it's finale is as powerful as anything I've ever seen. All hail the Children of Korn!
I can safely say that Make Me Bad is a more cinematic music video.
Set in somewhere cold, we see JD in a prison cell, along with the rest of Korn and this Sci-Fi story that probably had a few things that The Matrix stole really shows how perverted we were already as the new millennium turned over.
Not only of my favorite Korn songs but also my favorite Korn music video, Somebody Someone is in it's own right an evolutionary step for the entire music video base.
It comes down to this weird adventure we follow, most of it through the eyes of this one fly who wanted to star in this production and how ruthless the animal ecosystem can be as humans interact with it. At least that's my point of view.
Here To Stay has an interesting approach to music videos.
There are two versions of the track, one that could be called the original uncut, or for argument's sake, the NSFW version, that features a kid watching TV and getting all the subliminal messages that corporations don't want you thinking (even though it was justified due to swear words...) and the other, SFW version that just features Korn jamming in full blown static inside the TV.
Both videos are good in their own right and if you're able to sync them together, it does make a fun yet bizzare experience.
Fun fact: Here To Stay features the first appearance of the now iconic microphone stand designed by H. R. Giger.
Widely known as the music video where JD uses a bandana, it's by far the epitome of everything Nu-Metal.
A revenge tale about fighting agaisnt bullying. And it has Aaron Paul!!
But one thing at a time. This is by far, the best story-telling music video in the whole of Korn's videography. Every single detail has been thought out. These guys bully Aaron Paul and he makes them pay big time. Heck, even wardrobe here is something quite amazing to watch, with the escort wearing the demonizing skin suit.
This is what nightmares are made of!
Alone I Break is a weird single and a weird video, that feels out of place. Oh wait, maybe that was the point all along...
Either way, before the Bad Girls Club were a thing, Korn was starring in their own reality show. It just seem right. Hope it never happens again!
Interestingly enough, Did My Time was my first Korn music video. It was featured as one of the extras on the Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life DVD and just like the failed movie adaptation, it stars the one and only Angelina Jolie. Yep...
This is also a very interesting alley that they play in, full of details like the mural paintings on the wall and this black evil cloud organism thing. It's just cool to watch!
While Korn asked fans to create a video for Right Now from scratch, ultimately the Lloyd Lunchbox version got airplay.
How they allowed the grotesque animation invade TV airwaves, I'm not sure. People were still uptight back then, so ripping off nails and other forms of gross self-torture weren't your usual day of the week content. Or maybe I'm wrong and by 2003 people were more open minded...
The biggest change here was replacing "f**k that" with "suck that". Because the following 3 minutes of footage won't make you feel like breaking stuff because of that one swear word.
Filled with fun facts about the music industry in 2004, this extremely liberating video was exactly what people needed to hear. In a time where pop songs were more important than anything in the world and Britney Spears was some kind of queen, Korn really blew everything to shit.
While hidden from official channels, Korn's version of Word Up actually does have a music video.
And while it's as weird as anything you've seen, with the bands faces plastered onto dogs, through the marvelous technological capability of digital face replacement, it's a good cover song with a typical Korn video. Could we expect anything else?
This Is Spinal Tap gone Korn was what Twisted Transistor wants to tell us, with Lil' Jon, Xzibit, David Banner and Snoop Dogg replacing the members of the band. The result was nothing short of amazing.
Sometimes you don't even want to star in your videos, but this was totally worth it!
Coming Undone had the world end on Korn, as they went through a shattering day, a shattering night and coming undone (see what I did there) into pieces of tape. Not memorable, but still keeping it simply weird. They have an image to maintain!
And for whatever reason, Liar isn't featured on the official listing of Korn music videos.
And let's keep it that way, because this is hideous through and through.
Videogame engines were a lot better back then and they could have pulled out something a heck more solid. I can't even find a still and I do NOT want anyone to see that, so stay hidden, Liar.
While the music might have been a low point for Korn, Evolution shows that the quality of their videos didn't suffer too much.
Trying to make a point based on what Darwin and George Orwell were telling us all about, you can't help but feel that the quintet have gone off the deep end...
Not sure what this whole bull riding thing has to do with Korn, but they figured it's connected somehow.
When can we get back to the dark and shady videos?
When that eighth Untitled album went bust, Korn disappeared and reappeared with Korn III: Remember Who You Are and Oildale (Leave Me Alone) was that single that brought everything we loved about them back.
Heck, JD even put his tracksuit back on!
Well, whatever they went through, not only was Korn III one of their better albums, but also put them on the path of better creative options.
Let The Guilt Go could have easily been an episode of The X-Files, with all the supernatural shit going on!
Crazy characters, crazy storyline, so-so song, but still, worth watching!
Featuring the world famous crop circles, Korn even recorded an entire gig in those fields. Korn playing in corn fields!
Korn took their music to a more electronic side with Path of Totality, when the first two (and most popular) singles, Get Up! and Narcissistic Cannibal, naturally they were more focused on the live aspect of the performance.
While the latter does feature some animations, there isn't much going on in either videos.
I'm going on a limb and saying that Way Too Far is probably Korn's most personal video. Ever.
Featuring "A day in the life" type of footage, we follow band members in their daily activities and a studio recording session.
Not the deepest video ever made, but surely the most intimate.
See Korn, I told you 3D graphics got better later on!
Never, Never brought all kinds of things into the picture, mainly that black queen that actually makes this video quite intricate.
It also brought a new life into their music. After their electronic experiment, that pushed the envelope, Korn brought back some of that sound and played around with it on their own compositions. And it worked out beautifully, as you'll see in the last two videos.
Composed mainly by real-life footage from TV shows and news, featuring Miley Cyrus, Kayne West and all these public figures who have too much time in their hands, Spike In My Veins used that to make a point.
But focus your attention to what's filmed in slow-mo. Those moments are meant to capture your attention.
Love & Meth is everything I could ever wish from a Korn music video. It looks weird, it sounds weird and it feels weird. This is what 20 years worth of music ends up looking like.
Fans submitted their stories and Korn dedicated one of the most heartfelt songs and music videos in their videography to us misfits, who were bullied. Gruesome, bloody and a hard punch to the gut, this is what Korn have always been about: giving a voice to those who didn't.
This is what 22 years of music looks like. As you might've noticed, Korn have come a long way, but they always managed to leave a footprint wherever they went.
The band is still touring and preparing their 12th studio album. Until then, all we have to do is wait for more from the Nu-Metal heavyweights!
What was your favorite video? Let me know in the comments!