Although COVID-19 certainly doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, plenty of bands went back out on the road during 2021, including Korn. Brian “Head” Welch explained the band’s mentality behind touring during a pandemic, and while he’s aware the virus is a serious issue, he argued you still need to live your life.
“It’s crazy, because it’s a serious thing. I know people — young people I even know — that have died from COVID. So it’s a serious issue. But you’ve gotta live, man. We’ve gotta get this world… we can’t let our country crumble,” Head said during an episode of the Talk Toomey podcast. “So we got out there. And our fans needed us. People need live music, they need that inspiration.”
Thus, Korn set out on a co-headlining tour with Staind this past August, which was not without its setbacks. Fieldy had already announced his hiatus from the band by the time it started, and shortly after it was revealed that Suicidal Tendencies’ Roberto “Ra” Díaz would fill in for him during the tour.
Frontman Jonathan Davis contracted COVID-19 in mid-August, which resulted in a couple of shows being postponed. Once he tested negative a few days later, he hit the stage again, but was experiencing lingering effects of the virus, and had to sing from a throne.
“Jonathan was the most safe dude on the tour with his girlfriend. And they were just, like, away from everybody. I barely saw him. And it was with a mask and all that. So it was crazy,” Head recalled of the singer getting the illness.
Shortly after, Munky tested positive, and then drummer Ray Luzier did as well. Fortunately, the band was able to find temporary fill-ins for them so that they wouldn’t have to reschedule more shows.
“I couldn’t believe Munky got it afterwards,” Head continued. “And every time the tour manager came in and told us whoever got it, it was, like… He would come in white as a ghost with his eyes just huge. ‘Cause our crew — we love our crew, they’re like family, and they’re finally working after a year and a half. And everyone’s, like, ‘Shit, are we going home?’ And so every time he came in, he was just wide-eyed.”
Listen to the full chat below.
Fortunately, though, everyone is healthy now, and Korn released a new single called “Start the Healing” last month. Their 14th studio album Requiem will be out Feb. 4, 2022, and you can pre-order it here now.