Jonathan Howsmon Davis was one of the founders of the nu-metal band Korn in Los Angeles in 1993, which was a reboot of the two bands Sexart and L.A.P.D. Davis, who ultimately gave the group the name “Korn”, was the last to join the band.
The two guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch discovered Davis in a bar while he was playing with his then band Sex Art. Originally the two of them only wanted to stay in the bar for a short time, but decided to finish listening to the concert because they were impressed by it. Immediately after the performance, they offered Davis to join their band. After visiting a psychic, Davis agreed to what is considered the formation of the band Korn. He quickly gained fame as lead singer and frontman for his intense and powerful live performances with Korn. Davis' distinctive personality and Korn's music influenced a generation of musicians and performers who came after them.
Korn singer Jon Davis – voice goes from atmospheric to aggressively screaming
Drawing on his personal, passionate lyrics and unusual tenor singing, Davis has launched a successful career that has spanned nearly three decades, although his popularity began to decline in the mid-2000s. Davis' vocals, which shift from an angry tone to a high-pitched voice and from atmospheric to aggressively screaming, have been Korn's trademark throughout the band's career.
Throughout his career he has collaborated with various artists, from metal to alternative rock, rap, world music and electronic music. Davis is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, drums, bagpipes, piano, double bass, violin and clarinet. Additionally, he is versatile across many genres, mixing tracks and playing DJ sets with his alter ego JDevil.
Fourteen of his albums reached the top 10 of the Billboard 200, including MTV Unplugged and Greatest Hits, Vol. 1. In the United States, he received fifteen platinum album certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). In Australia, he received eight platinum album certifications from the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) and six gold certifications in the United Kingdom. Over the course of his career, he won two Grammy Awards out of eight nominations. As of 2018, Davis has sold over 40 million albums worldwide.
Untouchables – a milestone in Korn’s music
Four months before the release of "Untouchables", in March 2002, during a South American tour, Davis unveiled a microphone stand artwork called "The Bitch", created by Swiss artist H.R. Giger was created and designed. As Davis is a fan of Giger's works, the original idea of a special microphone stand was suggested to him by his personal assistant Jonathan Pavesi. Davis then contacted Giger and was delighted when the Swiss artist accepted the commission to create a design for the microphone stand. He asked Giger for a microphone stand that was both “biomechanical and very erotic” and gave him complete freedom of design.
Back in 2000, Davis had visited H.R. during the European Issues tour. Visited the Giger Museum in Switzerland. Further discussions about Giger's drawings took place and over time the figure became slimmer. MR. Giger and his assistant Roni emailed photos of the progress to the United States; During this process, Davis gave his approval and asked him to make some minor adjustments to make it easier for him to use it for his live performances. Giger said Davis' only concern was that it be "fully functional and as movable as possible." Only five biomechanical microphone stands cast in the shape of a woman were made in a foundry in Zurich from molds that were subsequently destroyed, adding to their historical appeal and value. Davis had received three of the biomechanical microphones stands, and Giger kept the other two, one for permanent display at the H.R. Giger Museum and another for its gallery exhibitions.
“He had sculpted it out of clay, he sculpted the whole thing by hand, and as soon as I saw it I just fell in love with it. It was such an amazing experience. [...] His influence can be felt in the music. Korn's music is very dark and Giger's art was dark, the two elements complement each other so well. You can't help but be inspired by someone who is so creative and has such a dark imagination. I don't know what else to say. Man, he was just a genius.
— Jonathan Davis talks about H.R. Giger in Louder Sound
Davis composed the entire film score for Queen of the Damned with Richard Gibbs. Musicians from bands such as Disturbed, Static-X, Orgy and Linkin Park were involved in the project. Davis also has a small role in the film; He tries to sell tickets to the film character Jesse on the way to the concert in Death Valley.
He also contributed the title song to the computer game ELEX II.
- KoЯn (1994)
- Life Is Peachy (1996)
- Follow the Leader (1998)
- Issues (1999)
- Untouchables (2002)
- Take a Look in the Mirror (2003)
- See You on the Other Side (2005)
- Korn III – Remember Who You Are (2010)
- The Path of Totality (2011)
- The Paradigm Shift (2013)
- The Serenity of Suffering (2016)
- The Nothing (2019)
- Requiem (2022)
By the way: The exhibition “Metamorphoses” with the original “The Bitch” can be seen in the Ales South Bohemian gallery until November 19th, it’s worth it!
Aleš South Bohemian Gallery until November 19, 2023 (link to map)
Hluboká nad Vltavou 144, 373 41 Hluboká nad Vltavou, Czech Republic
Please read as well: