Korn co-founder Brian Welch spoke to Metal Hammer and reflected his ideas and feelings about nu-metal, saying that he never liked that term while discussing some facts about it.
Nu-metal can be defined as an alternative metal subgenre that combines various genres such as funk, industrial, hip hop, alternative rock, and grunge with metal. The genre’s main characteristics are heavy syncopation, direct lyrics, mixed vocals, and turntables.
As you may know, Korn was considered the genre’s pioneer when the band released their self-titled debut studio album on October 11, 1994. However, according to Korn guitarist Brian Welch, neither Korn nor the other bands loved being labeled ‘nu-metal’ but is proud to be defined as the ‘scene elders.’
Welch stated that Korn members wanted to determine their musical style instead of the music critics who categorized them as a nu-metal band. Therefore, it seems like Korn didn’t have any problem with the genre but with losing control over their musical direction.
Welch stated in his interview the following:
“We’re proud to be seen as scene elders. It’s funny, every band that would be associated with nu-metal never liked that title, because we never gave that tag to ourselves, it was whoever made it up, you know? When you’re in a band, you want to call the shots, you want to be in charge of your branding, and it was someone else who branded us that. So we were like, No, that’s not cool. So we didn’t like it.
However, nu-metal, love it or hate it, and Korn has stood the test of time. We’re very grateful that we can be looked at as the originators and that we started something that still reverberates all these decades later, and people are still liking it.”
The Korn guitarist admitted that the band pioneered nu-metal and proudly stressed that they have stood ‘the test of time.’ Following Korn’s success, the genre reached its highest popularity after Linkin Park released its first album entitled ‘Hybrid Theory’ on October 24, 2000.