With so many ways to get into the game, there is no better time than now to get into the music business. If you are in college and don’t really see yourself working for a salary one day, then the earlier you start, the better.
You don’t need a crazy amount of equipment either. All you need is your band members, their instruments, a laptop and a couple of microphones. The software that is available today can produce near studio quality sound.
Count yourself lucky, because some of today’s biggest bands started in a garage somewhere with very little equipment and bad quality recording equipment.
They spelled ‘corn’ wrong
One of the world’s biggest Nu-metal bands, Korn, started out when they were just a couple of kids in high school. However, the band that we know today was formerly known as L.A.P.D. Lead guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch and lead singer, Jonathan Davis were not part of the outfit back then. They only joined the band after L.A.P.D moved to Bakersfield, California.
When choosing the band’s name, someone suggested the name Corn, but it was rejected because it was too ordinary. They decided to rather spell the band’s name with a K and a backward-facing R to make it look more authentic.
Davis later explained that they chose to name the band Korn because it was such a dumb name. However, he knew that they would become an international success. Given their alternative nature, the name Korn would become synonymous with Nu-metal. Something silly, becoming something that stands out from the rest.
The hard yards
In 1993, the hard work started and they recorded a demo tape called Neidermayer’s Mind. This tape was distributed for free to record companies and anyone who wanted to hear their music. Their album was met with a lot of criticism from both the public and other critics.
They didn’t do any touring and only wanted to get their sound out there, so they performed for free with Biohazard and House of Pain. Here, they pioneered their nu-metal sound and started to build a following.
Making a name for themselves
In 1994, they released their first self-titled studio album through Immortal Records. This album was well received by critics and the public alike and it was said that it started a new wave of metal.
After the successful release of their album, they started touring with Biohazard and House of Pain and continued their journey to stardom.
However, this tour was marred with a broken tour bus and a poor reception of their album. This, however, didn’t stop them as they were chosen, alongside Deftones, as the direct support for Ozzy Osbourne in 1995. It was during this time that their first album went gold.
Not everyone’s a fan
From there, they grew in popularity and also infamy. There were many naysayers that labeled their music as vulgar, indecent and obscene. However, this only fanned the flames and a new generation of metalheads became devout followers of the band.
Life is Peachy and Follow the Leader were their second and third studio albums which were both received with great acclaim. The band only moved from strong to stronger, reaching even more mainstream audiences with their music videos on MTV.
Being famous can take its toll
However, the success of the band was also one of the reasons why they lost lead guitarist, Welch, in 2005. Welch confessed that he was a drug addict and that his life was going in a downward spiral. He was convinced that he was going to die if something or someone didn’t save him.
He converted to Christianity and broke free from his drug abuse. During his time away from the band, he wrote two biographies, released a solo album and also started a new band, called Love and Death. In 2012, Welch reunited with the band and is still with them today.
The moral of the story
Twelve full-length albums later, Korn has cemented their names in the annals of Rock History, and it doesn’t seem like they are ready to give up their music any time soon. They are currently in the process of recording their 13th album, entitled The Nothing. It is scheduled for release in the fall of 2019 and promises to be amazing.
Korn is the perfect example of a band that started out small and did the hard yards before achieving success. They also showed us how to bounce back from the pressures of stardom. Today, they are much more mature and still one of the biggest rock bands to tour the planet.
Be sure to stop back next month for the fourth part in this five-part series: Queen: Inspiring Stories About Famous Musicians and Bands Who Started to Perform in College
I am amazed by the work you have done…learning from this experience…