In this interview, we talk about everything from tone to musical inspiration with Korn guitarist Munky, who is a co-founding band member of the band, whose explosive career started in the early 90s. We managed to grab a few minutes with him after their set at the Copenhell Festival. Munky has been a loyal TC user and has contributed his fair share of Toneprints over the years. So, it was great to finally sit with him and hear some of his incredible stories.
“Tone is always a personal preference, and everybody likes a different flavour. If you look at it like some people like extra cheese on their pizza, or you know, I tend to like some of the mid-scooped. It depends on what you’re doing. Everybody’s different. If it feels good to play, and it feels like an extension of what you want to hear, then that’s a perfect tone for me.”
“I always feel like people overlook cables. Cables are so important. You have to have high-quality cables. Also, make sure that you have good pickups. These two can make or break the sound you’re trying to achieve. I’ve been experimenting more with pickups.
“I told somebody about this story on the way to the show. The first time I heard a Black Sabbath record, I wondered, what is that? And then I heard Eddie Van Halen’s Eruption. And I was just baffled by the sound. I didn’t know what it was. I think I was nine years old. How can I do that? I still can’t do it. But I just wanted to know how to make the sound, the energy, the attitude, everything about it. How is the guitar distorted? How is it overdriven? I want to know everything about it. So that’s what sent me on my journey. And then I started following, you know, guys like Steve Vai and all these shredders. And then I discovered what Jimmy Page was doing, and a lot of older players. I appreciate so many different guitarists in every genre.”
“Recently, I’ve started to go back and relearn our old songs because when we first began playing in Korn, we didn’t know about music theory. Whether we played a minor chord, a major, or if a major that went to a minor with a flat five.
We didn’t know the theory behind what we were doing. So, I’m learning how the language of theory works and how we apply it because, at the time, we didn’t know.
I’m trying to take what we did and re-engineer it moving forward and learning all this stuff now. I’m educating myself on theory, and it’s musically opening new doors for me with the guitar. It’s like a new thing for me. It’s been a lot of fun.”
“So around 1997, Fieldy, Head and I were in London and Rage Against the Machine were playing at the Redding Festival. We had a day off, so we drove to the show. We had our manager at the time rent a van, and we drove out there; he was a nervous wreck. But it was the best concert experience because they let us come on stage.
If anybody knows Rage, they don’t want anybody on the stage. But we asked Tom. Tom Morello is such a nice guy. We asked him, can we please come on stage and watch? He’s like, I don’t know. I got to ask the other guys. He went and asked the other guys. They said, Cool, but make sure that they’re tucked away and not seen. And they let us watch from up on the stage. We’ve never seen a crowd like that. I mean, they broke into bulls on parade, it was right when bulls on parade in the evil empire album came out, and it was unbelievable. Best concert experience ever.”
“If I had to be stranded on a desert island with one effect pedal, a delay pedal, probably a Flashback delay pedal, because with delay, you can play off of it. You can use it in a tempo type of way and do a call and respond, depending on what the setting is. Or you can give it a slapback and make it almost sound like reverb in an echoey type of way. But that is the most diverse effect for me.
Watch the full interview with Munky, filmed at CopenHell 2022