When Ugly Scene entered the Mid America Center it was uncertain who the interview would be with. It could have been any band member of Korn even though we requested Munky.
When we walked in there was Munky along with the rest of the band. The band exited except for Munky and Ray and I sat down to ask the questions. It was awe inspiring to have him sitting there in front of me ready to answer our questions.
UglyScene: What is the most interesting or thing you had ever done as a child?
Munky: I spent a lot of time near railroad tracks. You thought I was going to say nuclear plant right? I spent a lot of time as a kid where we lived in Bakersfield which was pretty far out in the suburb. There were railroad tracks that went by our house and you would hear the train go by every day. I think me and my friends would throw rocks at the train. I’m not condoning this behavior. I’m just saying that some of the crazy stuff we did kind of started out by putting coins on the track and the train would run over them. We were all like Wow. Then it was just like a natural evolution of adolescence to see what else the train could run over. We started out on putting bigger objects on the tracks. Old car batteries, tires and at one point, which was pretty dumb, we filled a shopping cart with lumber and rocks and stuck it right in the middle and watched it explode when the train hit it. That was crazy because people were in the train. Not something I would do these days. We did get chased by a patrol and a guy in a pick-up would chase us all the time. We would be on our dirt bikes running from the train police.
UglyScene: You were in Huntington Beach. How did you like it there?
Munky: Living in Huntington Beach was really nice coming from Bakersfield. It was sort of like we moved from Bakersfield to Burbank which is in the LA district. We lived there for a while and then we moved down to the beach area. It was nice. I went surfing almost every day then to pretending to find a job in the afternoon and at night play music.
UglyScene: A fan asked if a person is ever too old to start a band. Are you ever too old to start playing?
Munky: Absolutely not. Anything to exercise the creative part of your brain is therapeutic on so many levels.
UglyScene: The last show that I saw with Korn was close to the stage and I saw how much of an effort you put into connecting with the audience.
Munky: I think it is important. With the music you already have a connection with people but for them to see you live it is like it becomes a tangible object and you become a tangible object that they can see and it all makes sense. The equation kind of makes sense and that goes for the energy behind the music making sure that a connection is being made visually as well as audibly. It’s what makes the experience for a live audience member much better for them to experience a concert. Looking them in the eyes letting them feel alive. I remember when I was a kid and I would go to some concerts in Vegas, and I can’t even remember what band, but I just remember it was really important. It’s the human contact and really how important it is in connecting with somebody on the most human level.
UglyScene: You can tell in concert that you have a connection with the audience. The fans really do appreciate that.
Munky: It’s sort of like the band feeds from the energy exchange with the crowd. It goes back and forth and pulsates and they give you energy. On a day like today, it’s been quite a long day and I’m pretty tired, I’m kind of hoping that they kind of lift me up when I get up there to carry me through the show. It’s fun and exciting and you never know. We are going to go out and play the same songs that we have been playing but every night it will be different.
The chemistry between the band and the audience there is so many combinations of things that everything has to make it fall into place to have a great show. A few elements can be off and it’s really important to me I think that live shows connect because for a lot of people there are one or two times they go to concert a year and I want them to have the best time. I want to come off the stage saying feeling like I gave one hundred percent.
UglyScene: From when I seen you years ago and up until now you still have the same energy. Do you still feel that way?
Munky: I feel tired today. As far as that fire inside the music when the music starts, the lights go down, and the crowd roars that fire that flame inside is still burning as bright as ever.
UglyScene: In the process of writing songs how does the band collaborate?
Munky: When we are creating a song it’s somebody comes up with an idea or a riff. Then we build on that and everybody puts their two cents on and then it’s like when a dog rolls around in a mud puddle and then shakes himself off. There is still some mud there deep down and those are the ideas that stick. You know that you want to try everybody’s idea and it’s tough in a band because you want your idea to come to life at its fullest and you want everybody else to try their ideas too. You want everyone to feel confident in playing it, performing it and recording it and have the same energy. It’s a process. I make it sound like it’s difficult but it’s really just if it feels good you play it and I’ll play something that feels good to play too that sounds good and I’ll add that. Everyone throws their own ingredients and their mojo into the pot and it’s magic. I can’t really put my finger on it how it happens. It’s something like when an artist or when painter paints and doesn’t go ohhh should I put the chair in here or what color should I use. It is that stillness in your mind that lets the creative door way through and it’s just shutting everything off and letting it happen naturally. It doesn’t involve thought really and it may sound weird but most great ideas don’t come from thinking.
UglyScene: What is it like touring with Disturbed?
Munky: Disturbed has been great. They have been a lot of fun and we get along with them. We have been doing this flip flop where they have been Headlining one night and them the next so it keeps our chops up and keeps them playing at their best and keeps us playing at our best. It’s been a lot of fun and I can’t believe we haven’t done this before. Hopefully in the future we can possibly do something in Europe or the summer festival.
UglyScene: Do you guys play any practical jokes on each other or just joke around?
Munky: Sometimes I’ll door bell ditch. Where you go down the hall and knock on the doors and then hide. I’ll do that to them or Sevendust.
UglyScene: What do you think about Sevendust?
Munky: Sevendust is really one of the hardest working bands in the industry. They are great guys and they really put one hundred percent into every live show. It doesn’t matter
where they are it could be in a small tiny bar or one of these big arenas and they are going to give you everything they got every night.
UglyScene: Are they any bands that you listen to from across seas like Japan, Germany or any other country?
Munky: There is a South African band that has been around for a while that I have listened to Die Antwoord. That is about it for right now.
UglyScene: The version that was made of Pink Floyd’s The Wall what was it that inspired you and how influential was that song to you personally?
Munky: Pink Floyd, The Wall, was something that my older brother and sister listened to and they would turn me on to music albums. That record when I was young had these frightening images of the teacher coming out of the wall with this abstract art and even though the songs were melodic the vocals were really spooky. It wasn’t until later on until I got into Pink Floyd and really understood it and could grasp what the concept of the album was. I think it had the same feeling and the same theme as a lot of our songs that come from innocence and loss of innocence of childhood. Seeing the videos with the children who were going to school fit the theme of the rebellious kid.
Sadly after the Pink Floyd question our time was up. I would like to thank Korn’s manager and Munky for the opportunity. Even though Munky was exhausted during the interview he gave his all during the concert. He said the energy of the crowd drives him and it did that night.