While Korn guitarist James “Munky” Shaffer is currently touring in support of his new super-group side project, Fear and the Nervous System, he’s just as excited about what his main band has in store for 2013.

“We’re writing a Korn album now, and we have probably about 15 ideas for songs,” Shaffer explained during a recent interview with CBS Local. “They’re not complete, because we’re still in the process of polishing them up and finding the right producer. We’re going through meetings with different guys to find one.

“It’s really exciting,” he added. “Korn has a big year planned for 2013. “We’ve gone back into the studio and are writing more like a metal or rock band,” in comparison to the band’s last release, the heavily dub step-influenced The Path of Totality. “That’s why they came up with the ‘nu-metal’ term, because we’re not really a rock band and we’re not really a metal band. So many people hate that term, but it’s pretty cool that they had to come up with something to describe what we were doing musically.”

When asked to explain the sound of the new Korn songs, Shaffer harkens back to Korn albums past for comparisons.

“The new music is inspired by our Issues album, or even Untouchables, that era. It’s a little more melodic and a little more aggressive at the same time.”

This year also saw Korn reunite with former guitarist Brian “Head” Welch for the first time in the seven years since he famously quit the band after converting to Christianity back in 2005. Despite the acrimony that developed in the meantime, both sides were able to mend fences when Welch joined the band onstage for the song “Blind” in North Carolina.

“I sat and talked to Brian for like 30 minutes on my tour bus before the show, and it felt like barely five minutes had passed,” Shaffer remembered of the reunion performance. “We had so much to catch up on. He’s been such a huge part of my music career from the very beginning. I bought my first electric guitar from him. He showed me my first songs when I was 14 years old. When I broke my first guitar string, he sat on the phone and walked me through how to change it. That’s how deep our friendship goes.  He’s so much like a brother that whatever happens there is meant to be,” he added when asked if there are plans for the reunion to go any further.

“We speak frequently, it’s good. The relationship is definitely rekindled, but we’ll see what happens,” Shaffer mused finally. “He’s got a new record coming out, so all the best of luck to him. I mean that from my heart.”

–Scott T. Sterling, CBS Local

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