By: Brian Maddox
Photos: Brian Maddox/THT
Birmingham, AL (The Hollywood Times) 07/25/2019 – Within the past 30 years, two massively pivotal bands have been in the national spotlight, both of which having something uniquely in common; new life being added back to where there was once darkness.
Since forming in 1987, Alice In Chains has become a top drawer name in the industry. Being one of several innovators during the Seattle “grunge movement” of the nineties, Alice In Chains has garnered numerous Grammy nominations throughout, starting with their 1992 hit single, Man In The Box, right up until 2018 with their latest album/title track, Rainier Fog. Since the death of founding front man Layne Staley in April 2002 due to a heroin overdose, Alice In Chains guitarist/co-vocalist Jerry Cantrell posited to press forward through a tragedy that has become an all too common occurrence in the music world; by recruiting vocalist/guitarist William DuVall in 2006 as Staley’s replacement for the continuation of a legacy, therefore bringing to mind an appropriate lyric from the aforementioned Rainier Fog: “Live in the past, you find it’s hard to stay sober.” Since the addition of DuVall, the band has recorded three new albums, starting with Black Gives Way To Blue in 2009, and 2013’s The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here.
In 1993, a relatively unknown band from Bakersfield, California began making waves with their own unique brand of heavy metal, courtesy of a pair of down tuned 7-string Ibanez guitars, funk heavy bass groove with a percussion feel, and a front man who could juggle both a frenzied rage along with a torrent of emotions all at once.
KoRn cemented their status as pioneers of the “nu-metal” establishment throughout the mid to late nineties, paving the way for acts like Limp Bizkit, Staind and Linkin Park. Their self titled debut was the inception in 1994 with hits like Blind, Shoots And Ladders and Need To, dealing with themes such as child abuse, bullying and drug addiction; all of which front man Jonathan Davis had been a victim of since a young age. Along with band mates James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch on guitars, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu on bass, and co-founder/former drummer David Silveria, the band would go on to enjoy the type of success that any starving band could only relish: wanting for nothing and everything to gain.
In 2005, guitarist Brian “Head” Welch decided to give up the excesses of rock stardom by kicking a heavy methamphetamine addiction and giving his life completely over to God; a decision that afforded him the opportunity to spend more familial time with his young daughter, Jennea. After leaving for a hiatus in 2006, drummer David Silveria was permanently replaced with Ray Luzier in 2009, followed by the return of Welch in 2013 to record his first album with KoRn since 2003. The band’s upcoming album, The Nothing is slated for a September 13th release.
KoRn and Alice In Chains has recently embarked on a North American outing with support from fellow artists Fever 333, H09909 and Underoath, with the tour making a recent stop in Birmingham, Alabama on July 23rd. As a personal fan of both bands for over 25 years now, it’s self evident that the raw energy and magnetism between these two highly influential mainstays is still very much alive and well.
For tour dates, please visit www.kornaic.com.