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How Producer Ross Robinson Got ‘Daddy’ Studio Performance Out of Korn’s Jonathan Davis

Chad Childers, Loudwire
Chad Childers, Loudwire

Ross Robinson, the producer of Korn‘s debut album, is sharing what he said to coax a gut-wrenching performance out of singer Jonathan Davis for the extremely personal song, “Daddy.” Robinson, who was instrumental in shaping the early sounds of nu-metal with bands like Korn and later with Limp Bizkit and Slipknot, talks about what happened inside the studio during the making of Korn’s debut album in a new interview.

If you click play on YouTube’s video for the Korn song “Daddy,” you’ll immediately be faced with a pretty stern warning. “THIS SONG CONTAINS VERY DISTURBING LYRICS AND STORY.” “Daddy” is a harrowing tale of child abuse in the first-person. Davis has said that it’s autobiographical, and that his parents did not believe him when he told them about the abuse.

Producer Ross Robinson said in a recent Metal Hammer interview, “I just went up to him and held his arms, looked straight in his eyes and said, ‘You need to do it,’ and he goes, ‘I know,’ and that was it. And I still, to this day, haven’t been able to get that deep of a performance from anybody. His heart was exploding, and I think we made musical history.”

Davis has revealed that the song “Daddy” is rarely played in concert because it’s so private for him. And although he has said in the past that “it would never be played live,” he decided to bring it back in order to salute the album in its entirety, (during their 20th anniversary shows for Korn’s self-titled first record.) You can see an emotional performance of “Daddy” during one of those shows in Las Vegas from 2015 below. Davis started tearing up at the end of the song and there was even a pause before the show continued.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, resources are available for help. Visit the RAINN website (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) or dial 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673).

Jonathon Davis’ Emotionally Charged Performance of Korn’s “Daddy”

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