Producer Ross Robinson on Why Korn’s ‘Remember Who You Are’ Backfired
The seasoned record-maker suggested that the vision for the album — a creative attempt to go back to Korn's beginnings — ultimately "backfired."
He's not alone in that evaluation. Korn lead vocalist Jonathan Davis has indicated that Korn III was the band's biggest mistake. Earlier this year, the singer elaborated, "We were trying to recapture something, and it was way in the past, and we failed miserably."
Looking back on the sessions with the podcast Peer Pleasure this week (Sept. 18), Robinson expressed regret for his treatment of Davis and then-new Korn drummer Ray Luzier concerning the album's aim of recapturing the California alt-metal band's origins.
"Poor Ray was getting the wrath of me wanting to wave the flag of the 1992 [era] before the record came out," Robinson remembers. "It was confusing for everybody. Because I had a mission, and I think it backfired. Because I pushed Jonathan too hard when it wasn't a good time for me to do that." (via ThePRP)
The producer continues, "I learned that who a person is at that moment in their life today — now — is the person that is going to express something beautiful and incredible. … Not Remember Who You Are — that's bullshit. … Respect who you are today and exude that expression."
Robinson had returned to the boards for Korn after producing their influential self-titled debut (1994) and its linchpin follow-up, Life Is Peachy (1996). In 2010, he and the band were looking to recapture the spirit and energy of those early Korn records.
Robinson says, "I think this was to a fault on my part in that I had this idea of what I thought Korn was supposed to be. … The perfection and the love that I had for everything with those guys — individually and musically, and the dedication. I'll always feel like a very important place in my heart is, I'm Ross from Korn. That's my fucking identity back then."
He adds, "I was trying to relay that to Ray when he hadn't drummed on an album yet. I'm like, 'Korn is this, and Korn is that, and it means so much.' And he's this amazing, incredibly talented, happy guy straight off [drumming for] the David Lee Roth band. You know, like [a] showbiz gig — into this thing that I wanted to bring back."
Listen to the full podcast interview with Robinson at this link. Below, re-live the music videos for the Korn III singles "Oildale (Leave Me Alone)" and "Let the Guilt Go."