We spoke with Korn's celebrated bassist Fieldy during some down time at home with his family before the Mayhem Festival hit the road on its month-long festivities. He has great advice for aspiring artists: Sign off, practice more.
This weekend the annual Rockstar Mayhem Festival descends upon the Colorado masses for a two-night thrash fest of some of the hardest bands on the circuit. We’ll be there covering the event with photo galleries and a show experience posted next week. That is, if our hangcore (hardcore hangover?) allows it.
Until then gleefully heed our interview with Ice-T of Body Count and keep reading for a quick one-on-one with Korn’s celebrated bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu. We spoke with him during some down time at home with his family before the hoopla hit the road on its month-long festivities. He has great advice for aspiring artists: Sign off, practice more.
Are you guys all doing alright, we saw that Brian “Head” Welch had a health scare in Germany recently?
Yah, I mean, it was a scare at the beginning, when you don’t know what’s going on. Once you figure it out though and know what it is, it’s not as scary. He just ended up passing a kidney stone.
We’re not young pups anymore and have to take care of ourselves. How do you guys approach life now to try and stay healthy?
For myself it’s really not much. I don’t know. I think these days it’s actually doing less than more. Like getting ready earlier and not rushing. It’s easing into it. There’s already enough pressure; so when we’re rushing and hurrying you’re just putting more pressure on yourself. Take it easy. When you get up there on stage just let the adrenaline and the naturalness of all that come out; then you can dive in and get into it and rock out.
And spending downtime with your family now probably helps…
It’s a lot easier being on tour than it is being at home with the family. My house starts between 6 and 7 o’clock in the morning – I have five kids – and it doesn’t stop until 11 or 12 o’clock at night.
With Head back in the mix you're in the original lineup again. Do you still go at things the same as before or is there a difference?
It feels like it always has been, because we kind of grew up together. We’ve always been in a band together. When Head came back, it just felt natural. You kind of forget, you know, he left for eight years. When he came back I'm like ‘Oh yeah!’ I just sit back listening to them both (Munky and Head) create guitar parts, and I’m listening, then I’m like ‘Oh yah. I go right in the middle!’ Because when Head left I became a left and Munky was a right. So we were kind of like rhythm. And now it gives me the freedom to be me again and be right in the middle. Listening to those guys bounce off of one another again is just so fun, it brings that fun to it that we were missing.
Now that you’re seasoned do you find the little things bug you as much?
You know with myself having kids, and I get out there with all those guys, they’re like my big kids. I’m such a dad that the little things I gotta let go, or I’m gonna start being everybody’s dad. It’s not that these little things bug me, or bug me in a different way, it’s just that they’re grown men. I can’t tell them things I want to tell my kids all day long, so I have to sit back and let all those things go. They probably already see me that way, like the dad of the band. It happens when you have a lot of kids.
Your earlier fans are at a point now where they’re also having kids, and they're a bit older. Do you see these families at Korn shows together?
Totally. You see the parents there with their kids who are teenagers. I see it all the time; the dad, the mom and their five kids, or three kids or whatever, are coming now. It’s cool.
So it’s like, instead of a family picnic they go to a family Korn show?
Yup, family values!
The Internet has given everyone the ability to do smaller, more prying stories (like your new face tattoo). How do you feel being someone who came through the 90s when we didn’t have that to now having everything on the web?
It’s pretty amazing because you can reach the world. Before, how would anybody even know if you are a Korn fan or if you’re a Fieldy fan? I tell people all the time, ‘Look me up if you want to see what I’m doing or what I got going on.’ It’s cool because think about people in Europe – we just toured Europe and Russia – there was no way for anyone to even know what was going on before. When I was a kid if you had a favorite band, you didn’t know anything until you went and bought a magazine. That was the only way to know and that’s not even everything. I guess I’m all right with it, I love it. People can dig in and dig in to everything of mine. They can check out what I’ve got going on. I’ve always got something going on.
Do you let your kids dive into the ‘net?
My kids are a little bit younger, but it is something where it can consume your life and rob you of your dreams. People spend so much time on the Internet when they can be (working on) their dreams. You’re spending how many hours on the Internet? When you could be playing your guitar for two hours instead of checking online about everything. You gotta limit yourself and be careful with that, because I’m telling you, people can end up robbing themselves and when they’re old it’ll be like:
‘Well what’d you do?’
‘Oh I checked my Facebook and Instagram my whole life.’
‘Good for you man.’
That could be one of the reasons we’re not seeing the same type of artistry now that we did in the past, because they’re consumed by the online profile?
Everyone wants that instant gratification; everything is now, now, now. It’s just not that way man. You’ve got to take that two or three hours a day of your Facebook and Instagram time… once you put those hours a day into your art, or your playing guitar, or bass, or singing or whatever it is that anybody wants to do… you just have to put a cap on that.
Fans coming to see you at the Mayhem Festival this weekend will be old and new; what do you have in store? Is it classic Korn or can we expect some newness?
To me it’s my favorite when we’re doing something like this because we’re going to give the most banging energetic set ever. It’s gonna be the best of the best. We’re gonna bring out some new technology as far as visuals, it’s never been done before. You’ll have to come to the show to see all that.