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Rebel Meets Rebel: Moore & Davis
Sonny Moore, the 18-year-old singer for From First to Last, chin wags with 35-year-old music legand Jonathan Davis on life, music and fame.
Sonny Moore: I joined From First to Last when I was 18, and we started touring right away. I guess I was pretty nervous. How old were you when you joined KoRn, and were you the same way?
Jonathan Davis: I was 23, but yeah, I was really nervous. I had done shows before, but I had no idea what touring was like.
Moore: Did you jump in with both feet? Were you into the whole sex, drugs, rock and roll thing?
Davis: Yeah, I was living the way I thought a rock star should live, even though I wasn't a rock star. It was just like, "I don't have to work, I can do whatever I want."
Moore: Does all the partying ever way you down and make it hard to perform?
Davis: It did, but I stopped drinking eight years ago. I got to the point where I looked at myself and I saw I was gonna die from from what I was doing. My baby was about 3 at the time, and I came home drunk one night and he saw me and gave me this fucking look I'll never forget. I felt like the biggest piece of shit. I was like, I'm not gonna do this to my son, I gotta be there for him. So I soberred up. I still party like a motherfucker with all my friends, I just don't partake. If you see me at a party, I'm sitting there chopping lines and giving people drinks and rolling joints - whatever my worries were. But for me, it's just something I can't do anymore. I don't even drink caffeine.
Moore: One of the most interesting things about you as an artist is how you created that vocal scat thing. So many frontman tried to do that after you but couldn't pull it off.
Davis: That was me on a speed bender, being up for about seven days. The band was working on this song, and I don't know why the fuck I did it, but I just did and it worked.
Moore: What do you think of bands like Disturbed and Godsmack, who you paved the path for?
Davis: I love all those bands and respect what they do, and if I influenced them in anyway, I think that's cool.
Moore: What are some of your current favorite artists?
Davis: I really like She Wants Revenge, who are kind of like Joy Division. It's the first thing I've gotten excited about in a long time. I don't really get excited about bands because everything's pretty much the same shit. It's all about living and seeing something visually that inspires me to write.
Davis: Not really. The only song that spoke to me was "Every Day is Halloween" by Ministry. And that song spoke to me because I lived in a shit town, and all I heard everywhere I went was "Hey, faggot, what is it -- Halloween".
Moore: "Faget" and "Kill You" were so amazing to me. Even though my childhood with my parents was really smooth, I still get what you were saying so deeply. Those are my two favorite KoRn songs. What are your two favorites?
Davis: Shit, I don't know. They're all babies to me. I work so fucking hard on them - I really can't choose. I know the new shit we're playing now, and when we do a new album, that shit will be my new favorites. But "Faget" really seems to stick with people. And that was all about high school and everyone picking on me.
Moore: Faget is such a harsh word. It's so amazing you made that a song title.
Davis: It is harsh, and that's what was portrayed in my head every day at school. And "Kill You" was about my fucking stepmother. I had so many years of built-up aggression towards that bitch. I just let it all out in that message.
Moore: I know what you mean. On the record we just released, there's a song called "Afterbirth," which is about me finding out 1 year ago that I was adopted. I'd known my biological parents without really knowing they were my real parents. It was really rough, and I was just like, fuck everybody. That was a really hard song for me to do.
Davis: That's cool, man. It makes you get your feelings out, and for me, that's what music has always been about.
Moore: What do you do to keep your voice healthy on the road? Do you have warm-ups and warm-downs? Are you cautious of what you eat?
Davis: I don't eat dairy before I go out, and I warm up 25 minutes to 30 minutes before the show, and I warm down another 15 minutes after. It's pretty intensive.
Moore: My regime is really, really intensive. I've got a blood vessel in my vocal cord that I have to have surgery for soon. I've had the worst vocal problems that have forced us to cancel shows. Have you ever gone through this?
Davis: No, all the doctors don't understand why my vocal cords are pristine. It's from taking care of them, I guess.
Moore: I used to not take care of mine. I was singing way out of my range. I wouldn't rest, I wouldn't warm up or warm down. And I developed a cyst on my vocal cords. At one point, I couldn't even speak properly. If I hadn't got it checked, I'd never be able to sing again.
Davis: Shit, dude. Take care of yourself.
Moore: What do you like to do for fun when you're at home?
Davis: I'm really into World of Warcraft and other video games. Sometimes I write, but mostly when I'm home, I'm with my family. Oh, I also go shooting.
Moore: Shooting guns?
Davis: Yeah, I'm a gun freak. I got a big collection, and sometimes I go up to Arizona and do precision shooting. I shoot at shit a mile and a half away. It's another form of therapy.
Moore: On tour, sometimes I feel really lonely. Even though you're around thousands of people, it feels like you can't talk to anybody. Have you felt like that?
Davis: Yeah, definitely, but you've just gotta deal with it. The best thing for me is video games and masterbation. You just don't think about the lonliness. Again, I have a wife, and I can call her up and talk to her, and she's my best friend. It's nice to have that.
Moore: I thought I had a lot more friends than I ended up having for real. Was there a stage when you realised that there are people who don't give a fuck about you and they just want stuff from you?
Davis: Dude, I have one friend left from my childhood, and that's it. Everyone else I fucked off. My true friends are my band. The people we tour with, my managers, and my wife and kids. That's what I got. And once you get in a band and start getting any amount of success, they're gonna leech on to that.
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