On August 2, Jonathan Davis of Korn came to Musicians Institute as part of one of our Conversation Series with Ryan Downey. Davis is fresh off the release of his first solo album, Black Labyrinth, and he stopped by to chat to students about the inspirations behind his newest album and shared some stories about his life and how he came to be the Jonathan Davis we all know today. While many die-hard Korn fans might already know a lot about Davis’ life and times, we thought we’d share some of our favorite moments and quotes, from his earliest inspiration to his future plans with as a solo artist and beyond.

1. He is a big musical theatre fan.

Davis told students of his earliest musical inspirations, quickly citing various musicals and Jesus Christ Superstar saying,

“There’s just something about it that’s so badass. I love seeing people sing on stage with a band…it’s not a protools session, it’s real.”

2. He doesn’t agree with the stigmas on being a man in music.

Davis shared his thoughts on writing music about his issues with depression,

“[Music] was my only way to deal with things…When I did it, I had no idea people felt the way I felt. It was taboo sh-t to talk about being depressed…In metal, it’s all about  being A tough, badass dude…I wasn’t ashamed to say I was sensitive.

3. His two young sons love to make music, too.

But their tastes might be a big different than their famous rockstar father. Davis said,

“My middle child wants to be a rapper and I think it’s awesome.”

4. He described his experience composing for the film, Queen of The Damned.

Davis said it was completely different than working on his own music. He said,

“Writing a rock tune is pretty simple, and writing a score is f*cking hard. You got to look at the film, try to pull out an emotion the director is trying to convey within certain times and make it all line up…it took two years of my life!”

5. He has a book coming out.

Davis fans can expect to a unique autobiography coming out. He said,

“I have a book in the works. it’s fiction and non-fiction, let’s leave it at that. It’s not your normal autobiography and it’ll  be interesting to read.”

6. He plans on making releasing a lot more music soon.

Although it took quite a few years to finish his just-released first solo project, Davis is already ready to put out more. He shared,

“I’m already working on stuff…I have got so much material and I want to do so many different genres…I’ve got pop stuff, country stuff, I’ve got all kinds of music and I just like writing music. I get bored writing one thing.”

7. And his advice for young musicians here at MI:

“You’re here. Learn as much as you can, play from your heart and don’t take “no” for an answer. If it’s in the cards, it’s in the cards, and if it’s not, no one can take that music away from you. It’s always going to be yours.”

Look out for the full video of Jonathan Davis’ conversation on MI’s socials and website soon!