Munky quits Korn mid tour

for personal and family reasons

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James "Munky" Shaffer, lead guitarist, has left Korn's current European tour for both personal and family reasons.

The group's frontman Jonathan Davis issued a statement on their official website saying,"We fully support Munky's need to be home right now and because we want to come through for all of our European fans, the tour will go on. It's what Munky wants us to do, too. We promise to give it our all every night!"

Axeman Munky hinted online, before the tour started that he had a big surprise, "Before I hit the road, I wanted to let everyone in on a little secret. I have a big surprise announcement coming very, very soon. It's something I'm extremely passionate about, and I have a feeling everyone is going to love it."

There has been no further details since then, but magazines like Metal Hammer have speculated that this announcement hinted at Munky releasing a solo album.

Korn are certainly going through lead guitarists pretty quickly Clint Lowery, who toured with the band throughout 2007 left in October due to family issues.

Shane Gibson, guitarist on Davis' solo work took lead guitar duties last night at Korn's gig in Newcastle and the official line from the stage was that Munky had returned home due to illness and a need to be with his family. He did this with the full support of the band, and he had in no way quit Korn.

Davis was adamant that the rumours circulating that Munky was no longer part of Korn were untrue, and he wanted to set the record straight.

However, Davis, in an interview late last year stated that Gibson was a great guitarist, reminiscent of original Korn axeman Brian "Head" Welch. He said, "Amazing shredder, can just do the most crazy, crazy, crazy stuff," he said. "And he really, really reminds me of Head. Not in his playing, more about just his presence and how he's so introverted and how he walks across the room and just everything seems to fall over. And it's kind of cool to have that energy back 'cause I miss that so much, 'cause I miss Head so much."

Which could mean Davis prefers to be on stage with Gibson rather than Shaffer. The European leg of their tour only just started on Sunday 13th January in Dublin. The lead singer told 'The Pulse of Radio' that he doesn't expect the band to add any further touring after their gig in South Africa in March. Which gives the band plenty of time to consider its line-up options.

Davis said, "After the world tour, I think we're gonna just take four months off," Four months, might mean that Korn will return to gigging in August. He added in the interview, that the band needed to regroup, "We're done and we're gonna do another record, because we've been going solid 14 years and I think me, Fieldy (bassist) and Munky really want to just take that time, get together and regroup, and do an amazing record together."

We'll have to wait and see how the band shape up when they return from the studio. But for the rest of this tour it looks like Gibson is Korn's latest axeman.

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published: 17/01/2008 17:01

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