UNIVERSAL CITY, California — Ask any band what the most common response from a label exec is after turning an album in and they'll say the same thing: "We need a single."
Korn heard it with each release, so when the phone call came near the end of Take a Look in the Mirror, the band responded more directly than ever before, penning an angst-fueled, expletive-riddled tune called "Y'all Want a Single."
"We were sitting there just looking at each other and we were like, 'OK we've got to write this single,' and we started laughing," singer Jonathan Davis recalled backstage at KROQ-FM's recent Almost Acoustic Christmas show. "And we came up with this anti-single, which turned out great."
Ironically, their anti-single has struck such a chord with fans that Korn have decided to release it as the next single. The song is strangely catchy, and part of the appeal has to be the honesty behind the lyrics. "Y'all want a single say f--- that," is the oft-repeated chorus, while one verse finds Davis singing, "They think we're all the same/ And always we're to blame/ For sh-- I think is lame/ It's time to stop the game."
"It's all about how it seems like kids are fed what is cool," Davis explained. "They don't really have a brain to search and see what's going on with music. I'm just saying if kids are really into music then they go and do that, but if they are just everyday Joe, then music is fed to them. And we are just really excited about it 'cause it seems to be a fan favorite. Everybody keeps requesting to play it and everyone keeps talking about that song."
The song is even a favorite among the execs at Korn's label and management. "They always laugh," Davis said. "It's just funny, like, 'Oh, dude!' this and that, but nothing really [too offensive]. No hard feelings."
Korn have yet to shoot a video for "Y'all Want a Single," but Davis said he expects to wake any morning now and find it on that day's agenda.
"That's how it works in this camp," he said, laughing, before revealing a slightly un-Korn-like aspect of the pending clip. "It's going to be humorous, definitely."
Along with the "Y'all Want a Single" video, Korn fans have another thing to look forward to watching on their TVs. Davis revealed there are plans to release a DVD of the band's recent surprise show at New York's 350-capacity CBGB (see "Korn Play Surprise Free Show At CBGB").
"We filmed it all," he said excitedly. "I don't know how to explain that show, it was just crazy. It was brutal. I see people getting almost killed in the pit and people falling down [everywhere]. It was just crazy."
The show was an exclamation mark on what was Korn's heaviest outing to date, the Back 2 Basics Tour with Limp Bizkit (see "Bizkit, Korn Take It Back 2 Basics In L.A. — But Throw In Nirvana And A Mohawk"). Davis credits the intensity of the show to a set list selected by fans voting online, along with a new batch of songs more pulverizing than anything in Korn's past repertoire (see "Korn Return To 'Sheer Hate And Anger' For New Album").
As much as Korn enjoyed the club setting, the band's next North American tour will be back in arenas, though Davis isn't sure whether Korn will do a package tour or their own headlining trek. The singer's mind has been on something else.
"I can't wait to get back to the studio," he said. "Pretty soon we're going to start writing for our next album."