Though his illness forced the band off the road with Lollapalooza '97, Korn
guitarist James "Munky" Schaffer has now entered a very different kind of road:
the one to recovery, according to Jeff Kwatinetz, the band's manager.
Schaffer, whose chronic illness sent the band packing from Lolla two weeks ago, is recovering at home and will likely by bedridden for up to two weeks, he said. "Munky's out of the hospital and he's not going to die," Kwatinetz said. "We're still waiting for some test results, but it's probably what we thought at first, a bad case of viral meningitis."
Schaffer, 24, and the band were forced to bow out of Lolla following the July 18
stop in Cleveland, Ohio, after completing just 14 of Lollapalooza's 33 scheduled
dates when Schaffer began complaining of headaches and nausea. Doctors
initially diagnosed the guitarist with a case of viral meningitis, a typically non-
lethal viral infection that can be caused by any number of viruses, from lyme
disease to tuberculosis. Dr. Mark Strassberg, a San Francisco-based
neurologist told ATN last week that illness, an inflammation of the lining of the
brain, is typically not serious and usually consists of a severe headache and some
muscle fatigue and neck pain.
"He'll go in for check-ups and he's taking some medication for the headaches,
but he said he was feeling better when I talked to him this morning," Kwatinetz
said, adding that Schaffer is resting comfortably at home.
The manager speculated that doctors are considering lyme disease as a
possible cause of Schaffer's illness, since the guitarist lives in a
wooded area and the virus is typically transmitted via deer ticks in
As for Korn's decision to not continue playing Lolla dates without
Schaffer, Kwatinetz said there was no other option. "This band is like a
family and they just couldn't have done these dates without him. It's
not like this is a group with one guy and the others are along for the ride.
They need to be together."
Kwatinetz said the group felt they'd be letting their fans down if they "went
through the motions" without Schaffer, despite his claims that abandoning the
tour was "a financial disaster."
"If Munky's not on that stage," Kwatinetz said, "they wouldn't be one of the
best bands in the world. They'd be damn good, but not what made them so
successful and meaningful to their fans. It was a very hard decision for
a band that built their career based on a relationship with fans to
cancel dates after those fans bought tickets."
Taking only four days off after leaving the tour, the rest of Korn
wasted no time getting to work on the follow-up to last year's 700,000
selling sophomore album, Life Is Peachy. "The other four are
going to start writing the new record this week and Munky will join them
in two weeks," Kwatinetz said, adding that the group is determined to
try and release a new album every 14 months if possible. "They want this
to be about making music, not waiting to do a new record every three
years. They want to get back to that old ethic of a rock band doing an
album a year."
Kwatinetz said he expects the next Korn album to be released in
February or March of 1998.