Artist Decoded by Yoshino podcast

AD 257 | James “Munky” Shaffer (Korn + Venera)

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James “Munky” Shaffer is best known as co-founder and guitarist for American rock band Korn. With a career spanning three decades, his latest project Venera ventures into experimental electronic territory.

Venera L.A.-based James Shaffer and Atlanta-based Chris Hunt converged as Venera in early 2022 in Downtown Los Angeles while working on songs for singer Xhoana X. Their kindred interest and backgrounds in dramatic texture, electronics, and experimentation inspired an improvisation-based recording process that seeks to explore a sonic universe defined by evolving atmosphere, cinematic noise, and select collaborations. Venera released their self-titled debut album on Oct. 13 via Ipecac Recordings. 

Topics Discussed In This Episode:
  • Treating everyone with kindness (00:04:34)
  • James’s newest project Venera (00:08:37)
  • Unexpected occurrences while making music for Venera (00:18:29)
  • How he experimented with new playing styles in Venera (00:21:34)
  • Switching studios or environments to channel into different ways of creating and experimenting (00:24:19)
  • Understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses / working with producer Ross Robinson (00:26:29)
  • Exploring the origin of Korn’s unique sound (00:29:30)
  • Discussing alternate realities (00:31:26)
  • Creating time for creative practices (00:35:58)
  • James’s daily habits and rituals (00:37:23)
  • James’s struggle with addiction and how he overcame it (00:42:06)
  • Spiritual transcendence (00:45:00)
  • How James originally got into music (00:50:02)
  • The importance of having a creative outlet in one’s life (00:54:28)

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