||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
James Shaffer performing live in 2010.
|Birth name||James Christian Shaffer|
|Also known as||Munky, Munk|
June 6, 1970 |
Hollywood, California, United States
|Genres||Nu metal, alternative metal funk metal|
|Occupations||Musician, songwriter, producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, vocals, keyboards, bass, lap steel|
|Labels||Emotional Syphon, EMI, Virgin, Roadrunner|
|Associated acts||Korn, Fear and the Nervous System, L.A.P.D., Creep|
His nickname "Munky" is a reference to his feet which resemble monkey's hands when spread. He cites Steve Vai and 80s metal guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads as his main influences.
Munky was ranked at No. 26 of Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time. Shaffer's work with Korn has resulted in over 35 million albums sold.
During high school Shaffer met fellow guitarist Brian "Head" Welch. Later on Welch and Shaffer saw Jonathan Davis singing for the band Sexart in a bar. Initially intending to stay only for a few minutes, the pair ended up staying for the whole set upon seeing Davis' performance, and asked him to join their band (still called L.A.P.D. at this point) almost immediately afterward.
Shaffer developed meningitis during 1997 while on tour, requiring him to be hospitalized. Korn cancelled the remainder of that tour, not wanting to replace him.
February 22, 2005, Brian Welch left the band. Munky accepted his friend's choice and the two remained on good terms. Until Brian's return in 2013, Munky was the only guitarist in Korn. (Clint Lowery, Christian Olde Wolbers, and Rob Patterson were only live/session members). When drummer David Silveria left the band, Munky said in an interview that he had a strong friendship with him and was very sad to hear that he had to leave.
On an interview about Brian Welch's departure, Munky said he felt pressure, because they were always working together, writing songs, and creating albums. But when Head left, he had to write all the guitar parts into one part, so Korn could play live, and he continued to play like that until Korn got a backing guitarist. Brian "Head" Welch officially returned to the band on May 2, 2013 to work on a new album to be released in October.
Fear and the Nervous System (2008–present)
On March 4, 2008, it was announced that Munky would be releasing a solo record on August 8, 2008 with his solo band Fear and The Nervous System which would feature Munky doing vocals and guitar, Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion (who also performed on Korn's 8th album) on drums, Leopold Ross on guitar and programming, Bill Gould of Faith No More fame, and Zac Baird (Korn's keyboardist) on keyboards and programming. The record will be produced by Munky and Ross Robinson. Guitarist and friend Wes Borland originally recorded guitars for two songs on the album but they will not make the final cut. Borland also created cover art which will still be used. The band's debut album was originally due out August 8 but has been pushed back as the album has yet to be completed.
Recently on Modlife in October 2009 (Korn.com), Munky had explained that he would not be doing vocals on the new Fear and the Nervous System album because he's not "very good at singing". It was later announced that Steve Krolikowski of Repeater would be handling vocal duties.
Emotional Syphon Recordings (2006 to present)
In 2006 Shaffer founded Emotional Syphon Records to give daring and diverse bands a chance to be heard. The first bands to be signed were Droid and Monster in the Machine, however Shaffer says he doesn't want to limit himself to only releasing metal acts but to create a multi-genre label.
James predominantly uses Ibanez guitars, most often his signature model the Ibanez Apex 7-string model and Mesa Boogie & Diezel guitar amplifier. Like Brian did before leaving the band in 2005, he uses many pedals and effects to shape the distinct Korn sound. Munky describes his live pedal board as a "spaceship" because of the large, diverse quantity of effects he uses.
- Ibanez APEX100 Munky Signature - Used from 2009 onwards was released to the public in 2011.
- PRS Private Stock Single cutaway 7 string - Used from 2008 to 2010.
- Ibanez APEX1-BBK Munky Signature - Munkys former signature model used from 2007 to 2009.
- Ibanez Apex Prototype - Seen used on the Live from Montreux DVD.
- Ibanez K7 - Munky and Head signature guitars now discontinued.
- Ibanez K7 Prototype - The prototype for the K7 was long Munkys main guitar.
- Ibanez K14 Custom built 14 string guitar, used for the song "Alone I Break".
- Ibanez RG8 - 8 string guitar, used on recent tours.
- Ibanez UV7BK - Steve Vai signature model.
- Ibanez Universe UV7PW - Covered in duct tape with, all pickups removed except for a humbucker in the bridge position only equipped with a single volume control.
- Ibanez Universe UV7BK - Used during 1997 Lollapalooza tour.
- Ibanez Universe PRE-97 UV7BK - With replaced pickguard, now retired.
- Ibanez Custom 7-string acoustic - Used for the MTV Unplugged and the recording of the untitled album.
- Ibanez GA6CE Classical - Nylon stringed acoustic-electric.
- Gibson SG 6-stringed model, tuned down to drop-A.
- Gibson EDS-1275 - Used during studio recordings and signed by Jimmy Page.
- Fender Telecaster - 6-string model used on the song "Kiss".
- Gretsch Hollowbody - Used during the recording of "Evolution".
- Gibson Les Paul - Used during the recording of the untitled album.
- Gibson Les Paul - Buckethead signature, used in recent live performances.
- Ibanez S5407 - Seen in Blind video also occasionally used live during early tours.
- Silvertone - Used to record the "Blind" intro.
- Fender Stratocaster - 1964 model.
- Dean Markley strings - .010 .013 .017 .030 .042 .052 .060 gauge.
- Dunlop Tortex picks (.73mm)
- Mesa Boogie Triple Rectifiers
- Line 6 Flextone Amplifier
- Gibson Amplifier
- Marshall JCM 900
- DIEZEL VH4
- With L.A.P.D.
- With Korn
- 1994 - Korn
- 1996 - Life Is Peachy
- 1998 - Follow the Leader
- 1999 - Issues
- 2002 - Untouchables
- 2003 - Take a Look in the Mirror
- 2005 - See You on the Other Side
- 2007 - Untitled album
- 2010 - Korn III: Remember Who You Are
- 2011 - The Path of Totality
- 2013 - The Paradigm Shift
- With Fear and the Nervous System
- 2011 - Fear and the Nervous System
- Family Tree Legends
- "Who Then Now?". Sony, Epic Records. March 18, 1997.
- "Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" - Blogcritics Music". Blogcritics.org. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
- Dinsdale, Nathan (August 19, 2004). "Munky Biz". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012.
- "News". KoRn Central. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
- "Korn Guitarist James Munky Shaffer Marries Actress Evis Xheneti In Paris". January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
- Korn - Munky Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment Uberproaudio.com Retrieved: 20099-05-15
- Ibanez APEX[dead link]
- "Munky and Fieldy of Korn". Mesa Boogie. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
- "James "Munky" Shaffer". Guitar FX Depot. 2010-08-02. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
- "Artist Direct Interview: James Muky Shaffer of Korn". Genres.artistdirect.com. Retrieved 2011-12-07.
- James 'Munky' Shaffer at the Internet Movie Database
- Bakotopia interview with James 'Munky' Shaffer
- "James "Munky" Shaffer's 2002 Korn Guitar Rig". GuitarGeek.Com