ARTISTdirect got an exclusive insight into Jonathan Davis‘ DJ alter ego when they were invited to his house recently and they described this DJ persona as ‘an id gone mad’. The KOí¿N frontman’s DJ name is J Devil and he insists on “Indulgence instead of abstinence”. In an exclusive interview and video, ARTISTdirect introduce you to J Devil – hear about everything Jonathan Davis has in store for the future below…
How was J Devil born?
J Devil just came to me. I was making music, and I was trying to think of a name for myself. It just popped into my head. It’s my initials “JD” and then “Evil”. My wife’s nickname is “Devil”. I’ve been fascinated with the devil my whole life so it slipped in organically. It’s like Korn and everything else I’ve ever done musically, in that respect.
How do songs start?
There aren’t that many lyrics here. I’m going to do some though. It starts with an idea. I just start with a beat, a bass patch I made, or anything like that, and I build on it. It’s intricate, tedious, and difficult work. People think electronic music is really easy. A lot of people are like, “Oh, I wish I could do that” or whatever. It’s really hard though. Doing Korn songs is easy to me. I can do a Korn song in an hour. That song I just played you took two weeks to make. It’s all intense programming, and it’s pretty difficult.
Has J Devil always been in the back of your mind? Did you know if you were going to do EDM, you were going to take it to an evil place?
Yeah, it started off as dark. I made Korn dark. I’m inspired dark things, and I wanted to create this alter ego that was different from Korn. EDM is so much different in general. I wanted to basically incorporate all of the kinds of EDM music that I like into this. I have song called “Move” that’s basically dubstep, jungle, and drum ‘n’ bass all in one. I like mixing genres together. I have some songs that are straight metal. I don’t know what the fuck it is. It’s just different. Everybody I play it for just freaks out because it is so different. It’s all still in the electro vain because I’m an electro freak. I love that 130, 128 BPM. I love the four-on-the-floor pattern, but I change it up.
What’s the psychology of J Devil? What’s his backstory?
He represents indulgence, doing what you want to do, and not ignoring your instincts. Do what you want to do. Indulge in whatever you want, as long as you don’t hurt anybody.
Do you feel like you’re going with your instincts musically?
There are no boundaries musically. I’m thinking outside of the box. I’m not thinking, “Oh, I have to be this or I have to be that”. I’m just going with what’s inside of me being musical, being an artist, and doing different things.