Warning: the following content contains material that may be harmful or traumatising to some audiences.
Korn frontman Jonathan Davis has shared the horrifying inspiration for their song ‘Pretty’, revealing that the song revisits his time working in a coroner’s office and learning how to do autopsies.
When Davis was 16, he got a job in a coroner’s office and asked if he could learn how to contact autopsies because he thought it would be “cool”.
“I got into it because I liked horror movies and all kinds of dark shit. I went on this regional occupation program where they taught you skills, and of course, I wanted to learn how to do autopsies, because I thought it would be fucking cool. But lo and behold, little did I know that that shit would fuck me up for a long time. I saw some really fucked-up shit, which at the time made me a really hard, no-emotions motherfucker,” he told Kerrang!.
He continued, “I had post-traumatic stress from seeing dead babies, and young kids that had died after finding a parent’s stash of drugs – shit that I shouldn’t have been seeing at 16 or 17 years old. I had to have a lot of therapy to make the nightmares go away, but I got through it, and it made me appreciate life a lot more.”
According to songfacts, Korn’s song ‘Pretty’ was based on one particularly gruesome day that Davis experienced in the coroner’s office, when a deceased baby was bought in that had been very brutally abused.
Davis recalled: “She was an 11-month-old little baby girl. Her legs were broken back behind her, and he had raped her like a toy doll and chucked her in the bathroom. It was the most heinous thing I’ve ever seen in my life and I still have nightmares about it.
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“I was about 17-1/2 at the time. It was heavy, man. I went through all kinds of therapy. I found out I have post traumatic stress disorder from seeing all those bodies, like how American veterans in the Vietnam War got it from seeing all the death around them. When you see someone dead it traumatizes your brain. You don’t know what to do with all this s–t. It’s like one of the reasons I’m so f—ed in the head is because I was so young and my brain couldn’t store the stuff. It didn’t know what to do with it, so my brain freaks out and causes trauma.”
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