||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
James Shaffer Live in Toronto during the 2007 Family Values Tour.
|Birth name||James Christian Shaffer|
|Also known as||Munky, Munk|
June 6, 1970 |
Los Angeles, CA, California, USA
|Genres||Nu metal, alternative 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|
James Christian 'Munky' Shaffer (born June 6, 1970 in Rosedale, California) is the guitarist for the nu metal band Korn (for which he has also provided live backing vocals). According to Korn's video "Who Then Now?", The nickname 'Munky' is a reference to his feet which resemble monkey's hands when spread. Munky cites Steve Vai and 80s metal guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads as his main influences.
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. James accepted his friend's choice. As of 2012[update], he is the only guitarist in Korn. (Clint Lowery, Christian Olde Wolbers, and Rob Patterson were only live/session members). When former drummer, David Silveria left the band, Munky in an interview, said he had a strong friendship with Silveria, 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 August or September.
On March 4, 2008, it was announced that Munky will be releasing a solo record on August 8, 2008 with his solo band Fear and The Nervous System which will 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.
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 Shaffer started to date the Albanian-American actress and model, Evis Xheneti on 2005. They were married on January 2, 2012, in Paris, France. On May 3, 2012 Evis announced that she and James were expecting their first child and later announced that she gave birth to D'Angelo DraXon Shaffer born at November 7, 2012 8:44AM at 8lbs 3oz.
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.
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