Korn Think Encores Are Stupid, Are Correct
Encores are dumb.
Maybe if they weren’t 1,000% guaranteed to happen… if you really, truly had to scream your little heart out and hope the band comes back to play a few more songs… if they were a rarity reserved for spectacular shows, and not just a tradition… they wouldn’t be so dumb.
But they’re not, so they are.
Everyone knows the band is coming back; if you’re positioned in the right place, you can probably see them standing just-off stage, chatting and having some water before they come back out. Shit, you can usually even guess what song they’re going to play, either because they always end every show with the same track (see: Guns N’ Roses and “Paradise City”), or because they’ve somehow managed to get through the whole performance without playing their biggest hit. Like, you might as well just make the band members run in a circle on stage for two minutes before playing the last song of the night. The encore is that meaningless.
Korn, for one, agree. (And I don’t even like Korn. Of all the bands…!) Speaking to the Bringin’ it Backwards Podcast recently, Welch said of the completely meaningless practice:
“We never have been an encore band, man. We would debate about it, saying, ‘It’s so cheesy, man. It’s so cheesy. They want it so bad, but…’ We don’t do encores. We would tell people in the press, ‘We don’t do encores. We give it our all, and then we’re done.’ And then fans started getting mad, especially fans in different countries. They’re, like, ‘It’s disrespectful if you don’t come back out.’ So we had to do it. And to this day, we don’t really love it. ‘Cause everybody expects it, and they don’t really cheer for it now. They’re just, like, ‘Okay.’ … It’s, like, you wanna be done, and then the crowd to demand you back out with applause. That’s what the encores were meant for. But that’s all gone to shit now.”
The fact that out of all musical genres, even metal still won’t let artists get away without playing encores is absurd. Metal is supposed to be nonconformist and surly. If the band doesn’t wanna play an encore, they shouldn’t have to. Sheesh.
On the other hand, encores sometimes provide a good way to beat traffic. So there’s that.
You can listen to the entire interview with Welch below. His other band, Love and Death, have a new album called Perfectly Preserved out now on Earache. You can stream it at the bottom of this post, and/or purchase it here.