Friday, Feb 21 2014 12:44 PM

Korn's Jonathan Davis calls Obama a 'dictator'

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    By Photo courtesy of Korn

    Korn’s Jonathan Davis performs during the filming of the band's "Path to Totality Tour Live at the Hollywood Palladium,” in 2012.

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BY JENNIFER SELF Californian lifestyles editor jself@bakersfield.com

When Jonathan Davis of Korn wants to deliver a message, he usually uses his music. But in a pair of interviews earlier this week, the Bakersfield rock star made one thing abundantly clear: President Obama is one leader he's not following.

"Nobody cares what's going on behind the closed doors," Davis said, "when Obama makes all these crazy laws that take away more and more of our privacy and make him more of a dictator."

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Korn documentary?

All four original members of Korn were back in their hometown in recent days, reportedly shooting a documentary that appears to focus on guitarist Brian Welch, who rejoined the band in 2012 after a seven-year absence.

Rick Davis -- father of Korn frontman Jonathan Davis, the only member of the group who still lives in Bakersfield -- was interviewed for about an hour last week.

"They wanted to go to the old John Bryan's (nightclub) on Stockdale and Lennox," the elder Davis said. "That's where Jon made his debut as a singer, with his band Sex Art in the early '90s."

Davis said his contact on the film was executive producer Scott Mayo, whose company worked with Welch before on a faith-based testimonial video called "I Am Second," in which Welch discussed his drug addiction, failures as a father and the spiritual awakening that ultimately prompted his decision to leave the band.

"All the questions were about Korn and their journey," Davis said.

"Reading between the lines, there was a lot of discussion about what led up to Brian leaving the band and the growth he made."

Davis made his comments Monday in a video interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on the website infowars.com. Later that day, at Los Angeles International Airport, he repeated much of what he told Jones when questioned by the tabloid website TMZ.

Davis was asked by both sources about a recent video Korn released to promote the song "Spike in My Veins" from the band's 2013 album, "The Paradigm Shift." The not-so-subtle denunciation of Obama juxtaposes news clips of pop stars like the twerking-and-smirking duo of Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber with the president, seen dancing with Ellen DeGeneres, schmoozing on the late-night talk circuit and assuring Americans their phones are not being tapped.

"It seems really sad that everyone's asleep and oblivious to the fact that the country is using the media to, I don't know, capture people's attention or take away from the fact of what's going on with our country."

Though Davis, through his representative, agreed to discuss his comments and what appears to be an emerging political activism with The Californian, he failed to call the paper at the appointed time. However, his father, Rick, did have some thoughts on his son's comments, noting it was just a few years ago, as expressed in the lyrics of the Korn song "Politics," that Davis seemed far less inclined to take a stand:

"Don't want to talk about politics, don't preach or talk about politics, don't make me talk about politics."

Though a bit surprised by his son's about-face, the elder Davis is proud.

"For him to make an open political statement about his opinion about something, that's new for him. I've not seen it in the past," said Davis, the retired Kern County film commissioner and a musician himself.

"I give him A's for standing up for what he believes in. Whether I agree or disagree with his positions is secondary. He's exercising his right to express himself, but he's speaking for the band, too. The band is saying to the fan base, 'Wake up and pay attention.'"

Davis has noticed his son's world view becoming more conservative with time. The singer seems especially concerned with what he sees as an increasingly heavy-handed government intruding on citizens' privacy and other rights. In his remarks to Jones, Davis even hinted that it might be time for another American revolution.

"Jon is surprisingly more conservative than a lot of other folks in the entertainment business," said his dad, "but he's from Kern County. What do you expect?"

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