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Sound, text and identity in Korn’s ‘Hey Daddy’

JONATHAN PIESLAKa1

a1 Shephard Hall 78C, The City College of New York, CUNY, West 138th Street at Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031, USAE-mail: jpieslak@ccny.cuny.edu

Abstract

Most of the existing literature on metal approaches the subject from a sociological, anthropological or historical perspective, dedicating more attention to the surrounding musical (sub)cultures and their transformations than to the songs and music itself. This essay addresses this gap in recent metal scholarship by examining issues of sound, text and identity in one of the most influential and popular metal bands of the post-grunge era, Korn. I interpret possible meanings within ‘Hey Daddy’, a track from Issues (1999), based on the relationships among the music, both as pitch and sound/timbre, and the text. In addition, I explore different processes of identification, offering an assessment of identification in the genre of metal and challenges in respect to listener identity in ‘Hey Daddy’.