(c) Louis Stalder 2001/Atelier HR Giger, Zurich


Since I stopped painting, entirely, in 1990, and have been concentrating mostly, on sculptures, my collaborations with musicians seemed to be over until Korn came along. Usually, I become aware of new band only when someone calls them 
to my attention or if I am sent their music, for some reason. I first heard the name KORN when I was contacted with the proposal to create a special microphone stand for the lead singer, Jonathan Davis. The idea was suggested to him by one of his friends who knew that Jonathan was 
a fan of my artwork. Since the music has always been the most important thing for me and I must, absolutely, like it before 
I can work with a band, or even agree to 
let them use one of my old paintings, 
first I listened to all the Korn CDs they 
sent to me.

The same day I decided to accept the project, I started making many sketches, 
at first, in the form of plantlike snakes and vertebrae mixed with technical elements. Meanwhile, Leslie, my agent, went to film the Korn concerts in New York and Philadelphia to show me how Jonathan performed. They called me from his dressing room and I talked to Jonathan for the first time. He told me I had complete freedom to design the microphone stand as I wanted and his only concern was that it had be totally functional and as movable as possible. He also wanted it be Biomechanical and very erotic. After the concert, Jonathan gave Les the microphone stand he was using to send to me in Zurich. It was very useful for me to have it handy to help assure that my sculpture will be the exact height, to have an idea of the approximate weight and feel. In the meantime, the more I listened to the Korn music and watched the tapes, the more amazed I was by the intensity and seriousness of these musicians. 

In July 2000, when KORN was touring Europe, Jonathan and several of his group members visited the H.R. Giger Museum in Gruyeres, and then came to my home. Since it was still very early in the project, I only had some sketches. We didn't talk much 
about the designs, maybe Jonathan was too polite to make any criticisms. 
He is a very nice man and a good singer with absolutely unique music. After the visit, 
I continued to make more and faxed them to Les. Before becoming my agent, he had been an art director for many years. His opinion is always helpful to me and, from a practical standpoint, he is very good at seeing what will work best for everyone. We discussed my drawings and, with his constructive critique, the figure 
got thinner and thinner. 

When Jonathan gave his approval, I started with the first 1:1 clay model with Roni, my assistant, and we emailed photos of our progress to the USA. Over the next weeks, we also started a second, even thinner, clay model, keeping the first one for comparison. 

Only after I was, finally, very happy with the figure, we proceeded to add the Biomechanical elements. We integrated it with bullets, tubes and wires. When the clay model was finished, we took it to the foundry without waiting for anyone’s reaction so I could see what it would really look like after the wax model was done. I liked it so much that I requested an aluminum cast to be made and sent to Jonathan immediately. 

After testing the prototype, Jonathan decided that my original idea of a pop-up stand, balanced and weighed to spring back when it is pushed over, could become a problem in live performances because of the extra weight it added. Otherwise, he was very happy with the mic-stand and asked for only some minor adjustments, to cut away some of the back-head to expose the clip, so he could grab it more easily. After the stand was returned to Zurich, I made the changes and also cast the second one for him. I hope Jonathan will be able to can work with my microphone stand with the same intensity as before without being limited by it.

HR Giger, Zurich 2001

For KORN’s next headlining trek, they'll be accompanied by a deadly yet useful femme fatale. KORN frontman Jonathan Davis recently commissioned H.R. Giger to come up with an idea for a special mic stand which would also be a piece of functional art. Giger designed, bio-mechanical mic stand cast in the shape of a woman. Only five stands will be manufactured at a foundry in Zurich from molds that will then be destroyed -- instantly adding to their historic allure and value. Jonathan has receive two of the stands and an option for a third, should he decide to need it or to make one available to a museum of his choice. Of the other two, one will soon be on permanent display at the H.R. Giger Museum in Switzerland, the other will be used in his gallery exhibitions. "It's awesome," says Jonathan. "I've been big fan of Giger's work ever since my sister's boyfriend turned me on to him. I've always liked the dark, vile, biomechanical stuff he creates, but then I got into the erotic side of his art. I actually have some of his art in my house, so I'm excited that he even considered making something for me."


Jonathan has recently visited Giger's home in Switzerland. "It was a trip," Jonathan says. "He took me into his house and we kicked back and talked all night. All I did was ask him to make a functional piece of art. So later, he sent me a bunch of drawings and I approved the design of this really sexy, vile, mechanical creature." Cast in metal, Giger's design features an otherworldly, oversexualized female creature. Jonathan's microphone is integrated into the sculpture's head. "I really like it, because I'm totally into Giger's erotic work," Jonathan says. "He took me riding in a train he built for himself, a realization of his childhood dream," Jonathan enthusiastically recalls. "It's like this two-seater death train. You drive through his backyard around his Zodiac Fountain of twelve amazing sculptures and through narrow tunnels just big enough to squeeze a body through. It was eerie. He's such a unique character. Dark yet, at the same time, very human."

For press inquiries about the Giger/Korn mic stand, please contact: Leslie Barany


Read the cover story in the March/April 2001 issue of REVOLVER magazine, "KORN'S JONATHAN DAVIS 'HEAVY METAL SEX MACHINE", as a PDF download in the ARTICLES archive at www.LittleGiger.com

NOTE: For special design commission by H.R. Giger, please contact his agent, 
Leslie Barany, at 212-684-2225

Photos by Clay Patrick McBride

May, 2001 MAXIM magazine
(c) 2001 Anthony Mandler

(c) 2002, Atelier H.R. Giger, Photos by David Jahn
Korn concert at Hallenstadion, Zurich, September 3, 2002

(c) 2002, Atelier H.R. Giger, Photos by David Jahn
Korn concert at Hallenstadion, Zurich, September 3, 2002

(c) 2002, Atelier H.R. Giger, Photos by David Jahn
Korn concert at Hallenstadion, Zurich, September 3, 2002

Carmen, Jonathan & HRG backstage
(c) 2002, Photo by David Jahn

Jonathan in concert
(c) 2002, Photo by David Jahn

Jonathan & HRG with Biomechanoid 2002 sculpture
(c) 2002, Photo by David Jahn

© 2002 Barbara Wegner - barbbee_2002@yahoo.com

© 2002 Barbara Wegner - barbbee_2002@yahoo.com

© 2002 Barbara Wegner - barbbee_2002@yahoo.com

© 2002 Barbara Wegner - barbbee_2002@yahoo.com
back to MUSIC...