On the eve of Korn‘s new album Requiem, the band’s James “Munky” Shaffer shared a cautionary tale about the rock-bottom depths he once hit from drug and alcohol abuse, culminating in an early morning SWAT team raid and his arrest outside his home.
It happened in 2008 when the guitarist was going through a particularly tough time after the death of his father. Substance dependency didn’t help the situation, and everything went up in smoke one day when a reclusive Munky answered a knock on his door.
“Around the time of my father’s death, I had severely slipped into bad drug use and alcoholism,” the musician told Metal Hammer. “I had lost both my parents now, and I didn’t want to deal with it, didn’t want to face it.”
So Munky “basically barricaded” himself in his home, he said, “with all the windows blacked out, and turned music up really loud in every room. It was a very quiet neighborhood until I moved in, so my neighbors must have been like, ‘This motherfucker, we can’t take this anymore.'”
At some point, police attention was drawn to the Korn rocker’s home, indeed perhaps because a neighbor made a complaint. Regardless, the musician wasn’t in the mood for company. But what he did next baited an officer into responding with force.
Munky continued, “One day this policeman knocked on my door, at like 6AM, as the sun was rising. He asked if I had any guns in the house, and I responded, ‘If I do have any guns, you will be the first to know,’ and slammed the door in his face. And about 15 minutes later, I had a SWAT team outside my house.”
He added, “They got me out and arrested me, and they knew I was not OK. They could obviously see like, ‘OK, not only is he high and drunk, but he’s mentally unstable.’ I woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed in a psychiatric ward, on hold for 72 hours. And that was the moment where I was like, ‘I can’t go on like this.'”
Since the dangerous wake-up call, Munky has highlighted his addiction struggles in interviews and on social media. On Instagram in 2020, the Korn member said he’d been sober since 2010.
If you or someone you know is struggling with drug or alcohol abuse, help is available through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. To speak to someone right now, dial 1-800-622-HELP (1-800-622-4357) or text 1-800-487-4889.
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