James Shaffer

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James Shaffer
James Munky Shaffer of Korn.jpg
James Shaffer performing live in 2010.
Background information
Birth name James Christian Shaffer
Also known as Munky, Munk
Born (1970-06-06) June 6, 1970 (age 51)
Bakersfield,[1] California, United States
Genres Nu metal, alternative metal, funk metal
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter, producer
Instruments Guitar, vocals
Years active 1989–present
Labels Emotional Syphon, EMI, Virgin, Roadrunner
Associated acts Korn, Fear and the Nervous System, LAPD, Creep
Website korn.com
Notable instruments
Ibanez K7
Ibanez Apex
Ibanez RG8

James Christian Shaffer (born June 6, 1970), also known by his stage name "Munky", is an American musician best known as co-founder and guitarist of the nu metal band Korn.

His nickname "Munky" is a reference to his feet which resemble monkey's hands when spread.[2]

Shaffer set up the side-project band Fear and the Nervous System in 2008 and is also the founder of Emotional Syphon Recordings, who have signed acts like Monster in the Machine and Droid.

Munky was ranked at No. 26 of Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.[3] Shaffer's work with Korn has resulted in over 35 million albums sold.

Musical career

Shaffer first took up guitar as part of rehabilitation when he severed the tip of one of his fingers on the chain of his three-wheeler.[4] He has since performed with several bands.

Korn (1993–present)

February 22, 2005, Brian Welch left the band. Munky accepted his friend's choice and the two remained on good terms. When drummer David Silveria left the band, Munky said in an interview that he had a strong friendship with him and was very sad to hear that he had to leave.

On an interview about Brian Welch's departure, Munky said he felt pressure, because they were always working together, writing songs, and creating albums. But when Head left, he had to write all the guitar parts into one part, so Korn could play live, and he continued to play like that until Korn got a backing guitarist. Brian "Head" Welch officially returned to the band on May 2, 2013 to work on a new album to be released in October.

Fear and the Nervous System (2008–present)

On March 4, 2008, it was announced that Munky would be releasing a solo record on August 8, 2008 with his solo band Fear and The Nervous System which would feature Munky doing vocals and guitar, Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion (who also performed on Korn's 8th album) on drums, Leopold Ross on guitar and programming, Bill Gould of Faith No More fame, and Zac Baird (Korn's keyboardist) on keyboards and programming. The record will be produced by Munky and Ross Robinson. Guitarist and friend Wes Borland originally recorded guitars for two songs on the album but they will not make the final cut. Borland also created cover art which will still be used. The band's debut album was originally due out August 8 but has been pushed back as the album has yet to be completed.

Recently on Modlife in October 2009 (Korn.com), Munky had explained that he would not be doing vocals on the new Fear and the Nervous System album because he's not "very good at singing". It was later announced that Steve Krolikowski of Repeater would be handling vocal duties.[5]

Emotional Syphon Recordings (2006-present)

In 2006 Shaffer founded Emotional Syphon Records to give daring and diverse bands a chance to be heard. The first bands to be signed were Droid and Monster In The Machine, however Shaffer says he doesn't want to limit himself to only releasing metal acts but to create a multi-genre label.

Personal life

In 2000 Shaffer married Stephanie Roush. Together, they had a daughter, Carmella Star Shaffer (born on June 23, 2001). In 2004 Shaffer and Roush got divorced. Shaffer started to date the Albanian-American actress and model, Evis Xheneti in 2005. They were married on January 2, 2012, in Paris, France.[6] They have two sons: D'Angelo DraXon Shaffer (born on November 7, 2012) and Rocky Rebel Shaffer (born on August 20, 2015).


"Yeah, I don't burn guitars, that's a Jimi Hendrix thing, man. But I'd wanted to do something that he did. I've broken guitars, everyone breaks guitars, but you have to be crazy to try and burn one, after someone did it at the Monterey Pop Festival. I was actually nervous about doing it, because during the last song, I found out that my guitar tech had a bottle of lighter fluid on his desk. So I said, I have a lighter in my pocket, let's do this. That's how it happened, and I was nervous, because I realized when I was going to do it, I started to get nervous and overanalyze it, and I thought, Just do it; have fun, man."

James Shaffer, January 2008[7]

Shaffer predominantly uses Ibanez[8] guitars, most often his signature model the Ibanez Apex[9] 7-string model and Mesa Boogie[10] Triple Rectifier & Diezel guitar amplifier. Like Brian did before leaving the band in 2005, he uses many pedals and effects to shape the distinct Korn sound. Munky describes his live pedal board as a "spaceship" because of the large, diverse quantity of effects he uses.[11]


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Shaffer in Milwaukee.
With L.A.P.D.
With Korn
With Fear and the Nervous System

See also


  1. Family Tree Legends
  2. "Who Then Now?". Sony, Epic Records. March 18, 1997.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" – Blogcritics Music". Blogcritics.org. Retrieved June 8, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Dinsdale, Nathan (August 19, 2004). "Munky Biz". Archived from the original on September 6, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "News". KoRn Central. Retrieved December 7, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Korn Guitarist James Munky Shaffer Marries Actress Evis Xheneti in Paris". January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Artist Direct Interview: James Muky Shaffer of Korn". Genres.artistdirect.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Korn – Munky Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment Uberproaudio.com Retrieved: 20099-05-15
  9. Ibanez APEX Archived October 2, 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "Munky and Fieldy of Korn". Mesa Boogie. Retrieved December 7, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "James "Munky" Shaffer". Guitar FX Depot. August 2, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links