AD 257 | James “Munky” Shaffer

James “Munky” Shaffer is best known as co-founder and guitarist for American rock band Korn. With a career spanning three decades, his latest project Venera ventures into experimental electronic territory.


L.A.-based James Shaffer and Atlanta-based Chris Hunt converged as Venera in early 2022 in Downtown Los Angeles while working on songs for singer Xhoana X. Their kindred interest and backgrounds in dramatic texture, electronics, and experimentation inspired an improvisation-based recording process that seeks to explore a sonic universe defined by evolving atmosphere, cinematic noise, and select collaborations. Venera released their self-titled debut album on Oct. 13 via Ipecac Recordings.

Topics Discussed In This Episode:
  • Treating everyone with kindness (00:04:34)
  • James’s newest project Venera (00:08:37)
  • Unexpected occurrences while making music for Venera (00:18:29)
  • How he experimented with new playing styles in Venera (00:21:34)
  • Switching studios or environments to channel into different ways of creating and experimenting (00:24:19)
  • Understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses / working with producer Ross Robinson (00:26:29)
  • Exploring the origin of Korn’s unique sound (00:29:30)
  • Discussing alternate realities (00:31:26)
  • Creating time for creative practices (00:35:58)
  • James’s daily habits and rituals (00:37:23)
  • James’s struggle with addiction and how he overcame it (00:42:06)
  • Spiritual transcendence (00:45:00)
  • How James originally got into music (00:50:02)
  • The importance of having a creative outlet in one’s life (00:54:28)

Posted 11.30.2023


"I started this series as a means for exploration, an exploration of self, and an exploration of the perspectives of other artists.

This series is an unabridged documentation of conversations between artists. It’s a series dedicated to breaking down the barriers we tend to set up in our own minds. I want to inspire future creatives to have the courage to explore and experiment. This is about making dreams a reality and not about letting our dreams fall to the wayside.

My intention is to give my audience a sense of real human connection, something that feels rich and organic.

When I was thinking of a title I thought of the word “movement”.

In relation to the Renaissance period in art, my goal for this program is to signify a rebirth of consciousness towards the way we look at contemporary art."

- Yoshino