Korn‘s Jonathan Davis tells Rolling Stone that he was “shocked and taken aback” by President Barack Obama’s recent name-check at a Medal of Honor ceremony this week. Obama had cited a story of Medal recipient Florent Groberg believing he had hallucinated an actual visit from Davis as the army captain recovered from a leg injury he sustained from tackling a suicide bomber.
“I was asleep and then around six or seven in the morning, my phone starts going off,” Davis recalls. “I look over and someone had just texted me ‘The president just said your name during this Medal of Honor ceremony.’ I’m just like ‘whatever’ and went back to sleep, but [my phone] kept going.”
During the ceremony, Obama had cited the assumed hallucination Groberg had had during his hazy recovery. “Today, Flo, I want to assure you, you are not hallucinating,” Obama said before awarding him the Medal of Honor. “You are actually in the White House. Those cameras are on. I am not the lead singer of Korn. We are here to award you our nation’s highest military distinction.”
Davis still cannot comprehend that Obama’s shout-out actually happened. “I couldn’t believe it,” he tells RS. “It’s really cool. The President of the United States gave me props for being there for a Medal of Honor recipient. Groberg went through hell.”
In the past, Davis has been vocal about his political dislike for Obama, calling the president an “illuminati puppet” back in 2011. Today, Davis refuses to discuss the comment or whether his stance has changed in those four years. “We all have our views on the president,” he says. “I’m not going to take [this moment] and make it about that. This is about Captain Groberg.”
Over the years, Davis has met with numerous injured veterans and does remember Groberg, though they hadn’t stayed in touch since the initial meeting. “I talk to a lot of vets who come back and are hurt,” he says. “They’re in disbelief and depressed but happy that they’re home. It’s amazing just to put a smile on their face.”
Currently, Davis is in the studio with Korn working on a new album that they hope to release “late next year or summer next year.” Davis calls the new songs “a little bit heavier” and is thrilled that the band is recording it in “a really old-school way” that allows them to have fun while making it. “We’ve had an amazing, 21-years-deep career, and we’re still passionate about making music,” he says. “Fans are still showing up. It’s a blessing to still be doing this.”