James Shaffer

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James "Munky" Shaffer
Munky performing at Rock im Park 2016
Munky performing at Rock im Park 2016
Background information
Birth nameJames Christian Shaffer
Also known as
  • Munky
  • Munk
Born (1970-06-06) June 6, 1970 (age 51)
California,[1] United States
  • Musician
  • songwriter
  • producer
  • Guitar
  • vocals
Years active1989–present
Associated acts

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.

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.

Shaffer was ranked at No. 26 of Guitar World's 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Guitarists of All Time.[2] Shaffer's work with Korn has resulted in over 40 million albums sold.

Musical career[edit]

Shaffer first took up guitar as part of rehabilitation when he severed the tip of one of his fingers on the chain of his dirt bike. He has since performed with several bands.

Korn (1993–present)[edit]

On February 22, 2005, Brian "Head" Welch left the band. Shaffer 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 Welch's departure, Shaffer said he felt pressure, because they were always working together, writing songs, and creating albums. But when Welch 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. Welch officially returned to the band on May 2, 2013 to work on the album The Paradigm Shift that was released in October 2013.

Fear and the Nervous System (2008–present)[edit]

On March 4, 2008, it was announced that Shaffer 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 guitars, Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion (who also performed on Korn's 8th album) on drums, Leopold Ross on guitars and programming, Bill Gould of Faith No More fame, and Zac Baird (Korn's keyboardist) on keyboards and programming. The record would be produced by Munky and Ross Robinson. Guitarist and friend Wes Borland originally recorded guitars for two songs on the album but they would not make the final cut. Borland also created cover art which would still be used on the album. The band's debut album was originally due out August 8, 2008 but was pushed back multiple times until its release in 2011.

On Modlife in October, 2009 (Korn.com), Shaffer explained that he would not be doing vocals on the Fear and the Nervous System album because he is not "very good at singing." It was later announced that Steve Krolikowski of Repeater would be handling vocal duties.[3]

Emotional Syphon Recordings (2006–present)[edit]

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 does not want to limit himself to only releasing metal acts but to create a multi-genre label.

Personal life[edit]

On January 15, 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 then started to date the Albanian American actress and model, Evis Xheneti in 2005. They were married on January 2, 2012, in Paris, France.[4] They have three children together: D'Angelo DraXon Shaffer (born on November 7, 2012), Rocky Rebel Shaffer (born on August 20, 2015), and Heart Hera Shaffer (Born on August 7, 2019).


"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[5]

Shaffer predominantly uses Ibanez[6] guitars, most often his signature model the Ibanez Apex[7] 7-string model and Mesa Boogie[8] Triple Rectifier & Diezel guitar amplifier. Like Head, 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.[9]


Shaffer on stage in São Paulo, Brazil in April 2010.
With L.A.P.D.
With Korn
With Fear and the Nervous System
With $UICIDEBOY$ x Travis Barker
  • 2019 – Live Fast, Die Whenever


  1. ^ "Free Family Tree, Genealogy, Family History, and DNA Testing". Myheritage.com. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  2. ^ "Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" – Blogcritics Music". Blogcritics.org. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2011.
  3. ^ "News". KoRn Central. Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  4. ^ "Korn Guitarist James Munky Shaffer Marries Actress Evis Xheneti in Paris". January 6, 2012. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "Artist Direct Interview: James Muky Shaffer of Korn". Genres.artistdirect.com. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Korn – Munky Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Uberproaudio.com Retrieved: 20099-05-15
  7. ^ "Ibanez APEX". Archived from the original on October 2, 2008.
  8. ^ "Munky and Fieldy of Korn". Mesa Boogie. Archived from the original on January 2, 2012. Retrieved December 7, 2011.
  9. ^ "James "Munky" Shaffer". Guitar FX Depot. August 2, 2010. Retrieved December 7, 2011.

External links[edit]