When vocalists Duncan Nisbet and Sean Lenhoff needed a drummer with a unique sound for their new Huntington Beach-based hard rock group, they knew exactly who to call. On the other side of the phone, David Silveria — best known as the original drummer of Korn before leaving the group a decade ago — had known Lenhoff for quite a while just from being around HB’s rock scene for so long, so he was more than happy to give the two singers’ new group a chance.
“I met [Lenhoff] in Newport, and he had me listen to a few songs,” Silveria says. “Then he emailed them to me, so I listened to them in my car and with headphones, and it took me a few times listening to them to get it. I was asking my wife what she thought about it, and she was on the fence too at first, but then she started getting into it. I remembered that this was how Korn started. Everyone was unsure and didn’t know what to think at first, and then everyone got into it.”
Once Silveria and his wife were sold on Core 10’s rocking punk and metal sound, the trio holed up in the drummer’s practice room as often as possible for a few weeks to get a groove going. From the first time they all played together, Silveria knew it was a fit — but the sound was still incomplete. After bringing in an additional guitarist, bassist, and keyboardist, the crossover sound Core 10 was looking for was finally there.
With lifetimes of experience between them — Silveria alone has been drumming since the late ‘80s — Core 10 knew what to expect better than just about any other brand new hard rock band. The six-piece began hammering out new track after new track, focusing on crafting the best songs possible rather than the business and politics of modern music. As Silveria sees it, rock ‘n’ roll is still all about the live performances — no matter how many bands seem to get by without them.
“When I started off with Korn, bands had to go out and play a bunch of live shows to attract the attention of managers and record labels,” Silveria says. “Now, recording equipment is so much cheaper and more accessible that you can literally make a record in your bedroom, and then you can send it to managers and record labels. You don’t even have to play live shows if you don’t want to. We’re doing live shows and inviting labels and management because we are going to be a live band. I’m sure we’ll get played on heavy metal and hard rock stations around the country, but our live show is our whole thing.”
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Even if Core 10 intends to keep it traditional by rocking the faces off of a live audience, that’s one of the only “old-fashioned” things about the band. With two singers and a keyboard, they’re certainly not trying to fit into the mold of a standard hard rock band, and the funky spin Silveria lays down every time he gets behind a drumkit is just as present as it was on the first seven Korn albums.
For now, all six guys in Core 10 are just looking forward to doing something new and fresh. Sure, Silveria still occasionally misses the enormous crowds and tremendous stages he got to play with his old band, but he sees no reason his latest project can’t get just as big over the coming years. In the meantime, expect Core 10 to continue doing what they do best both onstage and in their practice room.
“We’ve only got eight songs completed and we’re about halfway through a ninth,” Silveria says. “We’re going to be playing those eight songs at the TIki Bar this weekend and at the Viper Room next weekend because we didn’t finish the ninth in time.”
Core 10 will be at the Tiki Bar in Costa Mesa on Saturday, April 1 at 8 p.m.