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James Christian 'Munky' Shaffer (born June 6, 1970 in Rosedale, Californiamarker) is the guitarist for the Alternative metal band Korn (for which he has also provided live backing vocals). According to Korn's video "Who Then Now?", The nickname 'Munky' is a reference to his feet which resemble monkey's hands when spread. Munky cites Steve Vai and 80's metal guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen and Randy Rhoads as his main influences.

Shaffer is also the founder of Emotional Syphon Recordings, who have signed acts like Monster In The Machine and Droid. Droid was also featured on the 2007 Family Values Tour.

Musical career

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

Korn (1993 to present)

During high school Shaffer met fellow guitarist Brian "Head" Welch. Later on Welch and Shaffer saw Jonathan Davis singing for the band Sexart in a bar. Initially intending to stay only for a few minutes, the pair ended up staying for the whole set upon seeing Davis' performance, and asked him to join their band (still called L.A.P.D. at this point) almost immediately afterward.

Shaffer developed meningitis during 1997 while on tour, requiring him to be hospitalized. Korn cancelled the remainder of that tour, not wanting to replace him.

February 22, 2005, Brian Welch left the band. James accepted his friend's choice. , he is the only guitarist in Korn. (Clint Lowery, Christian Olde Wolbers, and Rob Patterson were only live/session members).

On the 16th May 2006, Munky played on Spanish nylon guitar in Fieldy's wedding. He was quoted as jokingly saying "now I have something else to fall back on!".

Fear and the Nervous System (2008 to present)

On March 4, 2008, it was announced that Munky will be releasing a solo record on August 8, 2008 with his solo band Fear and The Nervous System which will 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 bands debut album was originally due out August 8 but has been pushed back as the album has yet to be completed.


Other contributors

Emotional Syphon Recordings (2006 to 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

On January 15, 2000, Shaffer married Stephanie Roush. The couple had a daughter, Carmella Star, the next year. The two are now divorced.


James predominantly uses Ibanez guitars, most often his signature model the Ibanez Apex 7-string model and Mesa Boogie & 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.


  • Paul Reed Smith Single cutaway 7 string - Used from 2008 and onward.
  • Ibanez APEX1-BBK Munky Signature - Munkys current signature model from 2007 and onward.
  • Ibanez Apex Prototype - Seen used on the Live from Montreux DVD.
  • Ibanez K7 - Munky and Head signature guitars now discontinued.
  • Ibanez K7 Protoype - The prototype for the K7 was long Munkys main guitar.
  • Ibanez K14 Custom built 14 string guitar, used for the song Alone I Break.
  • Ibanez RG8 - 8 string guitar, used on recent tours.
  • Ibanez UV7BK - Steve Vai signature model.
  • Ibanez Universe UV7PW - Covered in duct tape with, all pickups removed except for a humbucker in the bridge position only equipped with a single volume control.
  • Ibanez Universe UV7BK - Used during 1997 Lollapalooza tour.
  • Ibanez Universe PRE-97 UV7BK - With replaced pickguard, now retired.
  • Ibanez Custom 7-string acoustic - Used for the MTV Unplugged and the recording of the untitled album.
  • Ibanez GA6CE Classical - Nylon stringed acoustic-electric.
  • Gibson SG 6-stringed model, tuned down to drop-A.
  • Gibson EDS-1275 - Used during studio recordings.
  • Fender Telecaster - 6-string model used on the song Kiss.
  • Gretsch Hollowbody - Used during the recording of Evolution.
  • Gibson Les Paul - Used during the recording of the untitled album.
  • Saber S5407 - Seen in Blind video also occasionally used live during early tours.
  • Silvertone - Used to record the Blind intro.
  • Fender Stratocaster - 1964 model.
  • Dean Markley strings - .010 .013 .017 .030 .042 .052 .060 gauge.
  • Dunlop Tortex picks




James 'Munky' Shaffer in Milwaukee.

with L.A.P.D.

with KoRn

with Fear and the Nervous System

  • TBA - Upcoming studio album

External links


  1. Korn - Munky Guitar Gear Rig and Equipment Retrived: 20099-05-15
  2. Ibanez APEX
  3. Mesa Boogie - Munky and Fieldy of Korn
  4. Guitar FX Depot - James "Munky" Shaffer

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