"Addition by subtraction" is how James "Munky" Shaffer characterizes the sudden departure of former Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch for spiritual reasons over a year ago. "It was unfortunate what ha

"Addition by subtraction" is how James "Munky" Shaffer characterizes the sudden departure of former Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch for spiritual reasons over a year ago. "It was unfortunate what happened to him but if he didn't leave, I don't think we would have pushed ourselves to come up with the great new sound and give ourselves another 10 years possibly," Shaffer tells Billboard.com.

Nearing double-platinum status, Korn's latest album, "See You on the Other Side" marks a new beginning for the hard rock act. The 14-track set, the debut release as part of Korn's unique creative partnership with EMI/Virgin Records, found band visionary Jonathan Davis sharing producer duties with the Matrix and Atticus Ross.

"We wanted to see if a combination of a pop producer and a rock band would work," Shaffer says. "And it did. We really just wanted to experiment."

Apparently the experimentation hasn't stopped. Korn has been unearthing lost gems ("Divine" from 1994's "Korn" and "Dirty" from 1999's "Issues") and reworking a few hits ("Freak on a Leash" from 1998's "Follow the Leader") during its latest run of live dates. A European tour is expected in the summer before another Stateside jaunt, to possibly be followed by South American dates.

In addition, Shaffer says he and Davis have already written five new tracks for the band's next album. While he wouldn't divulge song titles, he did say the material is in the vein of "See You on the Other Side" tracks "Love Song" and "Coming Undone." Recording isn't expected to get underway until late 2006 or early 2007.

Shaffer also has a solo instrumental project is on the horizon. "It's strictly for guitar nerds like myself who love to tinker and tweak guitar sounds," Shaffer says, adding that it's full of "trippy noises and ambient stuff. I'm now really just working on the first two tracks and it won't be for another year or a year and a half before I can give it to the people. It's not something I'm going to go tour or anything like that. It's just something that I want to do for myself."

The guitarist says another Korn DVD release is imminent, featuring a concert recorded last November at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. No release date has been confirmed.

"There's some more footage of us doing a very expansive press tour," Shaffer says, "but we're still trying to come up with enough material because we need cool stuff to put in there so people will be drawn in to watch more than five minutes of us picking our noses in Germany."

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