Most of the stages, lighting and crew teams have arrived. Within a matter of days, thousands will be gathering at JetBlue Park to rock the day and night away during the second annual Fort Rock music fest, featuring none other than Rob Zombie, Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Lacuna Coil and many more, Saturday, April 26, with doors opening at 11 a.m.
James "Munky" Shaffer, one of the guitarists and founders of the heavy-hitting rock group Korn, taking the main stage around 8:30 that night, said fans can expect a great collection of earlier music and newer music from the award-winning band.
"It's pretty challenging to come up with the set list because we have so many albums, such a big catalog of choices, so we all have to compromise," he said. "It'll be a combination of old songs, some bigger radio hits, and also some new stuff, too."
The group's most recently released album "The Paradigm Shift" balances out the band's dynamic sounds of rock, grunge, metal and industrial, after the previously released album "The Path of Totality" additionally featuring new elements of dubstep/electronic tones, with legendary DJ Skrillex blending his sounds into many of the tracks. Munky feels the group worked with these new electronic elements and are finding their own unique sound within them.
"I think we took it so far into that dubstep arena, and kind of experimented with it. Now we can take the elements we really liked about that and put it in the context where it makes sense for Korn," he explained. "It feels more of a metal approach to things, and the way we're writing is more of a traditional band again, where we're all sitting in a room writing together. It's subtle and makes more sense, definitely a better blend."
Shortly after the Fort Myers show, Korn hits the road for a Western Europe and Russian tour, so the group is eager to deliver a heavy set list to local fans while keeping the normally-action-packed stage to a minimum.
"Since we've got the Western Europe/Russia tour shortly after, we're going pretty minimal as far as I know (stage- and set-wise), because of that transition, keeping it simple and letting the fans enjoy the music," Munky said.
Later in the year when the group returns to The States, they'll bring back the video screens, pyrotechnics and mind-blowing set set-ups. In the meantime, just sit back and enjoy the killer rock sounds for which these guys are so well-known and be sure to read more Q&A with this legendary guitarist, below this article!
Another great musical act on the Fort Rock roster that day is Five Finger Death Punch, hitting the main stage around 6:45 that evening. Jeremy Spencer, drummer and one of the founders of the group, is eager to hit the Florida circuit.
"It's almost like a vacation spot for us it's awesome down there," Jeremy laughed. "The weather's great, everyone's always excited. It should be a really great time."
As for a sneak-peak at what to expect during 5FDP's set list, the rockin' drummer's lips are staying pretty sealed.
"You can look forward to pretty much a little of everything. We certainly have more albums now, so we have more material to pick from and we've definitely got some surprises, but I don't want to give it away," he teased.
Together now for 10 years, Jeremy feels his group has certainly grown, expanded and evolved over its first decade of laying down heavy rock goodness.
"We've absolutely evolved over that time," he said. "We started with just Zoltan (Bathory, guitarist) and me on the first album. There have been some member changes, and locked into a chemistry now that we're really comfortable with. But the other guys were important, too, because they helped develop our style. We're really happy now, in growth and maturity. We've learned what works and what doesn't."
As for Jeremy's personal influences, he was drawn to the heavy rock drummers, but originally hit the skins as a young boy, following in the footsteps of his mother, who's also a drummer.
"My mom was a drummer in college, and my grandma got me a drum kit from Sears for me when I was a kid then I basically discovered KISS, staring at the album cover, like, 'Man, this is incredible.' I was so into the fact that they looked like that," he said. "Certainly whenever I heard bands with double bass drums, like Metallica and Slayer, I was so impressed that you can do that rhythmically with your feet. I practiced and practiced until I finally figured out how to do it."
Be sure to make it out to the show Saturday to watch Munky, Jeremy and dozens of other talented musicians come together to create the largest rock event to hit Southwest Florida this year.
General admission and VIP tickets for Monster Energy's Fort Rock are still on sale at FortRockFestival.com and all Ticketmaster outlets. Parking is $10. Visit FortRockFestival.com for more info.