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Shock Jocks Give New Korn LP Premature Premiere, Perturbing Label

More than two months before the album is officially released, listeners got a feel for the new Korn album Untouchable on Tuesday (April 2), thanks to syndicated radio personalities Opie and Anthony.

The shock jocks, whose four-hour afternoon radio show is syndicated in 18 cities nationwide from New York station WNEW, played four songs from Korn’s fifth album, due June 11, at approximately 3:30 ET. After premiering the third, “Tear Me Down,” the show’s received a cease-and-desist letter from Sony Music Entertainment, parent company for the band’s label, Epic, threatening legal action if they continued to play the unauthorized songs.

“If we stopped playing tracks from Untouchable, the new Korn CD, right now because we read that letter, wouldn’t we be considered pu-ies?” Opie asked over the air.

“Yup,” Anthony replied.

“OK… This is Korn, from the CD Untouchable. This is ‘Falling Through Time.’ ”

As the track cued up, the sound of tearing paper could be heard. Off the air, Anthony swore it was the legal notice being torn. “It’s laying here in pieces,” he said.

Thirteen Untouchable tracks, including its single “Here to Stay,” had been online via various peer-to-peer file sharing applications, such as Morpheus and Kazaa, for weeks, which is where the station obtained the songs for the broadcast. (“Here to Stay” has been made available for download on MTV.com.)

Other songs broadcast were “Make It Go Away” and “Leave This Place.”

Taken together, the four effects-laden songs show a technically developed Korn who favor melody over the unbridled bombast strewn throughout their previous releases, and Jonathan Davis displays a proficiency for gold-throated singing rather than screaming with the intensity to burst blood vessels. The band’s signature, downtuned seven-string atmospheres remain.

The reason for the premature premiere, Anthony said, was to infuriate a rival New York station, which disallows their in-studio guests to appear on “The Opie and Anthony Show.” When they heard the same station had an agreement to premiere “Here to Stay,” the DJs pulled the sort-of early broadcast. The jocks believe more stations will be playing the Korn album as a result of their stunt.

This isn’t the first time Opie and Anthony have jumped the gun with a new album. They pulled a similar stunt with Stone Temple Pilots’ latest, Shangri-La Dee Da.

Neither Epic Records nor the band’s publicists could comment on the incident at press time.

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