David Silveria opened up about his split with KORN during an appearance on the latest episode of "The Ex-Man" podcast. According to the drummer, his relationship with his bandmates started deteriorating around the time he suffered a serious back injury in the mid-2000s, which left him with debilitating pain that eventually led to his exit from the KORN.
"Nobody really knows this, but the last year I was with KORN, it was a day we were shooting a video," David told host Doc Coyle (hear audio below). "And I was working out in my house, and I was doing squats with dumbbells in my hand, and I bent down and I looked up to look at what was on TV, and I arched my back backwards and I broke my back. I broke the two bones — they're called pars bones; the small bones that connect your vertebrae. I broke four pars bones in my lower back. And I got up and I couldn't even stand up straight, it hurt so bad. So I was super hunched over, like really down low, and I went in, and I was able to get myself in the shower and I drove up to film a video that same day. So on the drive up, I call my manager and I'm, like, 'I need some pain pills. I need a masseuse. My back is so bad right now.' So I got there, and had a massage waiting for me and some pain pills. And I got through the day, and then the next day my back was really hurting, but it wasn't nearly as bad, and the pain kind of went away. So I actually kind of ignored it for a few months. And then it started really flaring up… It was bothering me so bad… This was right about the time when I left KORN. It was bothering me so bad, I went to an orthopedic and had x-rays done. And from the x-ray, he just said it looked like my back was out of place really bad or something — it was kind of a cloudy x-ray — and he just started giving me a bunch of pain pills. So, over the next year, I just took massive amounts of Oxys and Vicodins every day. And it got to the point I was taking a ridiculous amount — it was so bad. So I looked up another back specialist at UC Irvine, and I went in to see this guy, and I said, 'My back is so messed up. I'm taking so many pain pills. I can't even function like this.' So he took a fresh x-ray and he put it up next to my old x-ray, and the new one was much clearer. And he goes, 'See your old x-ray? See your new one?' He goes, 'I can tell you right now by the looks of your old x-ray your back has been broken for a year and a half.' So they have two screws in my lowest vertebrae and a synthetic disc between my lowest two vertebrae — 'cause the disc was gone too; it was bone on bone. And then two screws in the top vertebrae and the two pins that connect it, almost like a clamp, clamping the lowest two vertebrae together. So, that was basically like the last four or five months in KORN. For another year after that, it was ridiculous amounts of lower back pain."
Silveria went on to say the pain in his back got so bad that he couldn't walk more than 50 feet before needing to sit down for two or three minutes. He claimed that he waited that long to see a second specialist because the first doctor misdiagnosed him and overprescribed him opioids for pain relief. "It got that bad where I finally said, 'There's no way my back is okay. And I'm sick and tired of taking all these painkillers,'" he said. "That's when I went to the doctor at UC Irvine and did another x-ray. And he said, 'Your back's been broken for over a year.'"
Although issues stemming from his back injury contributed to his split with KORN, Silveria says that a lack of communication between him and the other guys in the band were ultimately to blame for his decision to leave KORN.
"I'm not really sure what happened," he said. "We just had a communication breakdown. I just quit talking to them and they quit talking to me, and that was kind of it… There was never any reason I can think of, but it just seemed like at a point, we kind of stopped communicating with each other like we had in the past. I think everyone kind of grew apart a little bit. People, bandmembers would start being kind of demanding about things, and instead of talking as a band, individuals would start calling our managers and talking to them about things. And it kind of broke up the communication between all of us as a band. And I think once that started to happen, the relationships between everyone kind of steadily went on a decline. And I think ultimately, because of that situation, of everyone kind of not communicating anymore, I think that's probably what drove me to — after hurting my back, taking the hiatus — I think that’s what kind of drove me to not really have the fire in me to go back. Just because the communication had broken down to the point where it wasn't even a band anymore — it was just kind of like a business. And we weren't really even talking to each other anymore. And it just kind of sucked all the fun out of it; it wasn't nearly as much fun as it used to be, and it kind of made it where it was almost like faking being passionate sometimes about things."
David explained that problems between him and the other members of KORN began as early as 2004 — two years before he exited the group. "It had been building up," he said. "I wish everyone would have just stayed in communication with each other. When we started the band, we were all just really good friends; it was a really great relationship… I think that bums me out the most — that we lost communication with each other. That kind of drove a wedge. I'm sure it wasn't even intentional on anyone's part; it's just kind of how things happened."
Silveria originally sued KORN in February 2015, insisting that his exit from the group was merely a hiatus and that he was rebuffed when he tried to return to the band in 2013. David said he still had ownership interest in KORN and asked a judge to force the band to reveal how much money they've made since he left so that he can get his rightful share. KORN countersued and the two sides reached an agreement in 2016 that called for Silveria to give up his rights to KORN royalties going forward in exchange for a lump sum.
When Silveria sued KORN, he was said to be especially upset over the fact that the band welcomed back guitarist Brian "Head" Welch six years ago but wouldn't do the same for him. Welch left the group in 2005 and continued as a solo artist before rejoining in 2013.