Korn Bassist Fieldy on the Christian Life
By Tim Branson with Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club
Tim Branson [reporting]: His name is Reggie Arvizu, but most people know him as “Fieldy”, bass player for the multi-platinum rock band Korn.
Reggie “Fieldy” Arvizu: A lot of it was women. One night stands to groupies and all of that. I became really mean, and I was triggered easy to become violent. I could kill people.
Branson [reporting]: I recently talked with Fieldy about his rock’n’roll lifestyle and some of the more difficult choices he’s made in his life, including his decision to follow Christ and stay with the band.
Branson: You started drinking at a very early age. How did that happen?
Fieldy: I was probably 5 or 6. My parents would tuck me into bed, and my mom’d be like, “I love you,” and my dad would be like, “Dream about Budweisers.” That’s what he knew.
Branson: And that kind of set you up, didn’t it?
Fieldy: Had my big Budweiser pillows in my room. I was destined to be a partier, I guess.
Branson: So your parents both were partying all the time. How did that affect your family?
Fieldy: It starts out, they start drinking and partying. Towards the end of the night, it was always the same thing. There would be dishes flying, screaming, yelling to violence to abuse. It’s like they loved each other, [but] that’s what happens.
Branson: Alcohol and drugs has a way of doing that.
Fieldy: Yep, brings out that other side.
Branson [reporting]: When Fieldy’s parents divorced, that other side blew up. He was heartbroken. So he did what any teenager might do to block the pain -- he shut down.
Fieldy: I was like, this is not going to hurt me. That’s what I told my dad. “I’m moving in with you. Let’s get a keg, and let’s throw a party and make music,” and I put a wall up to not feel the emotions. That’s when it became full-on drinking and a way that nobody’s going to hurt me. From that moment on, I never had a sober day.
Branson [reporting]: Fieldy formed the band Pierced with some high school friends. He started using speed.
Fieldy: When we were in these younger bands, they were like hair metal bands, you know? The whole image was to be really skinny, like a Q-Tip, big hair, little stick body, tight pants and all. If you take these speed pills right here, you won’t be hungry. So I started getting into that. I went to jail a few time, but looking back I should have been in jail like every day. I just didn’t get caught.
Branson [reporting]: Pierced fell apart, as did other bands that followed. Then, in 1993, Fieldy and friends came up with a new name, Korn. With a new sound and a new lead singer, the band took off and so did Fieldy’s party life.
Fieldy: I had my nights of being in hotel rooms and destroying them by myself, crying because I’d wake up in the morning feeling so bad from partying. I’d be shaking. I’d wake up and throw up in the morning. I’m like, “Man, I can’t handle this.” So I would just take some Xanax or Adavan and let that kick in and I’d just be wasted again. It’d bring you so down, then [I would] smoke weed after that. Then night would come, and I could start drinking.
Branson: The goal was basically to stay buzzed.
Fieldy: All day.
Branson [reporting]: Korn was huge, playing in sold-out arenas around the world. In the midst of it all, Fieldy married and divorced twice.
Branson: You had a very specific view about women. How did you see women in your life?
Fieldy: I would bash on them, say women are just sluts, no good. I was really mean to women to where I could make almost any woman cry, any time. I guess that’s what I did to keep from getting hurt.
Branson [reporting]: Fieldy was still dealing with the pain of his parents’ divorce.
Branson: You spent a lot of time and effort building up walls around your heart.
Fieldy: That was a full-time job for like 20 years. One heartbreak, 20 years. I mean, most people I think get over a heartbreak in a like a year. But 20 years destroying myself? It’s a vicious cycle. You’re living inside a tornado spinning. It’s fast, and it ends up killing you.
Branson: Did you ever come to a point and say this has gotta stop?
Fieldy: I don’t think I did. I always made a joke out of everything. If my hands are shaking and I’m throwing up, I’d make a joke. “Hey, everybody watch this.”
Branson [reporting]: It was no joke when Fieldy’s father was diagnosed with cancer.
Fieldy: To me, my dad was kind of like a superhero. There’s no way this could happen. Even to the point where he got sick and [I] had to move him over to the top doctors in the world, I’m like, “They’re going to fix it. I got money. They’re going to fix it. I got the best insurance in the world. He’s gonna be fine.”
Branson [reporting]: But he wasn’t. His father died with one last wish.
Fieldy: He wished that I’d be saved.
Branson [reporting]: That’s because years earlier Fieldy’s father had become a Christian and so had his wife. So, when she asked Fieldy to pray the salvation prayer at the hospital, he did.
Fieldy: I just did it, because everyone was freaking out. It didn’t mean much. I was so out of my mind at the moment. I came back to the house, and that’s when I went through a deep dark moment. I just started thinking about everything -- from what I’m doing to myself to his death to what I’m leaving behind. I don’t know. I couldn’t take it anymore.
Branson [reporting]: That led Fieldy to a sincere prayer of commitment that changed his life.
Fieldy: I had chills throughout my whole body, almost like a coldness. I was crying. I tell a lot of people that you can do the prayer with your brain, but that’s not going to do anything. You have to do it with your heart. When I accepted Christ, now I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to pray for some of these things that I’m a slave to.” It went in steps. So that I was set free with no withdrawals. No craving. I stopped everything down to weed to the pills. I just stopped.
Branson [reporting]: Over time he became more aware of his need for God’s forgiveness.
Fieldy: I’d walk into the bathroom, put my face on the floor and just say, “Forgive me, man,” because some of the things I did were so bad. I just knew He said, “I forgive you, son.”
Branson [reporting]: Fieldy spent a year apologizing to everyone he could think of that he’d hurt. The hardest person to apologize to was his girlfriend at the time, Dena.
Fieldy: I was going to be heartbroken if she left me. I was like, I’ve really got to take a chance here of her leaving me after I tell her I’ve been cheating on her. I took the chance.
Branson [reporting]: Dena was furious, but she forgave him. The two married and started a family. As far as his career, he’s still with Korn. I asked him about his decision to stay with the band. He believes it’s for a good reason.
Fieldy: There’s just so much power of being used in Korn. I can reach so many people and know what I’m about, not what Korn’s about. I want to try to follow the Bible the best I can, because I know it’s going to give me the best life.
Branson [reporting]: Now that he’s “got the life” and has written a book about it. He says his message is really pretty simple.
Fieldy: People think, “I’m not good enough to have the Lord come into my life.” People have got to know all you’ve got to do is know what Jesus did for you. He died for your sins, died on the cross and came back three days later. If you ask Him into your heart, it’s for life. He’s going to be with you forever.
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