James Christian 'Munky' Shaffer

(born June 6, 1970 in Rosedale, California) is the nu metal band Korn's guitarist, generally filling rhythm and lead guitar duties before his bandmate Brian 'Head' Welch left the group. He also does live backing vocals. His nickname, 'Munky', is apparently a reference to the fact that his feet, when spread, resembles a monkey's feet (this was revealed in the multi-platinum video "Who Then Now?"). His bandmate Reginald 'Fieldy' Arvizu has a similar nickname, also based on his physical appearance.


In his youth, Shaffer led a troubled life, often stealing his parents' alcohol and trespassing. One night, when trying to sneak out to a party, the tip of his left finger was severed by the chain on his three wheeler, and, as part of his rehabilitation, Shaffer took up guitar. During high school Shaffer met fellow guitarist Brian Welch and the two hit it off, often jamming together. In fact, it was Welch who got him into his first band, L.A.P.D - though Shaffer would later claim it was his long hair, and not his skill as a guitarist, that landed him the role.

Later on Welch and Shaffer saw Jonathan Davis singing for the band Sexart in a bar. Initially intending to stay only for a few minutes, the pair ended up staying for the whole set upon seeing Davis' performance, and asked him to join their band (still called L.A.P.D at this point) almost immediately afterward.

In the mid-1990s Shaffer developed meningitis and became ill during 1997 while on tour, requiring him to be hospitalized. KoRn had to cancel the remainder of that tour.

On January 15, 2000, Shaffer married Stephanie Roush. The couple had a daughter, Carmella Star, the next year, whom Shaffer claims is the most prized possession in his life. The two are now divorced.

22. February 2005, Brian Welch left the band. James felt very sad, but he accepted his friend's choice. Today, he is the only guitarist in Korn.

On the 16th May 2006, Munky played on Spanish nylon guitar in Fieldy's wedding. He was quoted as jokingly saying "now I have something else to fall back on!"


James uses Ibanez Guitars predominantly (his signature is the K7 7-string model) and Mesa Boogie & Diezel Amplifiers. Like Brian did before leaving the band in 2005, he uses many pedals and effects to shape the distinct Korn sound.


  • Ibanez APEX1-BBK Munky Signature (2007 Model)
  • Ibanez custom K14 guitar (used in the song Alone I Break)
  • Ibanez custom RG8 guitar(2007 model)
  • Ibanez custom K7 guitar
  • Ibanez custom 7-stringed guitars
  • Ibanez UV7BK guitar (Steve Vai signature)
  • Amps
    • Mesa Boogie amps
    • Diezel amps
    • Line6 amps
  • Effects
    • Boss PS-5 Super Shifter
    • Boss RV-3 Digital Reverb/Delay
    • Digitech XP100 Whammy Wah
    • Digitech Metal Master
    • Dunlop Univibe
    • Dunlop Crybaby Wah
    • Electro-Harmonix Big Muff π
    • Ibanez DE7 Delay/Echo
    • Prescription Electronics Depth Charge
    • Rocktron Banshee Talk Box
    • Small Stone Phaser

All information gathered from