"Freak on a Leash" is a song written and recorded by American rock band Korn for their third studio album, Follow the Leader. It was released as the album's second single in January 1999. The song will also be featured in the game Guitar Hero: World Tour.
Chart performanceThe song is the second and final charting single from Follow the Leader. It reached number 6 on Billboard's Hot Modern Rock Tracks and number 10 on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, although failed to chart on the Hot 100, the music industry's standard singles chart for popular music. However, it peaked at number 6 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles for the issue date of June 19, 1999, a position equivalent to number 106 on the Hot 100. It was also immensely popular in Australia where the single was certified Gold for shipments in excess of 35,000 units. The music video followed the previous success of "Got the Life", debuting at number 8 on MTV's Total Request Live program on February 9, 1999, and peaking at number 1 on its thirteenth day, February 25. The video would spend ten non-consecutive days at the top position until its "retirement", on May 11.
Live performanceThe song is usually played during the encore set of the band's live show.
The music video was created mostly in animation by Todd McFarlane (Follow the Leader's artwork is taken from these scenes), mixed with live shots of the band performing, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris. CGI shots were created by VFX shop Hydraulx. The band members also appear as children in the video during a quick shot.
The video features a group of children tresspassing to a cliff to play hopscotch. A security guard notices this and accidentally trips on his way to the cliff and fires his gun. Upon inspection, the bullet exits through the wall (it turns out the animated part of the video is in a poster) and goes flying around unstoppably, ignoring friction and other forces to stop it — destroying everything it tears through (yet does not hit or kill anyone), entering a Korn poster, flies around the band and goes back the way it came until it reenters the original poster. It ends with a little girl catching and returning the bullet to the guard, who is shocked.
Appearances in media
AccoladesOver the years, the song has gained extensive recognition and won numerous awards for its music video. Korn received a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video in 2000, and was honored in the categories Best Editing and Best Rock Video at the 1999 MTV Video Music Awards. The song itself was chosen second best single of all time by the readers of Kerrang! magazine in 2004. Two years later, the music video was voted by UK users into the number 10 spot for the best one-hundred videos of all time on Kerrang!'s official website. Lastly, the video appeared on VH1's List of 40 Greatest Metal Songs at number 23.
MTV Unplugged rendition
An acoustic rendition of the song was recorded with Jonathan Davis singing a duet with Amy Lee of Evanescence, at MTV studios in Times Square, New York City for Korn's acoustic set on December 9, 2006. The single initially was set to appear on radio stations on January 12, 2007, but its release was postponed to February 5. The music video for the single was premiered on January 25, 2007 on three music channels: MTV, MTV2, and MTVU (the latter also put the video on its website for streaming). It received heavy airplay on each of the stations.