It’s such a great idea, and so seemingly obvious, that it’s hard to believe no one had already thought of it: A line of horror and rock-themed pet products bearing the name Freak on a Leash, one of the most popular songs by long-running nu-metal pioneers Korn.
“These premium products are created for all, paying homage to the horror and rock music we love,” singer Jonathan Davis, who created the line, wrote in an Instagram post.
The series, announced last week, launches on Oct. 28 but had a preview at a special tent at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento. As the photos below show, the line runs from classy but low-key collars and leashes bearing just the logo, to items that more fully live up to the name, such as severed-hand or eyeball plushies.
The band just completed touring in support of its 14th studio album “Requiem,” so Davis has some time to focus on this new endeavor. At the moment, the products are only available at FreakOnALeash.com — with a portion of the proceeds going to the animal-rescue nonprofit Take Me Home — but he says below, this is just phase one, and the possibilities are endless.
The song came out in 1998, so you must have had this idea for quite a while?
I really haven’t! It took shape about a year ago. Me and my girl Bee were talking about how much we love our animals and how cool would be to start a pet line of leashes and other dog and cat products, and she said, “How funny would it be if we called it Freak on a Leash?” We went out and found a company to work with that wanted to do it, and the rest was history.
Very important question: How many pets do you have, and what are their names?
Well, this was killing me earlier this year: We had a boxer lab named Kaos and a moyen poodle named Sheepy, and we lost them both, two months apart. Losing a pet hurts really bad, because they love you so unconditionally. It was very, very traumatic. And the kicker in all this is: I’m deathly allergic to dogs!
Yes, I’m severely asthmatic, but I love them so much that I just deal. Occasionally I have to get my inhaler or my eyes are itching, but over time I get used to it and I can live with it. Anyway, I went on tour [earlier this year] and was really missing the animals. Bee said, “We need a puppy” but I said, “We’ve gotta be home so it’s bonded to us.” So after the tour we found a place that had puppies and chose a Bantam poodle. His name is Dante and he’s amazing — just a baby, so I’m really stoked. He brings so much life to the house — I just love the companionship with animals. I like them better than humans! (laughter)
Have you had cats and other pets throughout your life?
Not mine, the cats were my sister’s. But I’ve had birds — a parakeet, a cockatoo — fish, I had a koi pond with a bunch of fish. I had a bearded dragon, Lady. Back in the day I had 30 different species of tarantulas, I love spiders. I had a spider room with all these different spiders. But nothing compares to dogs, man.
Did you come up with the ideas for all these toys? My favorite is the severed-hand plushy.
Isn’t that rad? Yeah, we wanted to get these more towards my style. I would go into pet shops to buy something for my dog, and there was nothing that spoke to me. I wanted collars and leashes that used colors that I like, and things that make my animal an extension of me. I think a lot of owners want to dress them up how they would dress.
A lot of the items are fairly normal, with just the brand name on them — I guess they’re for people who don’t want to go quite that far?
It’s just really simple, clean and classy. I’m not trying to go crazy. We have some that are just stamped with the [brand name] but we also have the plushies — the zombie hand, the eyeball, scorpions. I mean, that’s what I would buy for my dogs. Dante loves that hand, he takes it everywhere. And the eyeball — I’ve got videos of a friend whose cats love the eyeballs, they just throw them in the air.
So you’ve tested some prototypes?
Oh yeah, we had to test them. I wanted to make sure that they were quality, because there’s a lot of crap stuff out there. The feedback has been amazing — I did a little pop-up at the Aftershock festival and had a line forever. I was there for three hours signing stuff, people were very happy with the quality. This is such a labor of love.
Are there going to be things like dog sweaters and dog shoes and cat carriers and all that?
That all depends on how successful this first rollout is. If it’s really successful, we’re going to do collections. I wanted to do collabs with some of my friends, and do really dope looking petwear — harnesses, coats, dog beds, dog bowls, cat bowls. I’ll do bird stuff. Fish shit. The sky’s the limit!
Were there any product ideas you had that you decided were too crazy?
No, there was nothing really over the top. It’s conservative right now — I’m just starting out. But you never know! I like pushing limits and as it grows we can probably do crazy stuff: Dog sweaters, beds, catboxes.
You could make a “Satan’s Lair” catbox! (laughter)
I’m totally down for that! Satanic catboxes — let’s go!