As one of the founding members of KORN, the multi-platinum metal band from Bakersfield, CA, guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, seemed to have the world by the balls; fame, money women, homes, cars—he partied with some of the biggest heavy-hitters in the music industry; the drugs flowed like water from a faucet and nothing seemed out of bounds. But what Welch worked so hard to get he couldn’t enjoy; his inner demons were as active as he was; a deep dark stain on his soul, depression and drug addiction to meth was literally killing him…slowly. His daughter was just a little girl at the time and he wanted to be present for her; not some numb vacant excuse of a human being. Welch hit rock-bottom quite a few times during those years but in a moment of clarity, got down on his knees one night and asked God for a favor; “help me”.
I lived my dream for so long, but it just started to turn into a nightmare…
Ask and you shall receive. Welch found a faith and spirit he’d never experienced before and though it was no easy feat to kick the drugs and deal with his depression, his faith in God saved his life. “Well, it was a lot of things but mainly, it was just… I lived my dream for so long,” Welch explains, “but it just started to turn into a nightmare with all the self-destructive behavior. I was just done with it and my daughter was like five years old at the time and I knew I had to get away from my drug addiction so I just wanted a new life; a new start. I was really excited about starting over so I really didn’t feel much; but later on it came… yeah, I still have anger and depression sometimes but that’s it… nothing major like with the drug withdrawals. I was just starting to build a spiritual relationship with God and I asked him to help me when I was leaving KORN massively with the drug addictions and I’ve been developing that relationship ever since.”
With his new found faith and lease on life, Welch left KORN in 2005 and dedicated himself to bringing up his daughter in his Christian faith and wrote a book, Save Me From Myself. Rumors of unrest circulated around his departure from KORN, but Welch hasn’t forgotten where he comes from. He’s been widely recognized as one of the best heavy metal guitarists around. Taking a break from his music afforded him the time to love music again.
In 2009, Welch formed, Love and Death with band-mates Michael Valentine, Dan Johnson and J.R. Bareis. To Welch, Love and Death symbolizes the intense highs and lows the band has gone through, regardless of touring or living the dream together. “Love and Death…Yeah, totally it was like, ‘ok, I got a new thing going on now, what does that look like and how does that happen?’ But I took a break from music a couple of years ago—I took two to three years… I wrote a book. These were also important years because my daughter needed me so I just chilled out. Yeah. It was basically 2008 when my first solo album came out. It was called, Brian “Head” Welch, Save me From Myself. In 2009, I put a touring band together to tour that record. So I toured that record for of couple years. I changed the name of the band… since we’ve been together me and the guys… we jammed for a while, then wrote new music. That’s where Love and Death came from.” Love and Death released their debut EP, Chemicals, in April 2012, to quite a few accolades and the single from the EP, Paralyzed, hit #5 on the BDS rock chart. Life may have its ups and downs, but Love and Death have seen the good and the bad— and Welch believes just like the rest of the world, it’s all about bobbing, weaving and rolling with the punches.