Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Korn Guitarist Finds God, Tells His Testimony to a Crowd of 10,000! This was something learned after mowsying to Daniel's blog earlier. He's the third famous musician I heard that gave over his life to Jesus (the first one was Cheryl 'Salt' James of the hip-hop group Salt 'n' Pepa and rapper Mason "Mase" Betha) although I know there are definitely more of them out there. Brian Welch came to the realization that he would be lost without God after doing a lot of soul searching and almost dying from leukemia. About his departure from the band, he said that he was saddened by all this but he thinks it's just time for him to move on, "I thought they took it too far. It was a little too crude for me." He adds, ""I think it made the guys mad. It confused them. I left at the worst possible time. We got off Sony, and all the money was there, we were going to own all of our songs, but I had to prove to myself that money wasn't my God. I talked to Jonathan [Davis] and he said, 'I don't get it, man, you're all happy and we're sitting here grieving because our band is breaking up. And I wanted to tell him, 'Well, for years, you guys were out partying while I was sitting on the tour bus wanting to die.'" Korn's official website, which as of this writing is under reconstruction, has posted this note on its front page regarding the issue:
Korn has parted ways with guitarist Brian "Head" Welch who has chosen the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior, and will be dedicating his musical pursuits to that end. Korn respects Brian's wishes and hopes he finds the happiness he is searching for.He also said that he tried to convince his former bandmates to come to the church with him but so far they have declined his offer. He stills considers them his best friends and even offers to say that "Those guys in the band, they're not bad guys. They're just a bunch of kids getting marketed how these guys in the big corporate firms want to do. It makes us look like bad people, but we're really just a bunch of kids who never had a chance to grow up." He plans to embark on a solo career soon after. MTV.com reports: Welch's solo material — which will be released under the name "Head" — will not be Christian music. Rather, he said, he wants it to be an "extension of the Korn family."
"Anger is a good thing, and if kids want to listen to Korn, good, but there's happiness after the anger. I'm going to show it through my actions how much I love my fans."
The announcement puts to rest weeks of rumors that Welch was unhappy with Korn's direction. On February 8, he had apparently written a "letter of resignation" to the band's management. In the note, Welch detailed a long list of reasons for leaving the band, including increased moral objections to Korn's music and videos. In particular, he was upset by how he was portrayed in the clip for their cover of Cameo's "Word Up," off their recently released Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 album. In the video, Welch's face was superimposed on a dog patrolling a strip club.
"I can go up there and play those songs and those solos but ... I distanced myself from Korn for probably a year and a half, two years. I just wanted to fade away, it was crazy. I was so gone," Welch told Bakersfield, California, radio station KRAB on Sunday. "But I found my way out and I want to help anyone that wants to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I had to go through the lows to appreciate the highs and it's not perfect but it's damn near."
Head says that one of the reasons he left the band was to set a better example for his six-year-old daughter, according to the Bakersfield Californian. Welch said, "I just grew up a little bit...I've got to think of my kid. I just want to do the right thing." Although Korn's management offered to let Welch bring his daughter on tour with him, the guitarist was not interested: "What parents would want their kids to go on a rock 'n' roll tour, a heavy metal tour?"
"I always loved that Korn's music helped kids let out aggression. But with my new music, I want kids to know that there's more out there," he said. "I want to show them there's a light at the end of the pain tunnel. That there's more out there than just aggression. I want to say to them, 'Hey kids, come over here. Let's bounce back and forth and have fun.'" Way to go, dude!
* Detailed reports from MTV.com: Brian 'Head' Welch Talks God To 10,000 In California Church, Brian 'Head' Welch Explains Why He Left Korn, and Brian 'Head' Welch Leaves Korn, Citing Moral Objections To Band's Music .
** Photo courtesy of Couleur3.ch