Brian “Head” Welch last week announced his plans to team back up with his former Korn bandmates for several European tour dates in June 2013 and possibly record new material. In Welch’s highly publicized exit from the incredibly successful Nu-Metal band, he cited his drug addiction and “chasing the almighty buck” as the reasons for his leaving. In addition, he desired the respect of his then 6-year-old daughter and to rededicate himself to a Christian life. At the time, the other members of Korn were surprised as Welch told MTV News:
“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,” he said. “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.’ “
But even more surprising is that eight years after leaving the band, Welch is joining forces with Korn again. A reunion which came about by accident according to Welch:
“I played one song last May [at the Carolina Rebellion Festival],” Welch tells Rolling Stone. “I showed up at that festival — I was on tour with POD, and we had a few days off. They had a big festival, and Korn, Evanescence and Five Finger Death Punch were playing. I wanted to go and my daughter loves those bands. So I took her, and I was just going to go hang out.
Then I met up with Munky, who I hadn’t seen in seven years, and talked with him for 30 minutes. It was really heavy. Then, 10 minutes before they went onstage, [bassist] Fieldy is like, ‘I’m just saying, we have a guitar set up for you.’ I’m like, ‘What? I just want to see you guys! All right, I’ll play ‘Blind.’ It was just crazy, because it was really emotional. That’s what set it up. Munky called me a month after that, and he said, ‘Hey, if you ever want to come back, the door’s open. We miss you.’ “
The greater story is that less than a decade later, Welch has become such a strong man in Christ that he is able to go back to an environment that was once toxic and deadly to him. To strike up friendships and play music again with Korn shows an incredible maturity on Welch’s part as he continues to lead his own band, Love and Death, while rekindling the fires of his former one. Though this time around, having found faith in Christ, Welch is able to find the redeeming qualities of Korn’s music.
“Everyone is broken in this world. There’s so much divorce, hate and unforgiveness. For people to see this, I think it’s just really uplifting. I never thought it would happen, and I’m not sure they did either. The fans just love it, because a lot of the fans back in the day were like, suicidal, and from broken homes and abuse. They looked up to us like their family. And to see their family split up was hard on them. To get it put back together, there is a joy around the people who care about it.”