Rolling Stone magazine recently conducted an exclusive interview with former KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Rolling Stone: Why did you leave KORN?
Brian "Head" Welch: "When we first started, KORN had power over all of our music and what we said — the songs are pretty outspoken. Then with the last record, it seemed like everybody shifted from being down with the fans to wanting to make money, and our managers started getting really involved. They were telling us what songs to play — and, I mean, they manage the BACKSTREET BOYS! They started talking about hiring writers for the new record. I don't know if they did. And I was going, 'Dude, this is stupid.' I was a part of a band that's known for not selling out, that's written every album with the most heartfelt lyrics — and now they're changing into a machine. We had a bunch of battles — three people got kicked out at one time or another — and my friends weren't even my friends anymore. So I left.
"At the same time, I was hooked on drugs so bad — everybody knows — and I just didn't care, the last couple of years. I was really into my depression. And I heard my daughter, at five years old, at home singing, 'All day I dream about sex' [from the KORN song 'A.D.I.D.A.S.'], and I was like, 'I don't want to do this anymore!' I wanted to be a better person.
"I found Jesus, and I'm totally healed from drug abuse and alcoholism. I was in my closet doing lines, and I had a bill rolled up, and I stopped and looked at myself. And I said, 'Jesus, if you're real, please take this addiction from me. My child lost her mother to drugs — please give her one parent who's free of this. Please make me want to live.' I had a bunch of eightballs, and I threw them away. Rehab didn't work; looking at my daughter didn't help me kick drugs. But I felt like I could do it finally. Miraculously, [the addiction] fell away from me within a week. I started having hope."
Rolling Stone: Have your friends in the rock world been supportive? Were some alienated by the change?
Brian "Head" Welch: "I wanted to go and tell the media that I found Christ, and that I'm switching my life from crazy, evil darkness to light. I felt the spirit of God tell me, 'You're going to be ridiculed. But never be afraid to claim my name.' But I'm so happy, it doesn't matter what people think.
"I'm really into learning about the Word and what it says in the Bible. I'd thought that church was just a manmade thing to get people to be goodie-goodies. But it's not about a bunch of rules; it's about the relationships God has with people, and reading about these people doing great things. I said, 'I want to walk with You like these Bible heroes.' This is like a roller coaster, better than any drug I've ever felt."
Rolling Stone: How has this affected your day-to-day life?
Brian "Head" Welch: "The first thing that I do when I get up is say 'hi' to God. People will think I'm a little out there, because I talk to Him all day, wherever I am. If I go into a grocery store, it's 'All right, God, help me pick out the right food so I can be healthy.' I just sold my house and moved out of town because I thought God wanted me to move. I sold all my stuff, and I'm home-schooling my daughter with a nice lady. I'm kind of floating around right now."
Read the entire interview at RollingStone.com.