From Korn to Christ

Guitarist Brian 'Head' Welch talks about kicking drugs and leaving the rock star life behind for his daughter and God.

BY: Interview by Dena Ross

 

Continued from page 1

Right before you left the band, you say you had an experience with the devil or another fallen angel. Can you tell us a bit about that? 

 

It freaked me out. You see, this spiritual world, I had never encountered it before, except when I played with this Ouija board and asked questions, and it spelled out the answers. But the night I was coming off drugs--when I threw them all away, and I knew I was done with them--I had this crazy encounter. I went to sleep and when I woke up a few minutes later--after being so tired since I was off drugs, and I just wanted to crash. And I woke up paralyzed, and I couldn't move my body. My eyes were awake, or open, but I just couldn't move. I felt like some kind of demon was holding me down. I felt this crazy evil in the room.

 

I never felt anything like that before. I believe God was just showing me how real the spiritual world is to get me to run closer to Him and just to believe more.

 

I'm glad I went through it. It happened a few times that night, and then it happened once the next night. It was so evil I knew it was the devil. Some people would ask me, "Well, weren't you just coming off drugs?" But I know for a fact it [was real]. I've learned a lot about the spiritual world, and it was scary. I just repeated what Jesus repeated: "Get behind me, Satan." And it hasn't happened since. But it was very real.

Do you consider yourself part of the Pentecostal denomination? Do you still speak in tongues?

 

I stay away from denominations, and I just believe the Bible. I still pray in tongues. I do it alone. It’s a private thing. And just like the rest of the book, I wanted to share the very private things of my life and that’s one private thing. 

 

You spoke in the book about writing a song for 50 Cent, "A Cheap Name." [A call for him to change his ways and embrace God.] Did you ever try to give him those lyrics? 

 

Yeah. I wrote him a letter and just tried to reach out to him. But I didn't hear back from him.

Why do you think you were directed to write the song for him instead of another artist? 

When we all die and go to heaven, that's when we'll know for sure if what I was doing was from God. I don't know. I felt led to do it.

 

Do you ever get the urge to go back to meth?

 

No. Not at all. But just last night I was thinking about how close I could have been. Something that I didn't put in my book--not because I didn't want to, I just forgot--is I used to have my drug dealer FedEx methamphetamines to me when I was in Europe. He would put them in boxes and hide them. I was just thanking God that I didn't get busted for it in Europe. [I'd be] in jail somewhere.

 

I remembered myself in the hotel room waiting for that box. And then, for a second, I felt like it was fun to do--to have those drugs come. So I get memories like that, but I would never do them again. I'm not going to be mastered by anything like that ever again. But I do sometimes have stupid thoughts come in like, 'Whoa, that felt good.' But that's as far as it will go.

 

What about depression? You've battled it for so much of your life. Do you still get depressed?

 

I still have good days and bad days. But I'm a new person, and I just feel so free. It's awesome.

 

When you have a bad day, what do you do to come out of your slump?

 

When you believe in the Word of God and read it every day, you take those as trials to build you up. [The Bible] says consider it pure joy when you face trials. You just need to look at them as a chance to be able to exercise, like when you go to the gym. [There's] resistance. The weights are heavy. You don't want to actually work out. It's just not natural to want to push heavy things up over and over--and not get paid! So you take the hardships in life now as spiritual exercises to build your endurance and perseverance. You get a different attitude about it when you have faith.

 

Has life been easier or harder for you since you've quit drugs, become a Christian, and left the band?

 

I don't know. It depends on what you mean. I had it easier as far as all the money and stuff in the other life, but it's way more fulfilling [now]. I know I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be. It's easier now because everything is lifted up to God. It's all His responsibility--from me making money, my house, my career, my ministry. Everything I do, He has to do it. Everything's a lot easier now.

 

How did the other members of Korn feel about your having written the book? Do you still talk to them and know what they think about it?

 

They heard that I'd written it, and there was rumors going around in Hollywood that I was totally trashing them and that it was a "tell all" book about everything they did and I did. And so they actually wrote two songs on their new album bashing me about the book.

 

But once I heard that they were concerned about the book, I sent them a copy and put a note in there and said, "I love you guys. I didn't trash you like people say. Read it yourselves. It is what it is." And now they're doing interviews, and I've read that they're totally cool with the book, and it's not what they thought it was going to be. So everyone's happy. But, now they've got two songs hating on me on their record. But it's cool. It's all good. I love them, they love me. I think maybe I deserved those songs because of some of the stuff that I said after I quit the band. So it's all good.
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