Brian "Head" Welch: "I Feel Like I'm Living A Resurrected Life Right Now"
Back in 2009, Brian "Head" Welch was hosting auditions at his Phoenix studio in order to craft a band for his own brand of music. The legendary former Korn guitarist experimented and jammed out with a few members, but then went back to searching for his ideal bandmates. In 2011, two weeks before his project was to go on tour, Welch found 14-year-old J.R. Bareis and chose him as his new guitar player. Rounded out by drummer (and Phoenix resident) Dan Johnson and bassist Michael Valentine, the finalized four-piece was announced as Love and Death in February 2012.
Promo Love and Death with Brian Head Welch
Love and Death released their Chemicals EP and the album Between Here & Lost, the latter of which was released in January 2013 and was birthed from "trials, tribulations, pain, suffering, anxiety, depression and drama," according to Welch. And while Welch has admitted that the band has been through some very intense highs and lows, the name "love and death" symbolizes everything that the members had been through during the handful of years they had been together.
Love and Death is quite the departure from Korn, the band that made "Head" a name-brand guitarist. Welch wrote, recorded and toured with Korn for years, and helped create the band's pioneering nu-metal aesthetic, a mix of shredded dissonant guitar, turntable-like effects, and down-tuned riffing. Korn has sold more than 40 million albums, and has been touring constantly ever since Head left the band in 2005 to focus on his personal life and Christianity.
However, as much as fans (and Welch, truth be told), thought that his days with Korn were over, one should never say never. In May 2012 Head reunited with Korn on stage at Carolina Rebellion for the song "Blind," and exactly a year later, announced that he was rejoining Korn--although Love and Death was still going to stay intact as well.
Up On The Sun talked with Brian "Head" Welch about his first album with Love and Death, the addiction he struggles with now, and the emotional roller coaster he was on when he played with Korn again for the first time.
Tell me about Between Here and Lost. What's the significance behind the title?
I usually come up with... or steal a name from one of the songs and then I call the record that. That's what I've done for the last two records since I left Korn. Then at the last minute I thought we should have a different name to the album. I asked my bass player, because his band works really quick and he usually has 100 weird ideas and one genius. So then he wrote a list and I saw that title, and it was profound.
Why did that one speak to you specifically?
I felt so lost in life, you know? It seems like I've come so far, and it's where I'm at today. Then I look back to when I was just lost in life and it just makes me feel like I've come such a long way. I think all the members felt the same way. It's a deep name and makes you think.
It seems that a lot of the influences behind the music represent struggles you have endured. What specifically is the driving force behind the music?
To me, life is usually a struggle. You struggle with something every day. I have a happy life, but it's mixed with struggle, so that's what I thought about with my music. Music to me is about strengthening and pouring your soul out and strengthening others, because you're just connecting with people. I'm not a party music guy; I like to uplift people somehow. The thing about struggle, helping people getting past it, is something that I love because all of us struggle. It's a gift, I think.