Brian “Head” Welch is a guitarist with the heavy metal band Korn. Brian has released a new book by Thomas Nelson titled “With My Eyes Wide Open.”
(Note: This is a writing sample from a 2016 blog post where I interviewed Welch.)
The book tells his story during the time he left Korn. Brian was a new Christian who was trying to live out his faith. The book is extremely open and honest about Brian’s missteps, ones that I believe every Christian can relate to, even if they are not literal rock stars.
Brian says that as a kid, he was bitten by the rock ’n roll bug. “I wanted to do that.” He loved music, acoustic and electric guitars.
He met the Korn band members as a child.
“We all just wanted to be rock stars.”
The future Korn band members joined and/or formed — and broke up from — several bands while in school. Around 1992-93 they all ended up in Hollywood and formed Korn. They wrote music and received a record deal and hung out with the likes of Megadeth and Ozzy Ozbourne and Marilyn Manson. They sold thousands of records, then millions. They won Grammys. They were on top of the world.
“The dream I had as a kid did not match what I was living. The music was good, it was awesome, the fans were great, but … I was appreciative, but it was not fulfilling like I thought it would be.”
Drugs and partying left him suicidal. He ended up in a church and asked the Lord into his heart. “Instantly the meaning for life came into me.”
That’s when he left Korn.
“I thought it was going to be forever” away from Korn. But God led Brian back recently.
On witnessing in the heavy metal industry: There are a few Christians out there but not many. Many brought up as Christians but left because it was too strict or unloving. Religion turned them off. Jesus died for the relationship aspect. Some Christians keep it to themselves. “But that’s not what I read in the Bible.”
Brian and Korn are finishing a new record that will come out in late summer 2016 under a new label. The recording has just wrapped.
“With My Eyes Wide Open” was not easy to write, Brian said, but the book would not have been possible if his daughter had not been willing to share her story, which included cutting herself. “I’m really proud of her.” She graduated this spring from high school. The book is a good read for fans of Korn as well as troubled teens, Brian said. He called what his daughter went through an epidemic. “I hope it helps kids like that.”
(Note: The original blog post is here.)
— Jason M. Reynolds