Recently on the podcast Matt’s Movie Reviews, Korn band member Brian Welch talked about how he believes Christianity is allowing for more authenticity than it used to and that people in the heavy metal scene are more open to it than they have ever been.
“Definitely people are more spiritual nowadays,” said Welch when asked whether he saw Christianity growing among the bands he tours with. “It’s crazy…if they’re not Christians already, they’re just open to talking about it. Because it looks different now, the face of Christianity has changed.”
Loud Krazy Love
Welch is promoting his new documentary, Loud Krazy Love, a film about his experience in Korn, his journey toward God, and his relationship with his daughter, Jennea. The documentary was created in partnership with I Am Second, a nonprofit that aims “to make Jesus and his love visible by telling redeemed stories without artifice and without walls.”
I Am Second has already told the story of how Welch initially found God and left Korn and also the story of how he believes God led him to rejoin the band eight years later. He told freelance film critic Matt Pejkovick he believes that God led him back to Korn so he could show others that God is “changing the way Jesus really is” and welcomes all people as they are. Despite Welch’s word choice, it seems that what he meant was not that Jesus has changed over time, but rather that the way Christians present Jesus has changed. Welch said that when people think of Christianity, it used to be more common for them to imagine Christians as “annoying people that thought they were just too good or holier than everybody else, you know, and everyone’s going to hell or whatever.”
But now people are more free to live with authenticity. Said Welch, “Nowadays, you can show that you’re a complete mess without God and that He’s the one that’s perfect, not you, and that you don’t judge others.” Welch is back in Korn to show people that “everybody is welcome to come to Him,” and he thinks “it’s pretty cool to be a part of that.”
Pejkovick was curious about Welch’s fellow band member, Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu, who became a Christian some time after Welch did. Pejkovick wanted to know if Welch had any influence on Fieldy following Jesus. Welch replied that Fieldy’s conversion happened independently from him, adding, “It was really wild how it happened.” Fieldy’s dad, who had been a musician playing in clubs and partying, became a Christian when Welch and Fieldy were around 18 or 19 years old. At the time, Welch said, they were “shocked” and thought, “Oh no, he’s going to be one of those weird guys.”
Fieldy’s dad initially tried to push his son to convert to Christianity, or as Welch put it, he “shoved it down his throat.” But that didn’t work. So Fieldy’s dad changed tactics, focusing on loving his son and pursuing a relationship with him. When his dad died suddenly in his 50s, Fieldy decided to “seek out the Bible” and see if there really were anything of merit in what his dad believed. According to Welch, Fieldy opened the Bible, and since then, “he’s never put it away.” But unlike Welch, he didn’t leave Korn.
Welch said the fact that he and Fieldy made different decisions regarding Korn confused their fans. But Pejkovick pointed out that every person’s journey with God is different. Welch agreed, saying, “it’s a personal relationship” and “everyone’s got their own unique journey.”
Being Honest About the Messiness
Loud Krazy Love is how Welch and his daughter are sharing their journey with others who are struggling with their brokenness and with the chaos of life. As I Am Second states in a blog about the film,
Many times churches and Christians shy away from examining the messy parts of our culture. But, the truth is, the mess is a part of our reality. I Am Second chooses to run toward pain, toward difficulty and toward brokenness to lift up the hope that can be found in Jesus. This film provides an opportunity for people of all backgrounds to see and connect with that hope.