Brian Welch, one of the founding members of the band Korn, has done another interview with I Am Second. In it, he explains why he rejoined Korn after leaving it when he became a Christian. Welch believes God led him back to the metal band. But why does he think that God led him back, especially to such a dark environment?
Welch says, “I know the music’s crazy, but mainly the lyrics are about pain, you know, and they come from a real and raw place. People need hope. There’s addictions like crazy in that world. There’s depression. There’s been a lot of suicide stories happening. What better place to be, having the meaning of life that I carry.”
Korn formed in 1993 and quickly became successful after the release of the band’s first album. With that success came all the pleasures of life as a rockstar. Not only were there drugs and women, but Welch describes being on stage in front of ecstatic fans as similar to being worshipped. However, Welch says that while he enjoyed this lifestyle at first, it started to destroy his personality, relationships and everything else in his life.
A life-changing moment in Brian Welch’s life during this time was the birth of his daughter. He thought at first that his love for her would be able to sustain and satisfy him, but it failed to prevent him from spiraling out of control due to drug addiction.
At some point as Welch’s life was unraveling, his real estate broker shared a Bible verse with him and invited him to church. Welch accepted Christ that day. He did drugs one more time after he went home, praying that Jesus would take away his desire for meth. Welch says that after praying that prayer, he felt the love of God wash over him. The following day, he got rid of his drugs and quit the band. That was in 2005.
But life didn’t get easier for Welch in the years that followed. He lost his house and his cars. Everything he tried to do failed, even in his career. Eventually, while touring with another band, he ended up at a music festival Korn was playing at, and the band invited him to play with them. Welch agreed, and after an emotional performance and meeting with the band members, his “heart started to be informed” about what direction his future would take. He rejoined Korn in 2013, which he says surprised him as well as many other people.
“I Followed God”
Welch believes God led him to rejoin the band and reconnect with his fans. He describes that “crowd” (that is, Korn, his fans and other bands) as his family, adding, “I followed God right back into Korn, and He’s there, and I’m not separated from them or the fans any longer.”
Welch notes that talking about Christ at a rock concert is not “the most popular thing.” But he does it because meeting Christ is the most real experience he’s ever had in his life.
Welch compares leaving Korn and returning to the band to what happens when a baby is born. At first, the baby needs to stay separate from anything that could harm it until it’s strong enough to go out into the world. That’s what happened to him when he became a Christian. He left the band to get strengthened until he was ready to return to that environment.
Welch notes that scripture says God is going to restore all things. He says, “[God] gives you glimpses of that by restoring your life. He restored me in a way that’s unique to me.”