"If you ask people on Facebook, they'll say I returned to my vomit like a dog, but if you ask God, He'll say, ‘I have a plan for this.'"
What began as a stereotypical rock and roll career for Brian "Head" Welch has taken a number of dramatic turns since the release of Korn's self-titled debut album in 1994.
Korn's rise to fame was a quick one, and with the success came all the promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse that metal is known for. Welch was no exception to this and admits to trying almost every kind of drug, to the point where he would be "cooking [his] daughter breakfast, high on speed".
"I would do speed during the day… and then right before the show I'd drink four beers and take Xanax, take a downer," Welch says. Despite the fact that people around him were dying from this kind of drug abuse, he continued his reckless living for years, setting the groundwork for what would become one of the most dramatic conversion stories in music history.
It all started when Welch returned home from a tour and found a group of speed addicts living with his wife and his daughter. Taking his daughter with him, he split from his wife immediately and in 2005 he returned to Bakersfield, CA to be near his parents.
While in Bakersfield, Welch met a group of Christians and reluctantly attended church with them, figuring he had nothing to lose. At church, the pastor's message struck a chord with Welch, and Welch remembers feeling God tell him, "I don't condemn you. I love you, I love you."
Returning home, Welch threw all his drugs out and within a couple weeks had quit Korn to focus on raising his daughter. "God used her to save me, to save her."
After quitting Korn, Welch started a solo project, Love and Death, and released his debut solo album in 2008. Four years later, after touring the record and staying busy with various speaking engagements, Welch was touring with P.O.D. and ended up at a Korn concert with his daughter.
At some point in the evening, he reconciled with the band and joined them onstage that night, shortly after rejoining them full-time as their lead guitarist. Despite severe criticism from some in the Christian community, Welch defends his choice saying, "[God] wants us as a light in the darkness… there are people there that are dealing with pain and confusion, and I'm going to go grab them. It's totally God-led. There are people backing me, I've got counsel and everything going back in. It's 100% where I'm supposed to be."
Welch hopes to release a documentary and a book later this year explaining the story of his reunion with Korn. You can find out more at www.brianheadwelch.net.