Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 2008
Brian Welch: Hi, this is Brian Welch
Brian Rademacher: Hey man, this is Brian from RockEyez
Brian Welch: Cool name, howís it going today? Where are you?
Brian Rademacher: New Jersey
Brian Welch: Yeah, Iím in Dallas, TX
Brian Rademacher: Congratulation on your debut release ďSave Me from MyselfĒ, it received 5 out of 5 stars on our site. The album has a strong message and if people really look into the lyrics theyíll get the message. Do you feel people will be shocked by the intensity of the lyrics? For instance my wife goes to church and rings the bells, I donít think she would ever listen to your album because the vocals are raw and she is more into mellow or ďangelicĒ stuff. Do you think you can reach out to people like that?
Brian Welch: Thanks bro, thatís awesome. Probably not (laughing), not with that kind of music on that CD, itís a rocking CD, thatís me. Thereís some lighter stuff for the type of people like your wife that like the angelic kind of stuff, the soft stuff. I like that stuff too but as far as me reaching out to people, No I donít think theyíll like it (laughing). Tell your wife to listen to it and read along with the lyrics and she will see what Iím trying to do.
Brian Rademacher: Looking through your long career in music do you feel you started taking drugs because of the harassment you had during your school years?
Brian Welch: I think it all had a play in my life and my dad arguing with him all my life and not feeling good about myself; not being able to be good enough for him and believing in myself. I never felt comfortable in my own skin, so I always had to drink to hang out with the guys and girls specially. If youíre not comfortable with yourself you want to escape and become someone else and thatís what the drugs and alcohol did for me.
Brian Rademacher: I think your daughter Jenna is 10 now, what will you tell her about peer pressure in school?
Brian Welch: Yeah. I just share my stuff and things are different now, hopefully sheís learning a lot from her mom, and me how broken our lives were from this. Iím trying to teach her to do her own thing and follow her conscience and be a leader not a follower as far as doing the right thing.
Brian Rademacher: When itís parentís day at school, do you attend and whatís that like-a rock star dad coming into school?
Brian Welch: Yeah actually I do, they all know what I do, and itís all good. Itís kinda of weird because I donít look like the other parents. All the kids look at me and say he was in KORN, so itís kind of uncomfortable at times, but you learn to have fun with it.
Brian Rademacher: With you being a high profile musician, how do you separate friends from people who just want know you for who you are?
Brian Welch: Iím the type of guy that can get along with anybody. I had all kinds of friends and I invited some not too good people into my life and they knew I was nice and they played off that and got money out of me and things like that. Now Iím secluded a little bit because Iím trying to find out a little bit about the new me and I still am, its three years now. I got rid of everybody and try to focus on me and my daughter. Before there were all kinds of people around all the time, itís better for me and my daughter. I do have a few selective friends to hang out with and itís really good for my relationship with my kid.
Brian Rademacher: As a child you were a fan of Ozzy, was its Ozzy music or his image that turned you onto him?
Brian Welch: It was the music and his voice, but he always had the best guitar players. Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, Zakk Wylde, Brad Gillis they were smokiní. I was a guitar player and I loved it. Of course Ozzy was crazy and I love crazy (laughing). I still like Ozzy and I was drawn to everything about him.
Brian Rademacher: With the money you were making with KORN was it an easy decision for you to leave the band?
Brian Welch: No it was hard, it was confusing and I was so broken and in need of help. I needed a break and I could have just taken a break or hiatus like David did, but I felt inside I was called for something new and to spread and share what happened to me in a book and my CD. So I left and walked my faith and I feel I was told and led to a different direction. So I said I want to follow this but the safe thing to do was to stay in KORN and make it work out. But the radical thing was to do is walk away, I wanted to do something crazy and do it for myself and do the right thing.
Brian Rademacher: So if your career didnít go as planned would you go back to KORN or is that completely done with?
Brian Welch: Iím in a new place right now, I have no plans to do that and I would never do it for money because I donít do things now for money. It would have to be some kind of purpose and they would have to want to go in the same direction as me, to do something similar, but I never say never. But I donít have any plans to.
Brian Rademacher: Would you ever think about having any members of KORN on your next release as a special guest?
Brian Welch: Sure, yeah, Iím not opposed to that. I tried to have Fieldy play bass on my album. Iíll tell you a story on that. He was going to come up and play bass on it but he called me and said it was raining too hard; he didnít want to drive in the rain so to call him tomorrow. I never called him back because I felt it was a sign it wasnít supposed to be.
Brian Rademacher: With the first pressing of your book Save Me From Myself in 2007; it was on the best sellers list of top twenty-five books, and a second cleaned up version that came out in 2008 called "Washed By Blood", was the second pressing for the younger readers or financial gain?
Brian Welch: It was the book companyís idea, so they are thinking about dollars but at the same time I would never let my daughter read my book. Sheís a little too young but I do let her read the new one. I figured I can do it for my kid and I am sure there are a lot of parents out there that want there kids to read about stuff before they turn into a teenager. Harperís idea was dollar signs and my idea was to speak to the kids, I made tons of money before, I donít need anymore because I live by faith and itís pretty fun and I want to touch peoples lives and thatís what Iím all about now.
Brian Rademacher: Are you working on a new book yet, will there even be one?
Brian Welch: No, but I do have a deal. I dumped my whole life out in that book, so what am I suppose to write about now (laughing).
Brian Rademacher: I am sure you had some kind of ritual before each KORN show, what do you do now before a Brian Head Welch show?
Brian Welch: I will probably just pray, I know itís not going to be slamming beers like before.
Itís going to be healthy and positive. But Iím going to be just as wild or wilder.
Just because you stop partying, donít mean you have to turn into a different person, you can still be crazy.
Brian Rademacher: Now with the new release ďSave Me From MyselfĒ you signed with Driven Music Group. Was their any kind of stipulation in the contact of doís and doníts?
Brian Welch: No way, itís all-good.
Brian Rademacher: Was it a one-album deal with Warner?
Brian Welch: Well the CD was released on Driven music, which I am the owner and artist too and we did it in a three record thing. I can let myself go (laughing). But with Warner Music I am not tied legally with them, weíre just putting out records. We have a three-year option with an option to renew with Warner.
Brian Rademacher: Before we get into talking about the new release. Letís first talk a bit about the latest video ďFlushĒ that was released Sept 5th. The kids that spoke on the video, did you meet with them at all?
Brian Welch: I hung out with them all day; it was really cool. Those kids went through some stuff, we all been through it. It was cool to hang out with them, their real life story is right there.
Brian Rademacher: Explain the concept of the video with the red sand and near the end with the video going in reverse?
Brian Welch: To me the red sand is something addicting to me, like for me, crystal meth, strawberry crank or quick. With the girls, it looks all good at first, doing the partying and drugs. It symbolizes the addiction, lying on the morgue table and the fun turns to death with black tar coming out of the fine girlís mouth, to me, thatís what happened to me. I am not telling anyone not to party; you just have to be carefully with that stuff because it will turn around and kill you. At the end of the video itís me getting up and saying come on letís change, speaking to myself or the drug addict thatís listening. Then we have the closing with interviews and itís all about those kids lives changed around, the lyric at the end is ďcome on get up letís changeĒ. Itís really positive.
Brian Rademacher: The opening tune ďLoveĒ is really an uplifting song. Was that your intentions to bring the spirits up of people from despair?
Brian Welch: The song came to me and it sure did lift my spirits up. Hopefully it will do the same. I guess it will bring be up from being in despair and some people will just dig the tune.
Brian Rademacher: There are so many great songs on the new CD, were their any other songs that you wanted to be included on the release that werenít?
Brian Welch: Yeah a song called ďNew OrleansĒ about the gloom that happened in Ď05 with the bodies floating in the water. It didnít come out good so I didnít include it. There was another one called ďExpose the LieĒ, after three days of mixing it the (sound) board gave out, so I decided not to do that song on this album. Maybe later weíll see.
Brian Rademacher: So what are your true feelings on organized religion since you have a song like ďDie Religion DieĒ on the new CD?
Brian Welch: Iíd like to see religion die (laughing). I donít like it and I know God doesnít like it.
Whatever gets people closer to him? I am just trying to make a statement with people like me; I just donít want anything to do those people that run those churches. It seems to me they bicker about this and that. That all has to go, itís all about love and knowing God. Itís not about all the rules, we have freedom on what we have to say and thatís what I wrote that song for.
Brian Rademacher: With the song ďMoneyĒ many might think you are cashing in on your fame and youíre turning Christianity for profit. What would you say to those people?
Brian Welch: Iím not making a lot of money, so they can tell me where Iím cashing in then I will go get that money. Anyone can go read my book and can get the truth. I was almost dead from drugs; it makes no sense if I wanted money I would have stayed in KORN. I just want to uplift people and thereís nothing wrong with that.
Brian Rademacher: Listening to your music I would not put it in the genre of Christian rock. How will you reach those people of the Christian faith?
Brian Welch: Talking to people like you and getting the word out there; I believe everything is meant to be and I go with the flow.
Brian Rademacher: Would you be opposed to people putting you in the genre of Christian rock instead of metal?
Brian Welch: Iím in metal music and Iím a Christian. They can call it what they want Iím not ashamed of my faith. Itís just real life experiences.
Brian Rademacher: I was checking your MySpace site out and people pour their heart out to you, like a guy from Michigan named Gary who prays for you and loves the CD, another person on there asks why you didnít put the song ďCryĒ on the new release.
Brian Welch: That was a song I put out once I left KORN, so I put it out there. It didnít make it on the album because I had a lot of other songs, but I might open that up again and work on it.
Brian Rademacher: Do you actually read the posts on MySpace?
Brian Welch: Yeah but I havenít lately because Iím on this book tour and busy. My manager saves a lot of them and I go through them.
Brian Rademacher: How do you feel that some people actually get personal with you?
Brian Welch: Some people are struggling with life like I was. I encourage them when I have time. I tell them donít give up, storms come and go and they will pass so donít give up.
Brian Rademacher: Just wondering when you tour will you do KORN tunes also?
Brian Welch: I will probably do most of my stuff but I might do some to have fun, weíll see.
Brian Rademacher: What are your hopes for the rest of the year?
Brian Welch: I like to be strengthened and get on the road and try some live stuff.
Brian Rademacher: What was it like being baptized in Jordan; it must have been a dream come true?
Brian Welch: Man it was awesome, I gave my life to Christ and I didnít know what Jerusalem like I was really stupid with that stuff. All they told me is that where your going to Jesus was baptized there, all I said was Iím going! I would like to go back one day soon.
Brian Rademacher: Well Brian It was great talking to you, would you like to say anything in conclusion?
Brian Welch: Yeah I would like to thank all the supporters out there that stuck by me when I left KORN. I know I got a little crazy with the drugs and people are faithful and forgiving and give a shout of thanks to everyone.