Interview: KoRn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch & his daughter on ‘Loud Krazy Love’

Posted by on December 13, 2018

Credit: Sean Berry

We are all human and it doesn’t matter if you are a famous rockstar, truck driver, writer, chef, etc.. Everyone will experience pain, joy, heartache, sadness, grief, pleasure, excitement, and anger. These are human emotions. However, when we feel there is nothing left, we all turn to music for guidance. Whether it’s going back to your favorite Metallica record or discovering a new artist by attending a show; we all turn to music to help cope through the mysterious journey life brings.

The documentary Loud Krazy Love is a combination of that, and more, as KoRn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch opened up the door to his personal life. The film will be available via Showtime tomorrow (14th) as the documentary explores the guitarist’s struggles with addiction, religion, and fatherhood. The film was directed by Trey Hill and Scott Mayo and it also shows the struggle of his daughter being born in the world of rock n’ roll. We recently spoke to Welch and his daughter, Jennea, on the film, coping with depression, their admirable bond, her experience getting help at Awakening Youth, both KoRn & Love and Death updates, and more.

Check out the audio interview below:

Read the full transcription:

So, I loved the film.

Brian:​ Did you watch the whole thing?

I watched the whole entire thing.

Jennea: ​Aww, that’s sweet.

Brian:​ Thank you.

It was very emotional and whether having a rock star as a dad or a math teacher, I saw the bond that you have with your daughter. It’s very real and admirable because not every parent is like that. You find that out and it’s beautiful.

Brian: ​Thank you.

That being said; looking back now, how you quit KoRn and everything, how much is God still in your life, years later?

Brian:​ Oh, totally. My whole foundation, that’s crazy. The first question for Metal Insider, how much is God in your life? I didn’t expect that. But I’m not a religious person, I’m not a religious person; I’m very spiritual and I have a relationship with God and my lifestyle is so crazy where I can’t go to church a lot, you know, but I love to meditate and I love to have that deep union connection with him. So, that’s the foundation in my life and it’s very important to me. So yeah, what about you Jennea?

Jennea:​ It’s been a journey because watching him… because I was pretty much raised Christian.

Brian:​ Forced.

Jennea: ​But that’s okay though, it taught me a lot of good morals, but I also saw him go through a lot of struggles personally and then even in business with Christian organizations, or men, or whoever, that really screwed him over. So that was difficult. I’m like, “Okay. They’re Christians and this is God, but this is what God is? I don’t want any of that.” So, it’s a long time coming, but I think God has really shown Himself to me, you know what I mean? It’s definitely been a very natural, child-like kind of thing. You’ve experienced so many hardships and whatever, but I built this for you, I’m looking out for you even though things are hard and the world is hard. I got you and I got your dad. That’s basically how I see it.

Brian: ​I got your back.

Jennea:​ Yeah. Word.

Credit: Sean Berry

​KoRn has been everywhere. Aside from this year, Jonathan Davis was having a solo, touring. You guys always seem to embark on many major tours, You celebrated the debut album. You also booked a few headlining festivals for next year. With that amount of time on the road, how do you avoid temptations?

Brian:​ Wow, she’s getting deep.

​I watched the film.

Brian:​ Yeah, this is awesome. I avoid the temptations by not really having desire for them. But I don’t really have a desire. I’m not a good drinker, and if I drink, I will wake up and have the heaviest depression, ever. Not because I’m guilty, but because my body, there’s something wrong with it where I can’t have even a sip of it. I will wake up with a hangover. It’s weird. But it helps me because drinking is bad for me. So, those temptations, it’s just really not a temptation. Drugs: over it. Been there, done that. You know, groupies or anything, it’s just, I have respect for women now…

And respect women.

Brian: ​I do! I have a daughter. Look at this generation, man. Female, feminine movement is just killing it, and you guys aren’t objects, and so I really appreciate women now. And so do the rest of the guys. The other guys are family men. We grew up. Put it that way.

And I guess Jennea, you’ve learned to not touch the juice.

Jennea: ​Honestly, I mean, I’m twenty. When I’m twenty-one, I’ll probably try some wine or whatever, but with mom, dad, and friends, and family … I’ve so learned. And when I was younger, when I was like 13, 14, I didn’t care enough about myself, so I did experiment. Just like weed, that’s all. I think I needed to learn how to be happy with myself, and now that I am happy with myself, I’m like, “I’m cool. I’m cool sober.” I love it, you know?

Jennea, in the film you had mentioned about your dad’s return to KoRn. And looking back five years later, how do you feel about his return?

Jennea: ​We were just talking about that. So when I was younger KoRn Was always portrayed as bad, and that I did a lot of bad stuff, and that was bad. That’s what he told me growing up, and so that’s what I thought. But I think as I got older and we saw the guys at Carolina Rebellion, and we got to talking. I think obviously my mindset changed, and I saw that these were his brothers. And so there was this point in May 2012, we were talking. He was like, “How do you feel about me going back to KoRn?” And I just felt like that was something he needed to do; that was his calling. To go back.

Many people suffer from addiction, depression, anger. What coping skills have both of you developed over the years to keep yourself balanced?

Brian: ​I think when I left KoRn, I went through all this emotional turmoil about a year later. For the first year I had a lot of peace, and then everything started coming back up. And so I went through a lot, and it’s like every circumstance happened to where it would cause a mental breakdown. I lost my house, I lost my money, I got betrayed by people. What happened, I felt it was like an emotional cleansing. Because all that stuff came to the surface and it was also healing because I walked in trust, and faith, and forgiveness in everything. So I got to a place where I was like, ” Wow, I can get through anything.” ​I’ve got bad days too, I’m not saying I’m perfect, but when circumstances come, I’m like, “Wait. This isn’t reality, this is only temporary. And this is gonna work out.” Because everything always works out in the end if you keep believing and keep trusting. So that’s what I do, and that helps me a lot. ​Road rage is hard for me, but it’s funny because the things like that are harder for me than huge things. Like if something happened to the car or something, I would be like, “Oh well, it’s just a car.” But road rage, that’s where I need help, there.

Many of us do, so you’re not alone.

Brian: ​Right? Okay.

Jennea: ​I wanna answer that too. So was the question anger, or what was it? Just coping skills in general?

Anger and everything along the lines of anger, depression, how have you learned to cope with it?

Jennea:​ Oh depression too?

Brian:​ Yeah, you do depression, I did anger.

Jennea: ​Okay, so for me depression was pretty heavy in, like suicidal thoughts, self harm stuff. I’ve done a ton of counseling with Tiffany, and I’ve learned a lot of skills. And something that really was important to me was, I guess… connection is really important, and having people around you. Because growing up, I felt like I couldn’t connect to anyone, and so I think knowing in my head that if I was gone, he would be a wreck, she would be a wreck, you know, so many people. I had the realization that people care, and everybody, there’s someone that cares for you deeply, and so I think with that in my head, that helps me a ton. Because I still struggle and I think it’s always gonna be an ongoing battle, and so that’s something that keeps me going. For sure.That’s a coping skill, knowing that I’m loved.

Jennea, in the film, you were playing guitar and mentioned you enjoy singing. Do you have any musical projects for yourself that you want to do?

Jennea: Oh my gosh.

Brian:​ That’s what you said in the film, “Oh my gosh.”

Jennea: ​Did I?

Brian:​ You did, yes.

Jennea:​ Oh, I don’t know.

Brian: ​I think she did.

Jennea:​ I don’t know. Not yet, but I love music. It’s more of a hobby for me, so maybe in the future. It’s such an art form for me, but we’ll see. It’s definitely not gonna be metal. I’m so hippy; I like acoustic guitar. I mean I love metal. I’ll listen to whoever, but personally I’m so…

Brian:​ She knows how to find talent, man. She found Post Malone when he was just coming out. Just had one of those hits. And Billie Eilish, she was listening to her before she blew up, so she knows, man. She’s got a ear.

​And Brian, is there anything in the works that you have with Love and Death?

Brian:​ We’re trying to finish the record. In January, I think we’re gonna finish the other half. We got half done. My god, that’s been a long wait. I swear, so the producer’s in Breaking Benjamin now. That’s the problem. And I’m in KoRn. So I’m like, “Hey, you home?” ​”No. I’m on tour”. And he gets home, and he’s like, “Hey, you home?” And I’m like, “No, I’m gone.” ​So we’re both gonna be home in Nashville in January, so it’s on.

And so there’s been a few festival announcements as I said earlier with KoRn. Are you guys working on a new album?

Brian:​ We are. We got a lotta guitars done, but we’re not finished with the guitars, and I think the drums are done, but we’re gonna still write more. And bass is not even close to being done. So we got basically most of the songs written, and Jonathan’s messed around with a little bit of vocals. Everyone’s chilling this year. We needed the time off, and God was looking out for us because all the stuff we had to endure this year, you know? Especially Jonathan. And we took the most time off than KoRn has in years. Maybe even ever because when I left I was like, “Thank God, I can just sit at home for a while.” Because everyone’s always booking shows, so it’s like, “Dude, can we have a life, too?” Like some of these bands go away for two years, and then come back. KoRn would always book shows even on time off. It’s like…

I know, KoRn have always been touring.

Brian:  “Give everybody a rest, man!”

I know Jonathan must have had a shit year. So Jennea, now that you are a young adult, how is your relationship with your dad? And I can obviously sort of see it from here.

Jennea: ​I don’t know. It’s spicy. I was trying to tell you that. Honestly, I realized today that when you have a single parent, your bond is just different. I don’t know, it’s always been me and him. So we are so close. We have an understanding of the things that we’ve been through together, and stuff. And so there’s just this love. A respect, understanding, love sort of thing. So yeah, we’re super close.

May I ask, are you still in contact with your mother?

Jennea: ​Here and there, but it’s kind of stayed to that right now. You know what I mean? She’s doing her thing, I’m doing mine. But yeah, here and there. I love her to death.

Of course. And here’s a fun question, Brian, when you left KoRn, did you ever listen to the other albums that they recorded without you? And did you ever question when they collaborated with Skrillex?

Brian:​ Yeah, I listened to all of them, and I told myself I wasn’t gonna because there was stuff said in the media, and whatnot. And I’m like, “I just wanna forget about ’em. I just wanna forget about that. I just wanna do my own thing.” But then I couldn’t resist. I was like, “I just gotta hear it!” And when Skrillex came out, and that song “Get Up”. I loved it. I was like, “What? This is crazy!” And I know the fans were divided, but that song particularly was slammin’, and very melodic. I was blown away. Some of the other albums I liked better than the others. I don’t even remember the names of them. I just block ’em out. No, I’m just joking. Some of them I like better than others, I just I thought James “Munky” Shaffer did an incredible job keeping the guitars and writing while I was gone, and everything. He got tired, though. When I came back, he was like, “I’m so glad I ain’t gotta do it all.”

Credit: Sean Berry

And my last question is for Jennea. Have you ever gave constructive criticism to your dad?

Brian:​ You got great questions!

Jennea: ​Honestly, I need to shut my mouth sometimes because I give my opinion a lot. And he’s like, “Ugh, okay, okay.” But, yeah, for sure. ​And you listen, too. You’re a good sport, even when I’m like, “This…”

Brian:​ Her and Tiffany from Awakening Youth, the boarding school, she’s been there forever. They gang up on me sometimes. They’re like, “When…” Can you believe that?

Jennea:​ Lil’ Yachty.

Brian:​ She’s from the boarding school, and they’re hitting me up on music advice. No, but it’s

good advice, too. And I agree with most of it.

A Family Values tour reunion, that would be awesome, though.

Jennea: ​Wouldn’t that be sick? With new bands, too. And new artists.

Brian:​ How fun would it be in twenty years, and Ice Cube’s like all white hair, and he’s like gangster rap. Grandpa gangster rap. Talk about G.

Family Values 2020. Is there anything you want to just say or add to your fans?

Brian: ​I would just say I really hope that y’all would check it out. It’s a very unique story. It’s way more than a rock doc because all of our fans… Over the years, I’ve seen that we struggled through similar things. We’re just broken people who got through life with music. And our fans too. And we were able to give that to them. So they’re gonna relate a lot to the family dynamics, and addiction, and depression. And so I hope to encourage a lot of them. So you guys check it out. It’s all love. What about you?

Jennea:​ About me. The main things for me on the film is that family connection is really important, and father-daughter relationship. Female empowerment and teen suicide, teen depression. I think that’s really prevalent. And I just hope that people know that that’s really what the movie is focused on. Obviously the KoRn and stuff, but it’s about a father and daughter who struggle with depression, anger, anxiety, all these things, and overcame it. And so it’s inspiring I guess. It’s inspiring if I say so myself.

Brian “Head” Welch has also shared a video feature for I Am Second as he went into greater detail on his faith and how he went back to KoRn:

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