Brian Welch: More Than Head Knowledge

Brian Welch's salvation experience surprised heavy metal fans, and his passion for serving the Lord in music continues with his latest CD, Save Me From Myself.


HEAD’S START Brian was raised in the industrial farm town of Bakersfield, California. Early in his life, Brian felt like he was different from most kids and was picked on a lot in school. One way Brian says he was different was that his head was bigger than the rest of his body. This is how he got the nickname, “Head.” Through the difficulties of growing up, he found something that he could call his own, music. He loved Ozzy Osbourne and other metal rock groups. Originally, he wanted to play drums, but his father encouraged him to play the guitar because it was quieter. Brian seemed to be a natural at the guitar, excelled, and found his niche. Around this time, he also had his first introduction to drugs from some of his friends. His family didn’t really go to church and Brian had limited exposure to God. When he was 13, Brian started hanging around a boy named Kevin and his family, who were born-again Christians. One day, Kevin’s mother told Brian about Jesus and Brian accepted Jesus as his Savior. Brian really meant it and wanted to continue in the faith, but he had no one to help him grow in the faith. It wasn’t long before Brian went back to his old ways and old friends. Through his teen years, Brian continued with his music and he met the people with whom he would eventually form Korn. ROCK N’ ROLL LIFESTYLE In his early 20s, Brian moved to Los Angeles with a few members of Korn. Drug and alcohol abuse became a regular part of his life. After a few years, Korn hit it big. The drug and alcohol use became more prevalent. As Korn’s star was rising, Brian met the woman who would eventually become his wife. Brian and Rebekah quickly grew inseparable. In 1995, they became pregnant with their first daughter. Neither one of them was ready for parenthood, so they put the child up for adoption. Korn’s popularity and success were growing as a Grammy winning Nu Metal rock band, but drug abuse and tumultuous times were going on behind the scenes. Brian and Rebekah had a volatile relationship due to drugs and their lifestyle. Rebekah became pregnant again with their second child. This time, they were determined to have the child and be a family. They stayed clean through the birth of their baby daughter, whom they named Jennea. Things were looking bright for the Welch family until Brian had to tour with Korn again. After the first performance, he had a beer to celebrate. After the next show, he had more beers to celebrate. Before long, Brian was hooked on drugs again. Rebekah started using drugs again while she was at home with Jennea. After a few more years with this, Rebekah decided to leave Brian and they divorced. Through a turn of events, Brian got full custody of Jennea. Brian tried to be there for Jennea, as well as stay active with the band. WASHED BY BLOOD In 2004, Brian hit rock bottom. It was hard for him to meet the demands of life on the road as well as being a single father. One of the turning points was when he heard little Jennea singing a Korn song called “A.D.I.D.A.S.,” which stands for “All Day I Dream About Sex.” Brian knew that he couldn’t keep Jennea in that life and wanted something to change. Brian was depressed, deep into drugs and Internet pornography. One morning, one of his business partners, Eric, sent him an e-mail out of the blue. Eric was a Christian, but didn’t normally share his faith with Brian. This day, it was different. Eric gave Brian the Bible verse, Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, there you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Brian replied and Eric continued to tell him the truth about Jesus, which gave Brian hope. God kept showing Himself to Brian through different personal events. Everywhere he went, it seemed people were telling him about Jesus. In November 2004, Brian went on his last tour with Korn. During the Christmas holidays, God was calling to him and he was still struggling. Eric met Brian at a coffee shop and suggested that Brian ask Jesus back into his life. Brian said the prayer, but didn’t feel he meant it because he was high. Then, Eric invited Brian to go to church and the service made Brian feel uncomfortable. He thought it was really weird when the same scripture Eric had given Brian; Matthew 11:28-30 was projected on large screens in the church. That day, on January 9, 2005 Brian accepted Jesus and meant it. He still struggled with drugs and prayed that God would take them away. God delivered him from drugs in a short amount of time and took over Brian’s life. Brian left the old life behind, including almost two decades of drug abuse. He made the heart wrenching decision to leave Korn at the height of their success, and eventually made a new life with Jennea in Arizona. Despite the many joys and pains with his new life, Brian is not looking back. God is his number one priority and he wants all God has for him. SAVED FROM HIMSELF Brian is singing a different tune these days. Though his music and his appearance might not seem very different from a few years ago, he has had a true change of heart. Almost four years later, Brian’s motivation for his life and his music has God at the forefront. Last year, his New York Times best-selling biography, Save Me From Myself, was released, with his fans receiving it as an inspired story of faith and hope. Brian says Korn fans understand the hurt and pain. The book speaks “the language of his people,” as he is trying to be real. His new CD, Save Me From Myself, which shares the same name as his book, was released last month. He is called to music and media. He feels the Holy Spirit when he is dealing with anything media related. At book signings, he’s prayed for people with drug addiction. One time, he prayed for a young man who later returned to Brian and said that something happened when Brian prayed for him. Brian has a good life with Jennea in Arizona. He has a good relationship with his former bandmates in Korn, and he has also made peace with his ex-wife, Rebekah. Brian concentrates on his everyday relationship to God and goes to a monthly fellowship. He believes we need to get real with sharing the faith. We need to hang up religious things! It can’t be Brady Bunch Christianity. WALKING ON WITH GOD In the last few years, Brian has gone through a spiritual maturity process that takes many people a lifetime to go through. God has allowed him to experience more personal deliverance, see the different flavors of the modern Christian church, and receive deeper revelations of God. When Brian was first saved, he had an encounter with a demon that was tormenting him at night. He quickly learned his authority in Christ and told it to leave, which it did. Brian was baptized in the Jordan River, received the spiritual gift of speaking in tongues, started getting dreams from God, and received prophetic songs. He prays in tongues as much as possible everyday, when he’s getting ready in the morning, when he’s watching TV, etc. Brian says God has regularly been giving him songs, some of which are on his new CD, Save Me From Myself. Though there may still be a heaviness to his music, there is heart and a message of hope. He says his music is positive. It portrays pain and victory and, like the Bible, it is filled with love and war. Brian wants to convince people to go to God and start a relationship with Him – God makes things better. People can be connected to heaven now! Brian is open to all God has for him.


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