You know him as “Head”; guitarist of one of the most popular and successful nu metal bands in existence, KoRn. You’ve seen him shredding under the spotlight on stages across the world, living a life that most people dream about. Like so many of the celebrities we idolize, it’s easy to forget that Brian “Head” Welch is human, just like us.
Today, May 17th, Brian “Head” Welch is putting his story out there for all to read in his second book “With My Eyes Wide Open: Miracles and Mistakes On My Way Back to KoRn“. In this book, Head tells the raw truth about his struggles as a single parent, his battles with addiction, the financial challenges he’s faced, and more. He also reveals that his inspiration doesn’t come from music; it comes from God.
I had the chance not only to read his book, but to talk with Head about it. Truth be told – it made me laugh, it made me cry, it inspired me – – all in all, it was very healing. It features excerpts from music icons like Sonny of P.O.D., Jacoby of Papa Roach, Lacey Sturm, and Corey Taylor of Slipknot. But the words that stood out the most and hit my heart the hardest were the words from Head’s own daughter, Jennea. She has been a tremendous inspiration to Head. In fact, he told me that the book never would have happened without Jennea, since so many of its pages contain stories about her. I could talk about this all day, but will sum it up by saying: from addict to rock legend and everything in between, this book is a MUST BUY.
Keep reading to find out what Head had to say about his book, along with the meaning behind some of his tattoos.
Mel: Hey everybody it’s Mischievous Mel here LIVE from Northern Invasion – Day Two, and I am here with an icon.
Brian: My name is Randy Ragutti. Just kidding. Brian Welch – KoRn. Uh – yeah, that’s it.
Mel: You are known for KoRn and music, but what is more awesome than KoRn, and don’t get me wrong, I’m die hard KoRn fan and music fan, is your book. It was so f*cking amazing and the reason is because most people who struggle say “some asshole made me do it, it’s everybody else’s fault”. You basically said, “I f*cked up and I owned that shit.”
Brian: Yeah. I don’t think my next book is going to be about me screwing up so bad. I feel like I’ve learned a lot. I was pretty ignorant in some spots. When you read it you were probably like, “what in the heck is this guy doing?” There was a part of me deep down inside that wanted to lose everything to see that everything would still be okay. Because I trusted in money so much, so a part of me was just like, “I don’t care, screw it.” I did think the businesses were going to make money though.
Mel: Even the meat truck?
Brian: Ah! Yes. I remember a little bit into it, I was like “why am I getting into the meat delivery business…?” but whatever. Live and learn.
Mel: Talking right now we sound like we are friends from way back, but really, it’s the book. When you read it, it so humanizes you and humbles you and that’s what’s so amazing to me ‘cuz as a parent, like I said – I read it, I laughed, I cried. Most are going to pick it up because they’re KoRn fans, they’re a musician fan (and you’re like a god of music). And then you read this book and it touches everybody on every level – on the musician level, on having money, on losing money, on being a parent, everything.
Brian: I’m really stoked that you took the time to read it. It’s just like, we’re all the same, you know? When I wrote the book I wasn’t no big shot rock star, I left all that. My status was gone (not with some of the hardcore fans) and I was mocked. I lost a lot of stuff. I am just like everybody else. And now I’m back in the band and playing big shows like this- it’s really cool, but we’re all the same.
Mel: We’re glad that you came back, because, you know, I’m a music fan too. At first I was intimidated like, ”I can’t talk to that guy he’s scary!” and then I read the book though and realized…you’re human!!
Brian: Yeah! Scary… look at your husband (laughs)
Mel: Well, look at me! (laughs) I didn’t mean scary like that, I meant like, you’re like, so “high-up” — I was intimidated.
Brian: Oh – I’m so not impressed with myself at all.
Mel: Do you still have the pimp suit? Or what did you call it? The suit that you wore to the Disney Premier?
Brian: Oh yeah! It’s in my closet. Gator. I put that suit on and my friend said, “What’s up Gator?” Like some slick-back-hair Italian mafia guy.
Mel: Again guys, you gotta read this book. It comes out Tuesday. And I don’t know what today is and I don’t know what state I’m in!
Brian: Tuesday is the 17th.
Mel: Thank you for the date. I still think it’s 1996, so work with me.
Brian: Me too. Every time I write a check – this year – I’m just like May 15th, two thousand and………….sixteen?
Mel: Are you going on a book tour?
Brian: I’m doing a media book tour right now. I’m going to New York City tomorrow, and spending three days there. Then I’m going to LA for a couple media days. So yeah I’m doing stuff for the next couple months, but a book tour signing? No time. I want to try to do it on the road with the fans. So anybody watching, look out for KoRn tours, maybe the Zombie tour, I’ll try to do that.
Mel: So, not only are you book touring, but you’re out music touring. You’re here at Northern f*cking Invasion, which is one of the biggest festivals out there and you’re here. You’re back!
Brian: I’m stoked. Been back for three years but I was telling someone earlier – it was me trying to get to know the KoRn life again with the last record, and I like the last record a lot, but the new record just feels like we landed where we’re meant to be and it feels like what KoRn always was.
Mel: I think maybe because you’re at peace with yourself now.
Brian: Yeah. Well the music is brutal too, and I love playing guitar – me and Monkey spend a lot of time on guitar.
Mel: Well you gotta use that outlet somehow. Speaking of outlets, another one people have is ink, and I see you have some really awesome ink. Can you tell me the story of your eyelids?
Brian: Yeah I got Shekinah and Hijab, the Hebrew letters on each of my eyelids. It means the character and person of who God is, feminine and masculine. We both, male and female, come from Him; so that’s what it symbolizes right there. It hurt. As I was doing it I was like, “you idiot!” Just like in Napoleon Dynamite. I gotta watch that movie again.
Mel: This tattoo right here (points to his cheekbone) is amazing with the music notes and the stars, I love it.
Brian: It’s really cool when you’re close up. I’ve seen in pictures from far away, it looks like a bird crapped on my face or something. Your husband has tattoos all over his head.
Mel: He does. I told him to tattoo “Mel’s Bitch” on there but he refused. I tried. It is what it is.
Brian: Hey, there’s time.
Mel: Well again, thank you so much, I know you’re getting ready for a show.
Brian: No, I’m honored. I wanted to talk to as many people as I could today just about the book and getting the word out. You made it that much more fun.
Mel: It was amazing to read it; very spiritual and very healing.
Get your copy of “With My Eyes Wide Open: Miracles and Mistakes On My Way Back to KoRn”
Click here to read our interview with Brian “Head” Welch in 2015.