With Eyes Wide Open: Brian “Head” Welch of KoRn

Drugs, sex, money and rock and roll, while the lifestyle of a rock musician can seem glamorous, it can also be very lonely and daunting. When Brian “Head” Welch of KoRn became a Christian, he decided to not only turn away from that lifestyle to follow Christ, but he also left the Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum band he helped found.

His latest book, With My Eyes Wide Open: Miracles and Mistakes on My Way Back to KoRn shares his account of the brutal, eight years he spent as a single dad after leaving KoRn, leading up to his controversial decision to rejoin the band in 2013. Written to be a follow-up to his New York Times bestseller, Save Me From Myself, is told from Welch’s brutally honest perspective. The message is simple: God will love you into the freedom you crave, as long as you keep the relationship going and don’t quit. We interviewed in 2012, and he opened up to us about how he became a Christian and what he sees himself doing in ten years.

“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.” Luke 15:20-24

When we interviewed Brian, he reflected on how he came to Christ, strayed and then came back.

“I didn’t know it was all real. I asked Jesus into my heart the first time at age 12. My friend who was in motocross with me was a Christian and invited me to church. After awhile I stopped hanging out with that kid though and started getting into drugs. I graduated high school and did more drugs. When Korn got a record deal, we signed up for a non-stop party. Eventually, I realized I needed help. I went to a doctor for help and couldn’t get sober. As a last resort I ended up in the church. It was then that the Lord became real and I stepped out and got prayed for. That night I came home and did more meth [methamphetamine] because I was addicted. But then I prayed and asked God if he was real and to help me quit. As I was praying, I felt him so strongly and it was the most amazing thing ever. It felt way better than a fantasy—like too good to be true. A fantasy couldn’t even compare. It was much better than any of that—eternity filled my heart.”

In his book, Brian talks about his departure from KoRn and his controversial decision to rejoin the band and reconcile with the people he once considered family.

“The past ten years haven’t always been easy, in fact some of it has been totally excruciating. But through it all, Jesus has remained faithful. In spite of all my attacks, trials, persecutions, failings, meltdowns, and mistakes, he has never once abandoned e. And he never will…I was steadfast in my belief that God was up to something good-even when everything seemed to be falling apart.” 

Brian shared with us where he sees himself in ten years.

“I want to see myself more like Christ and advancing the platform I have. I hope that my love grows. I would love my soul to be more purged, to walk in more peace and to continue to love people more in the Spirit. To not have people get on my nerves so easily, to not be selfish, and to not have anxiety. And yeah I get social anxiety, not when I’m on stage, but when I get off and start meeting and talking to people. I even have a prescription for it. After every show we go and talk to tons of people – hundreds of people a week. It’s so awesome and you want some kind of personal contact with each person, but your brain just can’t handle it. People will ask, “Do you remember me?” And honestly I can’t. But it’s all good, God’s got that covered and he loves them all.”

Risen Reflections

Reconcile. It could be a family member, friend, or co-worker, chances are there is someone in your life that you have had a conflict with. Often times, we avoid the person and even harbor bitterness rather than reconcile with them. God desires unification amongst believers. He wants us to be reconciled to Himself and to others. The enemy wants to divide Christians by causing strife, leaving people feeling isolated.  Pray and ask the Holy Spirit if there is anyone that you need to make up with. It might involve humbling yourself and asking forgiveness from the other person and forgiving the other person.

Pray for the prodigal. Some of us were the prodigal at one point in our spiritual journey, while others are praying for family members or friends that are prodigals. God wants everyone to be in a relationship with Him. Pray that the Holy Spirit would draw your friend or family member back to God. Ask God to show you how to be a witness to that person. It might mean having a spiritual conversation or demonstrating love through an act of service.

Ask God for vision. Don’t let the mistakes of your past determine who you are. The enemy wants you to live in regret and disbelief. Take time this week to study God’s truth about you and who you are in Christ. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what He wants you to be doing with your life and take steps of faith to get there.

Read our entire interview with Brian “Head” Welch.

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