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Love and Death (featuring Brian “Head” Welch – formerly of Korn) Interview and Live Show Review from The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY

24 May 2012 19 Comments

By: Andrew

Brian Head Welch of Love and Death and Formerly of Korn Photo

Mention the name Brian “Head” Welch and it’s likely you’ll hear, “Isn’t that the dude that went Jesus crazy and left Korn?”

While always fascinated with Nirvana and Kurt Cobain, I was too young to understand what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” meant to the world. Despite living through grunge, I didn’t quite grasp its power until my college years. I grew up alongside Korn and the nu-metal movement, so, more or less, they were my first game-changers. Their first four albums are undeniably classics. Nu-metal died with Untouchables, and as far as I’m concerned, so did Korn. Although their music hasn’t aged well, Korn’s live show, without question, is worth the price of admission – still to this very day. But, they’re just not the same without Head on the stage. Their records are just not the same without Head in the studio.

In 2009, under his nickname Head, Brian Welch released his first solo album, Save Me from Myself. I didn’t expect much, so I wasn’t disappointed. On the bright side, the lyrics were a departure from the often adolescent themes that plague his former band. Welch’s lyrics were uplifting, even motivating, and thankfully devoid of magniloquent preachings. Lyrics aside, the album was a disappointment, mainly due to the lack of hooks. I remember sitting there thinking, “Please give me something to move my head to!” Ultimately, I gave Brian Welch a pass. Stepping out on his own and releasing something as challenging as Save Me from Myself was an exercise in bravery. The aforementioned pass was given because I knew once he settled-in and found his voice – literally and figuratively – that he could take his solo career to the next level.

Love and Death featuring Brian Head Welch Band Photo

In 2012, Brian Welch rebranded his band Head as Love and Death. I remember seeing the press release and just shaking my head, waiting for a trainwreck. Then, I heard “Paralyzed.” Let’s just say I was pleasantly surprised. So pleasantly surprised that I listened to it about 20 times. Basically, I was listening to Brian Welch jam on the best Korn single in a decade. Korn was busy doing dub-step, and Welch is doing Korn better than Korn does Korn. Then, an EP appears called Chemicals. The title track had me hooked. Hooked…hooks? Those things? Yes. All the damage Save Me from Myself did, this EP erased…and then some. I don’t care what he calls himself, but the bottom line is, he has arrived.

Love And Death Chemicals EP Album Art Cover

May 9th, 2012, I’m in lovely (cough) Poughkeepsie, NY. Love and Death is playing at The Chance, opening for RED, and the mighty POD. He did a six song set, opening with “Paralyzed.” He didn’t miss a beat as he plowed through “Save Me from Myself” and “Chemicals.” We then got a cover of “Whip It,” which appears on the Chemicals EP. He closed the set with a Korn medley, followed by a full version of “Blind.” He’s got a great band out with him. They play with such energy and passion. As for Welch, he sounded great, and most importantly, looked comfortable. Gone are the days of the guitar player thrust into being a frontman. He owned the stage. Needless to say, I eagerly await the upcoming Love and Death LP.

One thing I picked up on didn’t happen on the stage. It happened at merch. I’ve seen thousands of merch tables in my day. Very rarely have I seen what I’m about to tell you. During RED’s set, Welch made his way to the Love and Death table. I saw countless groups of fans go from banging their heads to running – literally – to Love and Death’s merch table. Mid-set. Mid-song. Amazing stuff. This dude is a star. Period. When you’re a star, that’s how people react.

I bet after the first few paragraphs of this article you’d never have thought I’d end up here – end up with such positivity. But you know what? I did. Brian Welch made a fan out of me. Go listen to the interview we did below with him. Watch the videos embedded below. Get out to see him live. So, “the dude that went Jesus crazy and left Korn?” …that guy we talked about in the first paragraph… took me, one of his biggest critics – and made me a fan. And that doesn’t happen everyday.

You can download or stream the interview here.

You can navigate through all things Love and Death on their official site.

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19 Comments »

  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Darius said:

    i was at the show last night in Nashville. this entire article is accurate. he was mobbed at the merch table (kids were bringing copies of his book to the show too), his band was awesome live and it was refreshing to see, unlike the current KoRn lineup. also, saying that the new ep is a progression in… well everything, is actually an understatement. the music went from unlistenable to pretty darn awesome in just a couple of years. i absolutely love “Paralyze.”

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  • ArchedIsisByleveling said:

    Great article.

    I listened to the show as well.

    I’m one that never even knew he was doing anything solo. I’m going to pick that EP for whatever couple of bucks it is.

    Plus I think you also touched on my Korn sentiments.

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  • Howie3 said:

    certainly an interesting read n listen. surprised you had the balls to write this but by the end it all made sense. homie is crazy bout god and all this stuff but dem songs are pretty killer

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  • Green Thoughts said:

    Reader and listener since 2005 and never before commented. This echoes EVERYTHING I feel about Korn and Head. And dude seriously, I’m one of Korn’s biggest longtime fans. It kinda dropped off maybe 2005 or so. When I heard that fist Head CD I couldn’t believe how bad it was but saw some places review it well. I was like WHAT?

    Enjoyed everything. I cant wait for the full length in I think October.

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  • Yigger Nes said:

    Much love and respect to all our personnel in the armed forces both past and present.

    Great way to spend a Saturday morning. I can’t attest to the validity of Head’s live act but after what I’m seeing above and after the horrid taste in my most post his first CD I’m going to revisit this new stuff.

    The promo picture is a little awkward and hurts more than I think helps. I don’t like the makeup thing.

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  • KARNOV said:

    Drew, how much did they pay you to write this? :)

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  • fx blessed said:

    It’s as if you were inside my head when you wrote this.

    One critique is the statement about Korn music not aging well. I listened to Korn when growing up but didn’t grow up on Korn. So for me it’s not a matter of whether it holds up or anything. I appreciate it for what it is. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in the lyrics when you look back especially when you figure in this Path of Totality horse dung.

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  • 5150 said:

    It could be argued that Head was the most replaceable member of Korn. That includes Silveira too. I don’t understand the propensity of folks to hold Head to such a high standard. He hasn’t been releavant in 7 years!

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  • hopp said:

    fx blessed:
    It’s as if you were inside my head when you wrote this.

    One critique is the statement about Korn music not aging well. I listened to Korn when growing up but didn’t grow up on Korn. So for me it’s not a matter of whether it holds up or anything. I appreciate it for what it is. There’s a lot of hypocrisy in the lyrics when you look back especially when you figure in this Path of Totality horse dung.

    Between the article, the audio and mini show review as well as the person’s review I quoted here, things are making a lot of sense over here at AKF lately.

    Kudos fellas.

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  • Carla said:

    He still sounds like such a stoner. Some things never change. Great everything on this article. I’m a little curious as to why this got you motivated.

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  • Heel said:

    All Christian rock bands are garbage.

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  • Oscar said:

    Overly honest. Great article. Definitely digging this Love and Death stuff. WAY better than the first album.

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  • ALL KNOWING FORCE: Andrew Bilach (author) said:

    I’m overwhelmed by the positive reaction to this article. Even my harshest critics offered words of praise in private correspondence. And what makes it even more great, is that most of those who praised the writing completely disagree with me.

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  • 63 Aces said:

    I had no clue he was doing solo stuff. Not that I was a fan but this new stuff ain’t half bad.

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  • Vinny said:

    I wrote Head off when leaving Korn. That first album was atrocious.

    I was at the show in MD and people did the same thing when he went to merch.

    Cool interview too.

    He’ll be back in Korn in no time.

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  • Dennis said:

    call me crazy since im as far from religious as anyone but what he’s doing is a good thing. put the music aside. i listened to the interview and he’s for sure more positive than when he was with korn and drugs ruled his life. if he went back to korn he could lean on fieldy because he found god or whatever you call it as well. loving this new head music and can’t wait for him to put out the full length. your article was written well and like those above it really put into perspective what was in my head

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  • Laura in NJ said:

    The “religious” element was present at these shows. I was at the Pennsylvania show. People were showing up with books for him to sign and some motivation posters. I’m not going to say it was strange but it was definitely a different vibe. I don’t like when religion and music mix and I think even though as you say the first CD wasn’t preachy, it was still there a bit much. The radio interview was good too and the best you’re going to get out of Brian. I appreciate AKF’s honesty.

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  • LOCH NESS said:

    call me crazy but i’m excited for the full cd, this stuff ain’t half bad. i’ll admit i was one of the many disgusted by that first cd he did

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  • russ-h said:

    Man this was an interesting piece of writing. All of this like the others said above is a reflection of everything I feel. I’ve been cranking the new Head and am thankful I read this. It’s reinventing no wheels but this is better than Korn since he left.

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