Former Korn guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch visited ‘Last Call with Carson
Daly’ on Tuesday (October 9) to promote his new book ‘Save Me From Myself’
and discuss his time in the band and how finding religion prompted him
to quit drugs cold turkey. Check out a rough, computer generated transcript
below the fold.
Carson: It’s been two years since our first guest left the band korn,
after finding spiritual enlightenment. Now, he’s the best selling author
of this book, “save me from myself.” Please welcome brian “head” welch.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Carson: How are you?
Brian: What’s happening?
Carson: Nice to see you again. It’s been a while, brian.
Brian: Yeah, it’s been a long time.
Carson: Congratulations on this. Your book is a “new york times” bestseller.
[ Cheers and applause ]
Carson: We’re a little short on time, because we were goofing off with
the exploding bottles. But let’s get right to it. You’re from bakersfield,
Carson: And the guys in korn, you guys all went to high school together,
Brian: Yeah, well, we went to different high schools. Me and munky went
to the same high school, and jonathan and fieldy went to another high school.
But we hung around together and partied.
Carson: But you were young when the band started.
Brian: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Carson: And things happened very fast for you. You got a record deal,
and then you were selling like, almost 200,000 units a week. Very quick,
Brian: Yeah, man. The first record, it just blew up. It blew up.
Carson: Right. And then — and for you, what was that time like when
things were happening really fast, and you guys were selling like, you
know — 30 million records were sold from korn, like, before you knew it.
Brian: When the third record came out, and we got on “trl” and stuff,
and you know, everything blew up. Radio swore that they wouldn’t play us.
And then, they just picked and all radio started playing and stuff. And
it just went out of control, you know? And we started selling, like, 100,000
records a week.
Carson: And for you, personally, at that point, what was — and I’ve
been with you guys backstage, back in the those days. And I’ve seen it
firsthand. About the most debaucherous thing I think I’ve ever seen. Aside
from, maybe, some motley crue moments that I wasn’t a part of —
[ Laughter ] In reading the book, how destructive was the band at the
Brian: The band? We just went at it, man. We had girls, drugs, women,
beer — everything. We went at it. And the drugs crept in, man. The drugs
kinda crept in, in the beginning. We were doing speed and stuff. But we
were doing coke on the road, towards, you know, the third and fourth record.
And it just started to get old after a while.
Carson: And how about you? You had a separate issue outside of the debauchery
of the band.
Brian: Yeah, my — we all got married on the third record. I don’t know
why, you know, all the women around.
[ Laughter ] But we decided to have a family and stuff. And we just
— we wanted it all, you know. And my wife had a baby and stuff, and you
know, life looked good for a while. But she got hooked on — she became
a junkie, a speed junkie. And she was at home with daughter, and my life
just started to crumble apart. And I swore that, I just wanted her dead,
man. I thought she was the scum of the earth, you know? She was just —
Carson: Your wife?
Carson: You wanted your wife dead?
Brian: Yeah, I just was like — “she needs to die,” you know?
[ Laughter ]
Carson: And were you thinking —
Brian: I was out of my —
Carson: That’s not a rational thought. You were still hooked on speed.
That was your thinking at the time.
Brian: Yeah, I was just out of my mind. Well, she got hooked on speed
before me. And I was out on the road, partying. She just got spun out of
her mind, left our family and —
Carson: Who’s watching your daughter during this time?
Brian: She got a babysitter to watch my daughter. It was just — it
was a nightmare, man.
Carson: Yeah, and your daughter came out on the road with you guys,
too, a couple of times.
Brian: Yeah, yeah.
Carson: And the guys were probably trying just to be nice.
Brian: Yeah, everybody was cool. And we started this deal that everybody
that cussed would have to put a dollar in a jar. So she was making, like,
50 bucks. You know, she’d hide behind people —
Carson: In like five minutes, she’d take in 50 bucks.
Brian: It wasn’t cool, man. It wasn’t cool.
Carson: The book, it’s fascinating. And it’s a great story. But I want
to ask you about this picture in particular. I’ll have to turn it upside
down. Here you are. This is actually, like, in between sets at a korn show.
There you are, upside on a —
[ Laughter ] Do you remember this? And is this — pretty much the face
of as bad as it got right here, right?
Brian: Yeah, vaguely. Like I said, I wanted my wife to die, because
I just thought she was horrible. But I turned around a got hooked. And
I became a speed junkie after that.
Carson: Did the guys in the band know you were addicted, too?
Brian: No, I was — they thought I was just popping pills. And that
was cool, you know. Everybody popped pills.
Carson: Were you the most destructive in korn?
Brian: Towards — in 2003, 2004, I was the most destructive, yeah.
Carson: And was there a moment in time, when you thought, “I gotta do
this for my daughter, I gotta stop doing drugs — ” was it about quitting
drugs, getting out of the band and music? Was it about god? Or was it a
combination of all of that?
Brian: It was just everything, man. I was so addicted to the drugs that
I was packaging — I would have my dealer package it from the united states.
I was sending it to europe. I was hiding it in all my luggage. I would
go into asia, and the penalty — if they caught you with drugs, it’d be
penalty by death, you know. Or life imprisonment.
Carson: And you still had it sent there.
Brian: Yeah, I was out of my mind. I was like, tweaking on the internet,
like, “where’s my package? It’s in london! I need to get over — ” it was
just crazy, I was out of my mind, man.
[ Laughter ]
Carson: Was there a moment when you decided — and then, what happened
in 2005? Was there a spiritually enlightening moment?
Brian: Yeah, I tried to — I tried to go to rehab. And you know, I went
to these incognito places that you could just do outpatient. It didn’t
work. And I just had to, as a last resort, I went into this church. I got
invited to a church. And the pastor talked about jesus being real, and
all you had to do was go and basically hang out with him and talk to him.
And all the bad things in your life will fall away. So I went home and
did speed, and talked to jesus.
Carson: And hung out with jesus.
Brian: I did. Seriously, I said —
[ Laughter and applause ] But I remember, I went home after church.
I was on drugs at church. I went home, and I laid out a line, I snorted
a big old line in my — I remember, my nose was burning, and I just said,
“lord, if you’re real like that guy says, I mean, it seems weird to me.
But if you’re real, take this stuff from me and make me a good father for
my daughter. I’m gonna die if I keep doing this, and — “
[ Cheers and applause ] I had a spiritual encounter of just the love
and peace of god that just overpowered any drug I’ve ever done. And I was
instantly just delivered and I quit drinking, i quit drugs, I never touched
[ Cheers and applause ]
Carson: And you quit cold turkey like that. I gotta wrap it up, we’re
out? We gotta — it’s such a fascinating story and I’m glad — and your
daughter’s doing well and you’re doing well and you have a record coming
Carson: Are you gonna rock — like, people think the whole sort of,
like, jesus freak thing. But you’re still gonna rock out, right?
Brian: Oh, it’s rockin’. I don’t mention the word “jesus” in any of
my songs for some reason. It just didn’t come out like that. But it’s rockin’.
And some songs are spiritual. And it’s about my life. You know, and it’s
Carson: Well, it’s fascinating —
[ Cheers and applause ] “Save me from myself,” brian “head” welch. Good
to see you, man. Glad you’re doing well