HeAd’s KoRner: Shedding ‘Blood’ With In This Moment
Brian ‘Head’ Welch, frontman for Love & Death and guitarist for Korn, contributes a regular column to Loudwire called ‘HeAd’s KoRner.’ Following news that Head has reunited with Korn for a series of tour dates in 2013, it was recently revealed that he has also hit the studio with the band to work on their 11th album (and first with Head since 2003’s ‘Take a Look in the Mirror’). In this edition of ‘HeAd’s KoRner,’ Welch offers an update on his living situation and his own interview with singer Maria Brink and guitarist Chris Howorth of the band In This Moment. Read the latest edition of ‘Head’s Korner’ below:
I am a man of my word.
I mentioned before that I was gonna move out of my house, put everything in storage and live on the road all year. After a month-long tour with my band Love & Death opening for Thousand Foot Krutch in March, that’s exactly what I did.
And it sucked! I hate moving!
But I hired my drummer Dan from Love & Death, as well as some other friends to help me, so it could’ve been worse I guess. It took about a week to pack up my house and move it all into storage. It was pretty stressful, but once it was done, I felt free!
This isn’t the first time I decided not to have a place to call home. When I left KoRn in 2005, I sold my house and went on a similar adventure. I traveled for almost a year all over California and Arizona and even had a killer vacation in Israel. At the end of 2005, I finally found peace camping out in Phoenix for a while, so I found a place and lived there for about five years.
I’m sure something similar will happen later this year, but for now, my adventure is just getting started!
The first adventure began right after I moved my stuff into storage. Back in March, Love & Death got an offer to open for a great band I’m sure all of you have heard about called In This Moment. One of the most important things about making it in music is to be unique, and In This Moment completely stand out from the countless bands out there in the metal world.
Their uniqueness may be one of the main reasons why they’re blowing up. Now, I’ve made it to the very top of the charts, so I know first hand that when bands start to blow up and get a lot of exposure, personalities can start to shift to what may be perceived as … well … unpleasant … to say it nicely.
So it was a great pleasure for me to discover how completely humble and polite all of the ITM band and crew were to me, Love & Death, the opening bands, and the local crew guys at each show. I am a spiritual man so I like to go deeper than what’s on the surface and I could tell the ITM gang had similar hearts. I got a chance to talk to the co-founders Maria Brink and Chris Howorth as they were starting up Revolver’s “Road to the Golden Gods Tour.”
What was growing up like? Gimme a picture of your childhood. Was it a good or not-so-good childhood?
Chris: My childhood was pretty good growing up. I had supportive parents and a great group of friends. Aside from getting kicked out of high school for not showing up and some drug and alcohol related bad decisions along the way, I really can’t complain about my childhood.
Maria: I had a young rock ‘n’ roll mom who was growing up with me. We lived in the projects, mobile home trailers and motel rooms when I was young. We definitely were not well off, but we still found the love in it all. My mom loved music and that really played a huge part in me falling in love with it. She had me out at concerts at 4 years old and I wouldn’t change that for the world. I knew I wanted to be a singer at 5 years old! It just took me a few more years to truly manifest my dream into reality.
When were you bitten by the music bug? What song/band did it for you?
Chris:: I was 15 and just started getting into KISS and Motley Crüe. My parents took me to see KISS and from that night on all I ever wanted to do was play music and be like KISS. I’ve been obsessed with trying to “make it” in music — the songwriting, the recording, the business side, the live concerts — pretty much everything about it ever since I was a teenager.
Maria: Well, like I said, super young because of my sweet mama … It’s all I have ever known and how I learned to express myself!
I’ve been in a few bands that are very embarrassing now, LOL. Do you have any stories of some ridiculous/embarrassing previous bands or things that happened in former bands?
Chris: Looking back at some of my old bands’ names is hilarious. One of my bands was called “Wet Nightmare” another was called “Nasty”, and I cant forget “Ace Flyboy” (what the hell were we thinking!). I remember cutting up all the broom sticks in our house so the drummer for “Wet Nightmare” had something to bash his drums with. God bless my parents for letting all these crazy bands practice in our basement.
When did you meet? Give me the “In This Moment” formation story in short version. (And throw in there at what time Maria learned how to do that bad ass scream she does!)
Chris: We met in California, we had both moved there from our respective hometowns to “make it in music” and at first I wanted nothing to do with being in a band with a girl. I wouldn’t even audition Maria at first [laughs]. She forced her way into an open jam session we were having and the minute she started singing I knew I had to work with her, we started writing songs together and haven’t looked back since.
Throughout the years, all of us in KoRn have heard stories about how our music has helped our fans get through extremely difficult things, like sexual or physical abuse, major depression and even suicide. I’m sure you guys have heard some heartbreaking things, too, like most bands out there. What kind of stories have you heard from fans about In This Moment’s music getting them through difficulties in life?
Chris: It’s such a humbling experience to have someone tell you how your music touched them, or helped them through something and even saved them from something extreme like suicide. Honestly, we have heard it all. One story that stands out for me is about a kid named Zach who was born with a bad heart and lived his short life in and out of hospitals and we were his favorite band. We got him through so much shit. We didn’t know about Zach till after he passed away when his mother came to our show and showed us pictures of us with Zach from Ozzfest the previous year. We gave him our full attention that day and a simple thing for us was a huge dream come true for him. His mother told us he died listening to our song. We still see her and her family every time we roll through Zach’s home town. It’s a huge reminder of how much impact a band and music can have on someone and I will never take for granted the gift we have been given to touch people with our art.
I have personally been through so much pain and drama in my life as I’ve shared in my book ‘Save Me From Myself.’ I like to view myself as a survivor, and I’ve learned that sharing personal stories of survival with fans can help them get through the pain they may be facing in their lives, as well. At times, it can even save lives from things like suicide. What is the hardest thing you can share with us that you’ve been through when you were a child, teen or adult? How did you get through it?
Chris: I had pretty positive example set for me by my parents but one of the worst things I’ve dealt with in my life, and its something I still deal with today is depression. I’ve never had a real solid reason to be depressed. It’s like my mind takes over and everything seems to suck. It becomes impossible to see the good all around me. Over the years I’ve dealt with it in varying ways — booze, drugs, and food — nothing can fix depression but the person experiencing it. The older and wiser I get, the better I deal with it, but it will always be a part of my life. I know I am not alone. Everyone deals with depression in some form or another. It’s just all about how you handle it.
Maria: Well, I have definitely had a very intense life and upbringing to say the least. I did have a beautiful young mom who loved me as much as she could but I still had to deal with all forms of abuse and hardships. I was a pretty lost little girl from experiencing so much and I was diagnosed with a list of sweet little conditions as a result of my traumas. Becoming a sexual victim as a little girl can be very dark and have a deep impact on a child! I don’t talk about it to get sympathy and have people say, “Aww, that poor girl.” I am honest about it because I want any person who is a victim or is hurting to know that they are strong and powerful and that the brightest lights always come through the darkness. I want people to know we can rise from anything and shed the chains. I love all the pain I have endured because it has also taught me about love. I am a lucky woman to have my loved ones and my experiences to open me up the way it has and inspire my art.
I couldn’t agree with Maria more. The brightest lights do come through the darkness. Pain is meant to be used to make us stronger. We all have to deal with it, so we might as well use it to our advantage.
I look forward to the next adventure I get to take. The next month is gonna be pretty wild, as well. It looks like each adventure this year is gonna grow more wild month by month, so be sure to check back with me.
Brian ‘Head’ Welch is a founding member of the multiplatinum band Korn and frontman of Love and Death. He is the New York Times best-selling author of the book ‘Save Me From Myself.’ Brian has won multiple Grammys and MTV Music Awards and is currently touring with both Korn and Love and Death, as well as traveling the country speaking. Follow Brian ‘Head’ Welch’s schedule at www.loveanddeathmusic.com and pick up Love and Death’s debut album, ‘Between Here & Lost,’ at iTunes.