There And Back Again: Brian Welch, Korn and Christ

Written and Media by Jake Cannon.

Korn. Taken from
Korn. Taken from


From Krafty Kuts to Ke$ha, if anybody is a trendsetter in misusing the letter ‘k’ on the top of my list would be nu-metal band Korn. Trying to create a unique look, the eye-lining, dreaded hair-styling, stone-faced band sets themselves apart by creating songs about pain, murder, violence, and sex that only appears to have found a niche market in angst-driven adolescents. With the “I’ll stop wearing black when they make a darker color” attitude, Korn has made quite an infamous name for themselves selling over 35 millionalbums with an impressive 11-album discography. But there’s more to this band than meets the eye. Back in 2005, guitarist Brian “Head” Welch quit Korn. The reason? Jesus. In an interview with Christian entertainment review site PluggedIn Online, Welch said,

Brian Welch. Image taken from
Brian Welch. Image taken from


“The last two years I was in Korn I partied non-stop and started doing speed every day. I got so addicted that I got scared. I tried to go to rehab, but that didn’t work. No one could help me. Then I ended up seeing if Jesus was real, and He instantly took the drugs away. He revealed Himself to me and gave me the strength. Once I figured that out, I knew I was accountable to God.”

In a brief news post from MTV, James Montgomery wrote, “On February 8, he [Welch] had apparently written a ‘letter of resignation’ to the band’s management. In the note, Welch detailed a long list of reasons for leaving the band, including increased moral objections to Korn’s music and videos.”

Album cover for "See You On The Other Side."
“See You On The Other Side” cover art.

Korn, though they appeared fine from the split, went at it Taylor Swift style. In their 2005 album See You On The Other Side, lead singer Jonathan Davis sings “Your messiah was never mine” and in their 2007 untitled album, Davis writes, “I read your little book, Head/Ha ha ha ha.”

So it appears the split was a good thing, at least from Welch’s standpoint. He started his own heavy metal band called Love and Death and experienced some success with the debut album Between Here & Lost.

You would think this would be the end of the article right? Wrong. It was reported earlier this year that Brian Welch rejoined Korn. What changed? Brian left drugs, bitterness, anger, depression and fear. Why would he go back? Needless to say, there was an outcry from the Christian populace about this decision. About that, Welch writes for saying,


“I was getting some crap from a few Christians that were commenting online that KoRn weren’t ‘honoring The Lord’ in their music. There was a time when I didn’t think God would be very into KoRn’s music and lifestyle, but I’ve learned that He loves everyone where they’re at. And I know God loves KoRn’s music because it’s passionate and very honest. I just trip out on these people that have the balls to judge people so harshly with their negative, hateful attitudes. It’s crazy how bold people are online. Not one person has come with their negative attitudes to my face. Luckily, most of the Christians are cool and ‘get it.’ I only have to deal with a small number of knuckleheads.”

Paradigm Shift cover art.
“Paradigm Shift” cover art.

Needless to say, with Korn’s music being characterized as rancid and morally questionable, it makes us wonder what Welch is thinking. With his latest album, can Welch influence Korn into making a Paradigm Shift away from their brokenness? Adam Holtz, from PluggedIn Online, in a review of Korns’ latest album, writes, “There’s no paradigm shift to be found here… He [Davis] speaks, often longingly, of death, suicide, violence, insanity, nihilism, hopelessness, meaninglessness, sadism, and torture. And the resulting gulf between the Gospel of Christ that Welch has embraced—a message of hope, forgiveness and reconciliation—and the hopeless vacuum of Korn’s collapsing worldview is simply vast.”

I understand that in order to convey truth and raw emotions, things need to be said or expressed in certain ways. But how far is too far? Taken from a recent article published on the Papyrus about Eminem and his latest album, “…neglect your presumed notion that all his [Eminem’s] content is highly inappropriate, and look at his art for what it is; a reflection of his inner thoughts and emotions.”

With eleven albums and nothing but hopelessness and despair to show for it, what kind of impact can a Christian make in that setting without dulling the message and truth of Christ? Jesus ate with the sinners, but never played in a band actively promoting sin. Jesus was harsh and offensive, but never to the point of dishonoring His mission and Father. But on the other side, maybe Welch’s influence is exactly what Korn needs. Maybe inside the darkness Welch is the light that will guide them to Christ. Because God is never satisfied with where we are, He calls us to bigger and better things. Things that will ultimately bring Him honor and glory.

Ask yourself this, after eleven albums, can Korn be ultimately redeeming and glorifying to God with their lyrics and lifestyle? Or do they need the light of the world, the light that came to save even those trapped in the darkest of places, and to reject the way they have been living?


  1. Good article… For me, I think it shows us how easily we can be deceived. Some people’s lives can serve as warnings and some as examples. I look at his as a warning.

  2. There IS a paradigm shift to be seen here, and that is within Heads lifestyle… I think he’s gotten a tad too layed back. while I enjoy his albums, Korns are extremely dark.. and at least in Heads “Save Me from Myself” it was Brian reaching out to Christ and relationship building between the two of them. Don’t get me wrong I don’t really judge him but I think he diserves MAJOR prayer support. Whither its him to shine the light or just for protection, he needs it, and needs to understand, its never good for a Christian to live in that kind of negative atmoshpere.

  3. For what it is worth, and this coming from someone who is very spiritual AND a massive Korn fan, the atmosphere in the band is absent the drugs and depression that once personified them. Fieldy is a born again Christian himself, and lead singer Jonathan Davis is a devoted husband and father. They write dark material as a sort of exorcism of negative emotion, and give it to fans so that they have a similar positive outlet of negative emotions. I myself have found a positive release through their music, which has become less dark in subject matter on the whole, at least comparatively to their earlier works. I agree with everything Head has said in regards to his return to the band, and I think if you guys keep your mind open, you might be surprised what comes from their material. But hey, what do I know? I am not God.

  4. Ha! Right on! Awesome that both Brian “Head” Welch and now “Fieldy” know and understand the redemption and grace of Christ our Savior, and what it means to be ‘born again’, or ‘born of the Spirit!’

    As for myself, I am a Christian Universalist! Which basically means that I do not believe in this crap we’ve been taught for centuries concerning “hell” and that God is eventually going to redeem every one of His children to Himself!

    The earliest accounts of the Gospel and “Good News” of Christ’s salvation to man had absolutely no warnings of this “Hell” stuff we’ve all been taught so long to accept! It was Dark Age Superstition brought into society and the church of that time through pagan tribes that migrated into Rome during it’s decline, and with a loss of education, and the people reverting back to more ‘tribal’ and ‘primitive’ forms of understanding in their villages, grew, and was eventually twisted into a message used to threaten people by the political leaders of ‘The Church!’ (Hardly anything Spiritual and much more of something usurped by man to control others though)

    I was raised in a home where we were taught as earlier as we could speak and understand that God is going to send His creation, (those who ‘reject Jesus’) to this place to burn for eternity! But having studied the issue 7 or 8 years ago for myself, and having learned the history surrounding these things, as well as the actual words from the Hebrew and Greek of the scriptures, I’m convinced this was NEVER God’s intention, and I believe God’s love is so great, even despite our wickedness, He’s eventually going to save us all!

    But so many Christians are cowardly and afraid, and still caught in humanistic pride the works of their own flesh trying to win God’s favor, so this message I speak bothers them very much!

    I believe if this world could really behold the One True and Loving God, they’d realize that it’s not Him they resent, but what the hypocrisies of man and religion have so often shown them!

    But good for Brian and Fieldy for getting to show others around them that God loves them just as much and hopefully they’ll one day too understand what I’ve come to, and believe that God is going to save EVERYONE!

    Feel free to add me as a friend on facebook if you’d ever like to know my reasons from the scriptures themselves for not believing in Hell as we’ve been taught!

    • No ShaneLibertyBrian, God is not going to save EVERYONE. It is our free will that makes the decision of whether or not we will be saved. Don’t discount the free gift of free will to choose God. Don’t discount the way to God which is a belief in Jesus Christ. God does not want automatons. He wants relationships with his creation. So yes, religion is indeed a man made idea, but a relationship with God is not. And, we will have to choose Him. If we don’t choose Him, we are making the decision to deny Him and as He is a gentleman, He will not force Himself on us. Don’t be deceived by false teaching. Hell is real. Read Genesis. Hell is the decision to disobey God and go your own way. Whether or not it is an actual place is not the issue. Hell is a state of mind where peace does not reside. God is peace, so if peace does not reside in you, you are in Hell. Again, I say, please make the decision to Choose Him and believe it in your heart and you will indeed be Saved. God Bless You.


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