When asked to describe the theme of his forthcoming book, Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch sums it up with one word — “restoration.”
In the trailer for the new book, Welch walks around the ruins of a building littered with pictures of his daughter Jennea. His recent life has often been a struggle, but lately, it’s been back on track. He states that his estrangement from Korn, business dealings that left him close to destitute, and most importantly, his relationship with his daughter Jennea have all been repaired.
Welch admits that watching the trailer is a “tearjerker” for him. “When I think about it, my life was torn to pieces,” he tells Billboard. “On the outside, I had everything. I was in Korn, and I was playing the big shows. I got divorced, but I had a healthy daughter. I had a nice house, cars and on the outside, it was great. But I lost who I was, and after I got myself together, I was happy inside, but things on the outside didn’t look so well. I lost my house to foreclosure and went through so much. But I didn’t run back to the drugs and alcohol. I stayed with my faith. I took my hits and kept going and got back to the place where I am now. Seeing that trailer is a tearjerker because I’ve come so far and I’m really proud of where I am now, and it feels great.”
With My Eyes Wide Open more or less picks up where his first book, 2007’s Save Me From Myself, left off. He’d left Korn after becoming a Christian and decided to focus on raising Jennea. But he soon came to find out it’s not easy to raise a teenage daughter as a single parent. “Seeing my daughter 13 and 14 years old talking like she was 17 or 18 online, I was like, ‘What’s going on? Where’d she learn that language?’” He says. “It freaked me out. I think these kids are too free to do stuff. There’s all kinds of garbage they’re getting into, worse than when we were kids.” Ultimately, he finds out that she’d been self-mutilating. Dealing with that, as well as a handful of bad business deals and lawsuits and the formation of his solo project, Love and Death, are also tackled in the book.
And then, of course, there’s his eventual return to Korn.
Korn are working on their 12th studio album, which will be out later this year. Welch said “people are going to be surprised” with some of the partnerships the band has made. Part of that includes new management, as longtime managers Peter Katsis and Jeff Kwatinetz split last year.
While details of their new business partners are scant, Welch did speak about the direction of the new album. “Me and James [“Munky” Shaffer] wanted to go heavier on the record, because we’re the guitar players and Korn was a guitar-heavy band,” he says. “The last record that we did [2013’s The Paradigm Shift] was me coming back. I saw them at a show, played one song with them, and a few weeks later, was in the studio with them writing new songs. We didn’t have any time to hang out. To live with everyone on the road and to function in the band, with the fans and business together for three years, we really connected and felt comfortable. So after three years, we went into this album, and we’re focusing on guitars and spending a lot of time on them. It sounds really good, and I think it’s going to end up a heavier record.”
Also, Love and Death has a new song, “Lo Lamento,” which debuted last week along with the pre-order for the book. If pre-ordered from Welch’s webstore, fans will get an instant free download of the track.