Do you think you know Brian “Head” Welch of the band Korn? Once the crazy rock star who found Jesus and now lives the perfect life. That is a headline that many believe define Welch’s life over the past decade, but this could not be any further from the truth. Yes, Welch was and is now the guitarist for one of the biggest bands out there in Korn. And yes, he did turn his life over to God after reaching a breaking point during his days of excess. However, that is not the end of the story. Not by far.
Besides rock start and Christian, he has another title associated with his name. Brian is the father of a nineteen-year-old daughter named Jennea. The role of single father had been anything but a smooth ride for Welch. And being the daughter of a”rock star” has been a turbulent ride for the young woman. Despite the self-admitted mistakes and heartaches along the way, this father and daughter never gave up on each other and fought to restore and solidify their family.
Now the father/daughter duo are sharing their story through the new film, “Loud Krazy Love.” Along with filmmakers Scott Mayo and Trey Hill, Brian and Jennea are offering a very real and candid view into their life together. Through the use of Brian’s personal film footage and interviews with those who have shared in their journey together, the film offers very raw and real insight that the two have endured over the years. While the film does have a lot of footage of Brian’s days with Korn and features interviews with band members, this movie is in no way a “Behind the Music” rock-doc. And while Brian’s conversion to Christ is also a part of the film, it is the focus of the story. Instead, “Loud Krazy Love” is a human film that deals with mistakes, loss, confusion, triumph, forgiveness and most of all, love. While the movie can be gritty, and downright uncomfortable at times, it is beautiful to see what the people and relationships and have become on the other side of the struggles. Not just the relationship between a father and daughter, but also relationships between bandmates and friends, son and parents and believers in God. Another revelation of the film is that while Brian “Head” Welch is undoubtedly a rock star…Jennea Marie Welch may be an even bigger one!
I had the pleasure to sit down with Brian and Jennea Welch, along with filmmakers Scott and Mayo prior to the “Loud Krazy Love” premiere at the Nashville Film Festival. The discussion offers personal insight into the making of the film. I hope you enjoy reading/watching it as much as we did conducting it. Then stay tuned to The Music Room in the upcoming weeks for news on how you can view the film for yourself.
TMR: I should start off by saying that my site is a music site. Obviously, I’ve been aware of your music with KORN for a long time now. I’m also a believer as well, so I followed your story very closely. With your book, “Save Me From Myself,” you laid out everything you went through that led to your change…or transformation really. What led you to do the film, “Loud Krazy Love?”
Brian Welch: Wow…that’s a long story
Trey Hill: That’s a very long story. It starts with Brian back in 2008. I Am Second did a short, 8-minute film on his leaving the band. After that, he had a desire to do more. You wanted to take that story further, right?
BW: I was so lost and confused with life. So when I was awakened and had the will to live …this was massively because of her (motions to Jennea.) I actually started filming things then. I always wanted to do a documentary. So, once we did the I Am Second film there had been a couple of times that we talked about it. I got with a couple of other people, but it never ended up working out. These guys are professional and they came to the plate and I was like YES!!!
Scott Mayo: He wanted us to try and get it done in ten years but we did it really quick and got it done in five. He’s been really pleased ever since.
TH: The thing is, the movie has been being made before we came into the picture. There is footage in the movie of the room that Jennea was born in. Brian’s home movies became an integral part of how we were able to tell such an intimate story. We feel very grateful for all of the people who picked up a camera to document Brian and Jennea’s lives over the years because they became hugely beneficial to us as storytellers as we tried to figure out how to tell this particular story.
SM: There is a scene of the baby shower. It’s a scene early on where you kind of get a peek into the real family. The forty minutes that led up to that was crazy road stuff and then it cuts and you are literally in a baby shower. (laughter) That goes on for twenty minutes and then you’re back on the road. It was the completely random, needle in a haystack thing.
TMR: When you get saved, there is this feeling of okay, this is it. I’m good. But then you go through hills of judgment and opinions. Were you surprised by the difficulties that met you on the other side of that decision?
Jennea Welch: Yeah, there’s no way to expect it coming.
BW: Tell him some of the stuff…I got angry at God, so much.
JW: Yeah. I feel that a lot of the time, people in the Christian realm…the walk seems so glorified. No one shows the real roughness and the hardness of when you walk with God. No one can expect that kind of thing to happen. I think this documentary is so beautiful because it shows that side. It shows that we all go through it.
BW: The Lord was really kind because I would get encouraged along the way. I would get really mad, but He kept loving me and encouraging me too.
TMR: Did you find any mentors in the music world to help you along the way? Alice Cooper comes to mind as a rock star who found Christ but has kept on doing his thing. Or were there people outside of music who helped you find the balance to say I can keep playing in KORN and also be a believer?
BW: It was mainly a no-brainer. It was confusing going in, but then it was like what a better place to be. What a better place to be than around people who were just like me and kind of lost. It made sense. But I was a little bit religious about it. I think the Lord revealed it to me and I have a few key people in my life.
TMR: I just talked to Michael Sweet of Stryper a couple of weeks ago. The band just released a new record a couple of weeks ago called “God Damn Evil,” and they got a lot of complaints about it. Do you worry about that kind of stuff? Trying to please your fans over here but then also please other Christians over there. Or do you just not think about it?
JW: I feel like he is passed that kind of thing. He just wants to help people. He’s following God and he’s following the signs and the paths. You know when something feels right. So I feel like he’s followed those things really well and he’s heard, God. His whole drive is to help people, to be there for people and to love them.
BW: Very well said! And I think these guys told the story of that very clear. It doesn’t bother me that much anymore. Sometimes I get irritated, but I don’t have time to waste on that stuff. Life’s too short.
SM: You said something the other night…you said it better, but basically you said that you reject that kind of division. One of the goals in telling this story is that it’s not about becoming something and then separating yourself. There is an inclusion and a brotherhood in the band. There are the family relationships. The father/daughter, and even Brian’s parents. It’s a place for everyone to co-exist. It’s really about love.
BW: A wise man once said, God is never far from us for in Him we live and move and have our being. He was telling these people who aren’t Christians that. So all of us live and move and have our being in Him. We’re not separate. We try to divide but we’re not separate.
TH: When we talk about this movie we say it’s a crazy love story about a complicated family. I think a lot of us come from families of …I know I do, brokenness. Brian’s story is a story about a subversive kind of love that’s big enough and inclusive enough that anyone, with any point of view, can fully be themselves. They can just be whole and be real. There’s a patience and a kindness. There’s a true love the governs the way that Brian lives his life. That immediately extends to Jennea, and we see the fruits of that through this story. And beyond that, that family includes his bandmates. That family includes the whole KORN family. I think that’s really at the heart of this story. So that question that you asked about how Brian deals with the haters…he just makes room for them.
BW: Well put…well put,
TMR: Well yeah, there are the haters in the rock n’ roll world with the Blabbermouth culture. Then you have the Christian’s that will tell you that you should cut your hair and not have tattoos.
BW: it’s like those people are so lost that I feel bad for them. I was kind of like that back then, that’s why I feel bad for them.
TMR: For anyone who is not lucky enough to be here in Nashville to see the film, what are the distribution plans to get it out there to people?
TH: we are having those conversations every day. Our goal is to secure a deal where we can announce a fall release, but as of right now we’re in evaluation mode.
TMR: Then I am one of the lucky ones for sure. I get to see the film and then tell everyone how great it is and that they need to see it. It’s funny to me because since I have followed your journey and transformation I always think of Jennea as a little girl because that’s where she was when all of this started, but as I sit here I see the nice young lady that you have raised. Congratulations on that.
BW: Thank you. I had a lot of help. I made a lot of mistakes but she knows that I love her. She’s forgiven all of the mess ups. I just want to say one thing about the film. You’re going to see that it’s pretty raw and real. It’s not like the cookie cutter Christian story. We just wanted everyone to be authentic and to be themselves in the film. In a family, you don’t have believers. There are band members that don’t believe the same way that I do, but we wanted everybody to be themselves and authentic.
TH: Bringing this all full circle, we started this thing with Brian’s conversion. You expect that to be the peak, right? That everything after that…roll credits because it doesn’t matter. Brian’s life proves that’s not how it works. That there is a lot of story left to live and a lot of story left to tell. This story is about creating this better family…this better version of family. And just like Brian said about this not being a typical Christian film, I really hope that people do not see this as a story with an agenda. We’re not trying to force you to believe something or convince you of something. We’re trying to tell you a story that happens to be beautiful. At the heart of it is a guy who is a Christian.
BW: For half the movie I wasn’t.
JW: It’s not a Christian film. It’s not a rock doc. It’s a story