heavy metal

Brian Welch Interview

Head Hi Brian, thanks for talking with me today. How are you?
Pretty good, you?

I'm pretty good. In October you released the single “Paralyzed.” The song is incredible. I cannot wait to hear the rest of the record. It's going to be an EP right?
Yes we are at the studio right now working on it.

How many songs will be on it?
There will be six or seven.

When will it release?
It’s going to be locked up here soon, so no later than March for sure. I just can’t tour without new songs next year, so I have to put it out. My manager is on it and so it is going to happen.

Have you selected a title for it yet?
No I wish, but we will see.

There are some bands out there nowadays who feel that putting out singles is the way to go. They just release one single at a time or they are just putting out EP’s. How do you feel about that?
I don’t know, this is my first time I’ve tried putting out an EP.

Has the single gone to radio yet?
Yeah it’s at radio. We released it to Active Rock and to Christian Rock too. We aren’t spending the money to push it because there is no label yet. I’m just getting music out there just because I need to put music out there to play new music live.

The artwork for the single is very interesting. What is going on there?
A friend of mine named Joshua Clay is an artist in Portland, Oregon. He did some art for my last book called Stronger. He did twenty-two illustrations because I talked about forty stories and he drew illustrations for half of them. I took it out of the book because it just seemed to fit really good with the word paralyzed and everything.

Are you very hands on with every aspect of the band?
Yeah I have to be because it is my solo thing. It is a lot of work. My guys are coming up more with their stuff too. The bass player came up with a lot of the concept for the video for “Paralyzer.” They are getting more involved with stuff.

You just released the video for the song “Paralyzed." It turned out really cool.

Where was it shot?
We shot it in Nashville at some old abandoned building. We found it, got some food and some fans because it was really hot when we shot it. A video director came out and shot it. We are happy with it.

Writing songs is one way of expressing what you are feeling inside, but you also write books. You’ve written three correct?
Actually I have written two. One of them was just an edited version of the first one.

Will you continue to write books throughout your career?
I have no plans to right now, but I think I will in the future. I think it will come back because I seem to be okay at it. I talk about matters of the heart and stuff like that.

You are very good at it.
Oh thanks! I didn’t know I was until I tried because I’m not the best writer, but I had people come and fix my wording sometimes. I sound like a freshman in high school sometimes when I write.

That's what editors are for right?
Yeah exactly! Any idiot can be an author and I’m proof of that.

You have been on tour. You were out with RED, but you also did some headlining shows as well. How did the shows go?
That was kind of a rough tour because some promoters pulled out a month before they said they were going to do it. They were key promoters too and they just got too busy they said. Our booking agent had to go asking people to book us on short notice, so some of them were real duds because nobody knew we were there. We were like “Okay we are out on tour, we either try to make this happen or we just lose a ton of money.” Two weeks before the tour started we booked five or six shows. We were kind of bummed, but who cares, it is all up and down. We went to Europe and played in front of 10,000 people and at festivals we played for thousands during the summer. It's just all over the table what we play in front of now.

Were those the shows with RED or the headlining shows?

Only the headlining, the shows with RED were great.
Aren't the guys in RED super cool?

Yeah they're really cool.

You have a couple dates left this year, but those are just speaking engagements right?
Yeah I think we may be releasing this new album through a different band name because I think people are getting a little confused with Brian “Head” Welch when I go speak. I think we will release it through a different band name and start like that. We are in a new place right now and it’s another level up. I think it will be smart to do that.

What are the topics that you cover at these speaking engagements?
I usually just tell the crazy story of my life. I talk about growing up in Bakersfield, California with my friends and getting in a rock band. I always attract people that were suffering like I was or that are on the streets or into drugs. I really get to speak life into them. I love doing it. It makes life have a purpose behind it.

What is the scene like for bands in Bakersfield?
Now I think it is a lot better because it’s more modern. There are a couple clubs to play and a couple churches that have rock bands. I played at a bar last time about a month and a half ago. It was weird because Jonathan Davis from Korn was there. He came out and saw us play and then I hung out with him. It was the first time I saw him in six years. We hung out at his house and went to the Korn studio and stuff. It was a trippy visit.

Yeah but at the same time I bet it was really nice.
It was really nice. I wish we could have got together the day before because I was trippin out a bit. I hadn’t seen the guy in six years and we had left on kind of a weird note you know? He was at the show and I was nervous. It was just kind of awkward. It was awkward before the show, but after the show it was great.

Maybe he missed you.
Yeah totally, I missed him too, so it was good.

You never know, maybe someday your bands will do some shows together.
Yeah you never know.

Is The Whosoevers another project of yours?
It’s just some guys that got together and wanted to do something for the youth. It’s one guy from the band P.O.D., one guy from the motorcycle club Metal Mulisha, then Ryan Ries who was touring with Deftones and like skate concerts, he was tour manager. We put on free concerts and stuff to help the youth.

You are involved in many philanthropic efforts.
Everything I do has some sort of purpose attached to it. I was given a second chance, so I want to make the best of it this time.

Tell me about the Mocha Club.
That is awesome. There is this guy who was in the industry and he went to Ethiopia to visit people and he was changed. He got home and quit the music industry. He started up this organization because he found out that these girls are basically born into prostitution for their families because there is not work over there. He saw all these young girls who were selling their bodies and he wanted to go rescue them. The whole concept is, for the price of two mochas, for seven bucks a month he tries to get people to sign up for this thing that creates a job for them to do rather than sell their bodies. He is rescuing these girls from prostitution by the dozens. His heart is so right in it; there is no corruption in it. He has adopted two Ethiopian little girls. I just thought it was really cool because he is a bro from the industry, he has a good heart and I trust him.

It's nice to know that there are people out there with hearts like that.
Yeah and it’s genuine. I love it when you know it’s real. I wanted to back him however I can.

You inspired me and I would like to do more for people myself. I’d really like to start helping in my community.
There are people suffering everywhere. Right on that I inspired you. You can spread it like a fire too. Every time you talk about it, someone else will be like “I want to get involved.”

If I can help someone, I will help them. You have been playing guitar since you were eleven. I’m sure over the years you have accumulated many guitars. How many do you own?
It’s pretty sad. I’ve got 8 to 10, but not that many. You hear about musicians that have 50 to 100 guitars or even more. I have about ten. Two got stolen in 2005.

That’s sad. You hear about musicians being robbed. It’s pathetic. Are you really going to rob a musician? These poor bands are out there barely living on anything as it is.
The people who rob them are usually drug addicts and they are out of their mind anyway.

Do you think your daughter will want to be a musician as well?
She wants to right now, but I mean she is thirteen, so we will see what she does in the next couple years. She needs to get off Facebook and all the social stuff and actually put time into learning an instrument. If she does that, then yeah definitely. I tell her if she really wants to then go for it. Sometimes it's a really hard life, not too many marriages work out and it's travel, travel, travel. Whatever her purpose is, I’m sure it will fall into place. I’ll support whatever she does.

That's awesome. Thank you so much for the interview. I appreciate it. Would you like to add or say anything else?
Thank you. The "Paralyzed" video came out and I appreciate talking to you too. Go and change the world a little bit at a time. All that you do will inspire people too.

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Tags:  Brian WelchHead , Brian 'Head' Welchinterviews

    November 14, 2011

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