Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch has been on quite the roller-coaster ride both in his professional and personal lives, and a new documentary titled Loud Krazy Love captures the musician’s tumultuous journey, with a focus on his relationship with his daughter, Jennea.
As fans know, Head left Korn in 2005 in the midst of a battle with meth addiction, turning toward religion as he rejected the rock-star lifestyle. All the while, during his drug use and after he cleaned up, he had to take care of his young daughter, Jennea, who is now 20 years old.
The documentary not only tells the story of Head and his daughter, but also of Korn, as members Jonathan Davis, James “Munky” Shaffer, and Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu all appear in the film, talking about the early days of Korn, as well as their relationship with Head, who has since returned to the band.
Loud Krazy Love recently won an audience award at he Dallas International Film Festival and premieres this Friday (December 14th) at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.
We sat down with both Head and Jennea to discuss the origins of the documentary, the depths of Head’s meth addiction, his departure from Korn, their father-daughter relationship, and more. Read the interview below:
On the origins of the documentary Loud Krazy Love
Brian “Head” Welch: When I left Korn in ’05, that’s when I was thinking about filming things, because it was just so out of the box. I was in the band, and then all this controversy happened when I left. But the main reason was because my life got so much better, and I wanted to film my journey to show the transition from being miserable to getting happy. So, I started filming things — I went to Israel, and filmed that. And then some things where Jennea was 5 years old, 6 years old, that’s in the movie. So, I’m glad I did. That was the initial idea back then.
And then I put it away. We had gotten into some disputes with some people that were involved in filming, so we put it away for a while. Then, a couple of years later, we thought about picking it up, and then it didn’t happen. At that time, I just gave up. And then all this stuff happened with Jennea. She was going through a lot of emotional issues as a teenage girl. And then the opportunity for the documentary came up, and that had to be a part of it. So she had to agree to it. I [said to Jennea], “Here’s the opportunity. First of all, are you open to it? Second of all, if you are open to it, you will own the footage and you will say yes or no to anything that’s aired.” So, she got comfortable with that, and here we are.
So that was the only reservation, because we’re filming some deep emotional things and counseling sessions and stuff, and there’s tears and there’s heavy things, so she was brave, and she was like, “OK, I’ll do it.”
On the depths of Brian’s meth use and the effect it had on his relationship with Jennea
BW: The depth of it was pretty dark, but when I came home, Jennea was still my priority, even though it was a functioning thing. It was like I had to keep going with the drug so I wouldn’t crash and fall asleep. I was always there in the morning, making her breakfast and taking her to school and all that, when I was home. But there was a time when she lived with a family while I was on the road, and then when I came back to town, I wanted to see her, but that interrupted the routine of life. So, there was a season where I would go over their house and just spend time with her and put her to bed, and then I’d go home. It was like juggling life, and I had no wisdom on how to do all of it, because I was just a mess. It was pretty dark, but she was always my priority, even in my drug use.
On whether Jennea had any understanding of Brian’s drug use, and what it was like seeing him in that state
Jennea Welch: I had no understanding [of my father’s drug use at that time]. He was very good at making sure that I was OK and I was comfortable. But he was gone a lot. I remember him being up at night, just stuff that I knew was off, and it kind of freaked me out, just little things. But I was too young, I was 4, 5 years old, so your dad’s like your hero, so you wouldn’t know any better.
On the reaction of Brian’s bandmates to him quitting Korn in 2005
BW: The good thing about the documentary is that it’s real and raw. Jonathan [Davis] goes back emotionally into his irritated feelings when I was like overly religious and saying these weird things to him. They were like, “Oh my god, what’s happened to him? What, you’ve been on drugs this whole time?” You know, we all partied, but meth is a different level of partying. So they were concerned, but in the meantime I was saying all this weird religious stuff to them, because I was a little bit nuts then, and I can laugh at myself now.
I sent them an email saying, “I’m quitting. I love you guys, I’m sorry, but I gotta do this.” And then I started going to the press, and telling my story, and that’s when the band got mad, because they’re trying to do a huge record deal. And so the record companies are like, “What’s going on with your band? Looks like they’re falling apart. What do you mean you want to do a huge record deal?” So, I was hurting things. I irritated them for another couple of years, and then I kind of went into seclusion and started to get to know the real me, and everything leveled out.
In the movie, the Korn members are all in it, and we tell all the old Korn stories — the story of Korn from how it formed and everything. And so there’s a lot of different sub-stories in there. It’s got the Korn story, it’s got my story, and it’s got some of the [other band members’] problems, too, back then.
On Jennea mentioning in the film that she saw naked women and partying as a little girl on the road with Korn
JW: The movie describes all of that so much, because it visually takes you back to when I was a kid, and how, I guess, I knew things weren’t normal because I would go home and live a normal life, and then I would go on the road. All I know is that we went from that weird life, and then he found God, and then we cut everyone off and moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and tried to live a normal life, and obviously he was detoxing and stuff.
I think our relationship started to struggle when I was 11, 12, 13. There’s a lot about that in the movie. That’s when I started to realize that things weren’t right and difficult, so I started to act out and put my emotions on display.
BW: I will say this: It was crazy on the road with Korn, and there was a lot of partying, but there were not naked chicks walking around all the time, so I must have the worst luck that she comes out and sees something. To this day, I’m like, “I believe you saw it, but how could that happen when you were so little?” She was a 5-year-old. I’m not going to take her around where some crazy party is happening. It might have been a thing where someone came out of a bus, and went to another bus, or girls in the audience, but that gets me every time I hear that. Because I tried to do everything to protect her, because, even though my life was crazy, she always knew that dad had everything worked out. To this day, even though she’s 20 now, it hurts to hear some of that stuff.
On whether Brian’s decision to turn to religion ultimately saved his life, despite him being mocked by many fans
BW: One hundred percent. I was coming off of meth and I was awakened spiritually, and it was a real thing that was happening, but I couldn’t process it all. And so I was saying weird things, and there was mocking and everything. But I was going to find out who I was and I was going to go into seclusion, and that’s what I did. And I didn’t come out with solo stuff for a while. I just focused on [Jennea].
I had this big old Hummer that was lifted 12 inches, and when I took her to school, all these kids surrounded it, and were like, “Are you a rock star or something?” And I’m like, I should probably sell this car because it’s not blending into society.
During that season in Arizona, it was so good for us. And so those moments are precious, even though I had emotional outbursts. If you see in the trailer, I was punching holes in walls and stuff. She wouldn’t see that. She would be watching Spongebob, and I would be in my room just going [screams out loud]. But mostly, those were good times we had together — a lot of birthday parties, and school, and dance parties, and all that. I have great memories from back then.
On whether it’s a rewarding feeling for the documentary to be picked up by Showtime
BW: We had a lot of dreams for it, and this is one of them — someone partnering in the mainstream who believed in the film and the story. It’s a unique film, it’s a unique story. People think it might be kind of like a rock doc, and it does tell all the old Korn stories, but it’s so different. It deals with teenage depression, suicidal thoughts, mental health. And there’s a little bit of faith in it. It’s so unique, and I’m thankful to Showtime for partnering with us. We’re very pleased. This is the first phase, and it’s amazing to have them as a partner. And then we’re going to release it wider next year, and then take it overseas and everything, so it’s just getting started.
On what Brian and Jennea discovered about each other in making and watching the documentary
BW: I discovered that she’s very strong and she is determined to find out who she really is, and get to that place where she’s comfortable with herself. She’s willing to face things that a lot of people may not, and she’s willing to be accountable. That takes a huge level of strength. That means the world to me, because we want the best for our children. So, yeah, I discovered that she’s very, very loving, and forgiving, too. This kid has had to forgive so much from her dad and her mom. Now that she’s grown up, she’s seen that her mom didn’t have the best life growing up, and that her dad had emotional issues, and a lot of pain in life. We just dealt with it the way we knew how — to medicate with alcohol and drugs, until it didn’t work anymore, and that’s when the healing came. [Turns to Jennea and whispers, “Thank you for forgiving me.”]
JW: I learned that he loves me a lot! That sounds so funny, but I didn’t know what love was. What does that even mean? How do you even describe it? It’s not so much that I discovered things about him, but I think our relationship has grown deeper, just a better understanding of each other. We filmed counseling sessions, and talked about stuff that’s really difficult to talk about. So, I think our relationship just became deeper and stronger.