KORN’s BRIAN ‘HEAD’ WELCH: ‘The Metal Community Is So Inclusive And United’

In a new interview with Riff X’s “Metal XS”, KORN guitarists James “Munky” Shaffer and Brian “Head” Welch spoke about the enduring popularity of the heavy metal genre, as evidenced by Hellfest, an annual open-air festival held in Clisson, France and one of the biggest metal festivals in all of Europe.

“Definitely it’s gotten bigger,” Munky said (as transcribed by SOUNDERGROUND.NET). “I think people have kind of embraced it. And I think this stigmata, the taboo of metal bands has kind of gone away for the most part. I think people that aren’t into that music, they associate the skulls and the fire [with heavy metal]… And it’s not that. We resonate with this type of music. It makes us feel sort of like a complete person when you have this aggressive music, or whatever you wanna call it. It makes us feel like — I don’t know. It completes our soul, I guess.”

Added Head: “It is a community, though. There’s religion and there’s politics out there, and there’s so much division. And the metal community is so inclusive and united. We just played the other night with JUDAS PRIEST and KISS and KORN, and they loved every single band, in Denmark, ’cause they have respect for the metal community and the different styles and whatnot. And that’s not always the case, but the majority [of the time] it is the case. I love that about our community.”

KORN is continuing to tour in support of its latest album, “Requiem”, which was released on February 4 via Loma Vista Recordings. The band celebrated the LP’s arrival with a special record-release event on February 3 at the Hollywood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles, California. “Requiem Mass” saw the Southern California heavy music pioneers perform an intimate set in front of a 300 attendees.

“Requiem”, which was produced by Chris Collier and KORN, entered Billboard‘s Hard Rock Albums chart at No. 1. The band sold 23,000 equivalent album units in the February 4-10 tracking week, according to Billboard. Of that sum, 20,000 units were from album sales. “Requiem” also landed at No. 2 on the Top Rock Albums and Top Alternative Albums charts. On the all-format Billboard 200, it arrived at No. 14.

KORN recently announced a summer tour with fellow rock culture icons EVANESCENCE, produced by Live Nation. Accompanied by special guests varying across select dates, the 18-city tour kicks off on August 16 at Ball Arena in Denver, Colorado, making stops across the U.S. in Boston, Chicago, Houston and more before wrapping up in Ridgefield, Washington on September 16.

KORN bassist Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu announced in June 2021 that he would sit out the band’s touring activities in order to “heal” after “falling back” on some of his “bad habits.” He is being temporarily replaced by Roberto “Ra” Díaz (SUICIDAL TENDENCIES).

Despite the fact that he hasn’t performed with his KORN bandmates for more than a year, Fieldy did play on “Requiem”.