Korn guitarist Brian Welch found himself at a potentially dangerous crossroads. Drugs, partying and the rock star life were weighing him down, as he desperately sought reprieve from the depths of spiritual despair.
It was 2005 when Welch, who is featured in the new Christian documentary "Holy Ghost," was enjoying fame and fortune as a member of Korn, one of the world's most well-known metal bands. But at the same time he recalls feeling, as he described it, "like a walking gutter."
[sharequote align="center"]"I was on [drugs] for two years every single day. I felt like a walking gutter."[/sharequote]
"I mean, 11 years in a rock band just partying every single day, every drug I did except heroin," he recently told TheBlaze. "I was on [drugs] for two years every single day. I felt like a walking gutter."
Welch said he was a "walking shell" — that is, until he went to church one day and found Jesus.
"When I went to the church, I heard that Jesus was real and I raised my hand in the air," he said. "I went home and talked to him."
The transition didn't unfold over night, but Welch said that the experience stuck with him, as he spent the next few weeks talking to God, asking the Lord to help him change and, more specifically, to remove drugs from his life.
One day, Welch said be received the answer he had been seeking.
"In the middle of feeling like a gutter for two years, feeling like a piece of dog poop … I felt the most intense love coming into my room," he said. "It was unearthly forgiveness. The stuff I've done behind closed doors, I should be put in jail for it. All I felt was forgiveness. [God] loves to shower beauty on the ugliest of circumstances."
[sharequote align="center"]"I felt the most intense love coming into my room. It was unearthly forgiveness."[/sharequote]
And it was that moment that changed it all. Welch said that God became real to him for the first time in his life.
He had been touring nonstop with Korn at the time and, considering that he had a 6-year-old daughter to care for and was struggling with some of what came along with his fame and fortune, the guitarist made the tough decision to leave the band.
"I just had heaven opened over my life, God became real to me," he said. "[I thought], 'I've got to take time off and figure out what this means,'" he told TheBlaze, a decision he's spoken about openly in the past.
[sharequote align="center"]"I just had heaven opened over my life, God became real to me."[/sharequote]
Welch, who later rejoined the band in 2013, said that he believes God wants every individual to experience the same life change that he went through.
From left, guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer, guitarist Brian "Head" Welch, vocalist Jonathan Davis, bassist Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, and drummer Ray Luzier as Korn is Inducted into Guitar Center's RockWalk at the Guitar Center Hollywood on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP)
"The thing is, it's all about the heart. God wants your heart," he said. "He wants to capture 100 percent of your heart and he captured mine."
Welch believes that God led him back to the band, despite his previous decision to leave Korn to focus on his faith. While some might critique Korn's music and lyrics — tunes Welch plays right along with his bandmates — he said that he feels called to minister and be around the rock scene.
"Since he captured my heart I don't have a problem being around people who drink or do drugs," he said, noting that it gives him a chance bring God to those who who desperately need him. "This stuff doesn't have me anymore."
[sharequote align="center"]"God wants your heart."[/sharequote]
Welch and his fellow bandmate Reggie Quincy ”Fieldy” Arvizu — who is also a Christian — have spent much of their time talking with fans about Jesus Christ.
Both are depicted in the new documentary "Holy Ghost," a film by director Darren Wilson that had no script, no plan and that Wilson believes was "completely led by the Holy Spirit."
Watch the trailer below:
"Whether its the riches of Monte Carlo, a heavy metal concert, or the oldest city in the world, the result is a film that not only challenges and excites, but also reveals a God who is far more alive and active than you ever imagined," reads an official description of the movie.
Welch, who is seen expressing his faith and interacting with fans in the film, is hoping that "Holy Ghost" will help inspire Christians to follow his lead and to take the gospel message to people outside the church, where he says it is most needed.
[sharequote align="center"]"Ask [God] for wisdom and unique ways to get out into the world."[/sharequote]
"Ask [God] for wisdom and unique ways to get out into the world, because everyone's stuck in the church — and bring them in," he said.
Find out more about "Holy Ghost" here.