Love and Death

An interview with Singer/Guitarist Brian "Head" Welch and Guitarist J.R. Bareis
by Tina Hall
May 2012

Love and Death

Love and Death

Former KORN guitarist Brian “Head” Welch formed Love and Death in 2009. Comprised of Welch as frontman, Dan Johnson on drums, Michael Valentine on bass and J.R. Bareis on guitar the members where chosen from open auditions on YouTube. Most recently they released the 5 song EP Chemicals and are with the highly anticipated new full length album expected out later this year. The band is set to tour alongside P.O.D and Red from April 30-May 24. I had the chance to catch up with Brian Welch and J.R Bareis for the latest on things to come.

Maximum Ink: So can you tell me what you where like as a child? What is your foundest memory from that time?
Brian Welch: I was kinda shy, but determined to learn the guitar! My fondest memory is getting my first Ibanez guitar for Christmas.

MI: When did you first develop your love of music? Do you remember what you very first favorite song was?
BW: I was 10 years old and my first song was “Don’t stop believing” by Journey.
JR:I’m pretty sure I loved music before I was conceived or even considered. Hahaha! All I did was listen to music growing up. I just absolutely love it. I can’t even remember my favorite song or if I even had one. I love all kinds of music. Even now, I can’t make up my mind on a certain song.

MI: When you decided to form Love and Death why did you decide to hold open audition on YouTube? Do you enjoy having the chance to give up and coming artists a chance to show the world what they can do?
BW:  Yes. The YouTube idea was to save time from having to fly people to us to jam. Saved a lot of time and was fun to watch all the videos.

MI: How do you feel about being in this band at the age of 17? What have you learned from the experience so far? What was the first thing that ran through your mind when you learned you had gotten the spot?
J.R.: It’s crazy! It’s always been my dream to be in a band and tour.  I’ve learned so much from it. Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned is to not let my guitar hit the ground on purpose. At our last show I did and my guitar snapped in half! The first thing that ran through my mind when I got the spot was, “This seriously can’t be happening. SOMEBODY PINCH ME!”. That was a good day to say the least.

MI: How do you like to pass the time on the road?
BW: I like to read, hang out with friends as well as get plenty of alone time.
J.R.: I usually listen to music or make fun of the other guys. Mostly Brian (laughs).

MI: How do you prepare for a show?
BW:I have to scream/sing a few songs and then rest for an hour, stretch my neck.

MI: What led you to release your Christian album Save Me From Myself back in 2008? Did you enjoy making the album? How do you think religion has changed you personally?Where do you think you would be right now if not for your religious beliefs?
BW:  I just went through a lot of personal things I wanted to write about. I enjoyed making the album, it was part of my healing. I would probably be dead if it wasn’t for Christ, I’ve changed a lot, but I’m not weird anymore. There’s a good balance between the old me and the new me.

MI: Do you find Brian is an ideal mentor? What’s it like to work with him?
J.R.: Definitely! He’s been through so much in his life and he has a ton of wisdom about things.Musically too. It’s awesome. I don’t get starstruck, bow down and worship him or anything like that, but It is an honor. This guy was in Korn. Heck, he created a genre of music!

MI: What do you think is the most important thing to remember when struggling with the pressures of life?
BW:  Things always change, so be patient and the pressures will vanish.

MI: Are you looking forward to hitting the road with P.O.D and Red?
BW:  No, but it’s better than working at Burger King.
J.R.:  Heck yes! They are all good guys and we have a blast whenever were together. Icon For Hire will also be on the tour. It’s a sweet lineup.

MI: Can you tell us a little about the EP? What can fans expect from this one?
BW:  Energy! These are definitely live songs. The remixes are very unique too. They have kind of a Prodigy/Depeche Mode feel.

MI: When is the album expected to be released?
BW: 4/24/12

MI: What are your feelings on the afterlife and such? How would you like to be remembered when your time comes?
BW:Most people think they will experience the after life only after they die. But the thing is, you can experience a glimpse of the after life now. Read my book SAVE ME FROM MYSELF for more info.

MI: Anything you would like to say in closing?
BW: New VEVO video premier for CHEMICALS May 7th! Thank you for the interview, we couldn’t do what we do without you guys!

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Love and Death
CD: Chemicals Record Label: Headdog Music

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