When you play in a popular hard rock band, become a Christian, quit the band and write a best-selling book (Save Me From Myself), you are liable to raise a few eyebrows — probably more eyebrows than if you went on a homicidal rampage.
“It is such a change. People do not understand spirituality. I didn’t until I was almost dead,” says Brian “Head” Welch, former guitarist for Korn. “When you first get woken up, you get a little weird. I said and did some stupid stuff.”
But then Welch says you calm down from that spiritual high and become a “regular” person again. When he got “back to normal” he got to work on a new record, and it is a heavy rock record, just like you would expect.
“I love heavy music and it is what I have done my whole life. Why not marry the two?” he says (referring to spirituality and heavy music).
Welch uses a custom Ibanez Iceman Baritone on the soon to be released debut solo effort, Flush.
“I use Ibanez — on this record, I use a baritone I had specially made. Different songs I tuned different,” says Welch. “It has a really mean tone. I wanted to try something new. On the 7 string I used with Korn, the strings were kind of wobbly.”
When he uses drop D tuning on the baritone he uses a high bass string for the sixth string.
“It tore my fingers up a bit. It seemed like it had more beef and meatiness.” says Welch.
He used to use an Ibanez Iceman. It was his first “real guitar.” The Iceman was the first guitar Ibanez produced that was not widely considered a knock-off of American made guitars. It appeared first, at least under the name Iceman, in 1978.
Welch went through a number of other guitars until he hooked up with the guys from Korn again.
“Monkey played an Ibanez,” he says. “He had two and he lent me one. They are cool guitars.”
He has used other guitars and often does in the studio but for rhythm he likes the Ibanez.
On the new record he sticks pretty much with his custom Ibanez baritone.
“I found that sound and went for it. It is a pretty heavy record. There are no mellow songs on the album.” he says. “I didn’t want to experiment further. I found the sound for the record.”
On Flush Welch says that every song has what is, essentially, a guitar solo through the whole song. He uses multiple guitar tracks, different effects (often Pro Tools effects) and different amps. For amps, he uses a Diesel through a Triple Rectifier on the new record. They also brought in an Orange. One of the keys to Flush’s sound is this use of multiple guitar tracks
“I track four or five rhythm guitars. We would get tones, bring them up, get that ‘bitey’ sound.” says Welch.
With different amps and different effects, a unique tone can be achieved. He says that when you get the levels blended together perfectly it sounds great. He says the Weezer “Blue Album” from 1994 achieves this sound and that is what he was thinking of when he recorded his new CD.