As we're about to enter our second year of living through the pandemic, things look like they might be starting to turn around. The vaccines with a booster appear to provide protection again the new Omicron variant, and anecdotal evidence seems to show that (maybe) Omicron causes less severe illness overall. Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch put it pretty simply in a new interview with the Talk Toomy podcast – things suck out there, but we also need to live our lives.
Welch detailed basically everyone in Korn getting COVID, having to cancel shows, and why it's so important that we all try to soldier on best we can in these difficult-as-fuck times.
"It's crazy, because it's a serious thing. I know people — young people I even know — that have died from COVID. So it's a serious issue. But you've gotta live, man. We've gotta get this world… We can't let our country crumble. So we got out there. And our fans needed us. People need live music; they need that inspiration. And so we just were, like, 'Let's go out there and do it, and no matter what comes against us, we'll keep going.' And I'm, like, 'Look, if it's not meant to be, we'll be back home. If it's not meant to be, then it won't work.' But every time somebody got COVID, we just kept going.
"Jonathan was the most safe dude on the tour with his girlfriend. And they were just, like, away from everybody; I barely saw him. And it was with a mask and all that. So it was crazy.
"We were at this hotel in Florida and it was a freakin' bodybuilding convention. And there was all these steroid, jacked up… There were girls that looked bigger than our security guards by three times; they were just stacked. And so when we walked through the lobby, it was just muscles everywhere. And I think that's where it started.
"So we just fought through it, man. And I couldn't believe Munky got it afterwards. And every time the tour manager came in and told us whoever got it, it was, like… He would come in white as a ghost with his eyes just huge. 'Cause our crew — we love our crew; they're, like, family, and they're finally working after a year and a half. And everyone's, like, 'Shit, are we going home?' And so every time he came in, he was just wide-eyed. But we had J.R. from Love And Death fly out; Munky wanted him to fill in for him. He's just a very professional, kind human being and kills it — a great guitar player.
"And then we're almost through the tour, and then Ray gets it. And so we're talking back and forth on text, and I'm, like, 'Why did you go to that Rolling Stones concert, you idiot?' And then, next thing you know, we get a fill-in and he's doing it. Ray flies to the stadium shows with System Of A Down, Korn and with Helmet. And he gets there, and he gets a text, 'Serj has COVID. System Of A Down is canceling. Korn is canceling.' So, at that point, I just throw my hands up. My daughter flew in for the concert. I'm texting her, telling her System Of A Down's setlist, because she loves System. And as I'm telling her, I get another text, and I text her right back. I said, 'Never mind. That show is canceled. Let's go to the beach.' So we went on a little vacation. But that was it. We fought through; we made it through."