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Rock On The Range 2013 Artist Interview
Love and Death lead guitarist on band's solidarity, Head's reunion with Korn
After his religious-cited departure from Korn in 2005, guitarist Brian "Head" Welch went on to release one solo album
(Save Me From Myself) in 2008 followed by two recent records (Chemicals EP and Between Here & Lost) under the
full band name of Love and Death, which formed in 2011. News broke this month that Head has reunited with Korn as
an official band member with plans to tour and record. Along with the Korn reunion, Love and Death will continue as a
solid band. In fact, the four members have been in the studio recording a new Love & Death track. Seventeen-year-old
lead guitarist J.R. Bareis spoke to Out Of The Blue about being discovered and forming the band, the role of image in
music, Head's reunion with Korn and more.
How did everything come into play with you getting involved in the project and the band becoming a stable thing?
I joined the band back in 2011 while it was still under Brian “Head” Welch. Brian found me on YouTube actually, when
I was trying out for a different band, Thousand Foot Krutch. He found my video and he needed a guitar player at the
time, so they got in contact with me and they asked me to do a video of one of his songs. I sent it over and it all just
worked out. Then, about a year later, we decided to make it more of a band instead of just Brian, so we came up with
the name Love and Death and we’ve been going ever since.
Was the band’s name decided through a group effort?
We were going over a bunch of names and we couldn’t think of anything. Brian came to us and we kind of collaborated
on Love and Death. It stands for the stuff we’ve been through as a band, the good times and bad. In life those are the
two biggest things you go through, both are always around you and you just kind of cope with it and keep on going.
What’s been the biggest struggle the band has faced together and how did you all overcome that?
It was right around a couple months after I joined the band. Brian had been touring with his first album for awhile and
he had been going through bankruptcy and a bunch of stuff. He kind of lost the desire to even tour or do music. We
were doing it, but it was kind of like only because we had to. We were contemplating for awhile if we should just stop
the band as a whole. But, we decided we’d try one more album and we’ll see what happens. It’s really cool because
I think our producer had a lot to do with helping us. He really helped Brian start writing music again, like when he was
back with Korn. He really helped the whole thing. We’re so thankful and we’re so glad that the fire in this band is back.
We’re all so exited just to be playing.
What do you think keeps the band standing strong together?
I think just going through everything with those guys, they’re just so real. A lot of bands go through things and they
come to hate each other. We’re real with each other man and we never beat around the bush with anything. Whenever
there’s a problem we just come up front about it and we just deal with it. We want to get through things together too,
because it makes you stronger as a person and as a band. If anything comes our way we see it as building this band
and making it stronger.
Personally in your life, when did you decide that music was your calling?
I grew up around music, man. My dad is a drummer so I was always around it. I’ve learned to love it, so when I was 11
I got a guitar for my birthday and I fell in love with it. I started learning and teaching myself. The more and more I
played it, the more and more I fell in love with it and I knew it was something I wanted to do. The opportunity came
and I just ran with it.
What was the first concert or live show you went to?
I think the first live show I went to was when I was 4 or 5. Not sure if you’ve heard of the band The Newsboys, but
they’re a Christian band and I loved it, it was awesome. I was really little, but after that I just kept going to shows all
the time. I was like “man, this is so cool, I wanna do this” and I made it a goal to work towards that and it paid off.
What bands did you listen to before being involved with Love and Death?
It was a lot of older bands, like 80s and 90s. From my dad, stuff like Boston and Starship and all those kinds of bands
because he’d always play those songs. At the same time, I grew up in a Christian home, so I listened to a lot of
Christian music as well. Just a mix of stuff that made me what I am now and I’m totally glad.
What kind of role do you think image plays along with music? Do you think it’s a 50/50 balance?
I think it’s 50/50 because image has a lot to do with it. For our stage show we wear makeup and stuff. A lot of people
shoot us down, like “ah, they’re a bunch of emos!” It’s part of the music to us, because our music is about getting
through hardship and coming out stronger. The whole makeup thing is kind of like what you really look like under the
mask you wear, when you’re trying to hide everything you’re going through. That’s what we try to depict in our shows,
the music is uplifting and it says there is a way out and there is hope.
When you put on the makeup, do you feel like you take on an alter-ego when you’re performing in front of people?
Yeah, definitely. When I get on stage man, I’m like in a totally different world. When I’m up there I look all creepy, I’m
moving around and going crazy and when we’re hanging out I’m just really chill.
With the recent news of Brian starting to record with Korn again for the next album, will anything change?
Brian has made it clear that just because he’s doing the Korn thing, his number one focus is still Love and Death and
we’re actually going to be touring with Korn throughout the year. He’s definitely not just putting us on the side and
doing this. He made it clear that he’s doing both and he’s going to work equally as far as both. We’re really excited
about that because if someone has that opportunity to go back to their band, they could’ve just said “alright, I’m going
back so, find something to do…!” Brian’s such a great guy and he’s really working to have both.
What are the upcoming touring plans?
We have a couple shows with Korn. On the East Coast, in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. In June we leave with them
to go to Europe and we’re doing a bunch of festivals with them and a few other shows. Then this fall I think there’s
works of getting a tour with them as well. Stuff towards the end of the year are still in the works.
So, Brian will be playing double duty with both bands.
Yeah, yeah exactly. He’ll be a tired dude!
Before hitting the road, Love and Death was recording some new music.
Yeah, we have some pretty cool stuff we’re doing right now. We can’t really say a lot about it, but we are doing a new
song and some cool stuff in the future. We’re thinking about maybe pushing this song maybe toward the end of
summer. We might be doing a re-release of the new album we have now. You never know what could happen, we’re
still thinking of what we’re gonna do with it.
Love and Death, fronted by Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch.
The band is touring this summer with Korn. (Photo Credit: Caleb Kuhl)
Love and Death lead guitarist J.R. Bareis.
(Photo Credit: Ali Megan Photography)