Brian "Head" Welch says that the three-year gap since the release of the last KORN album has been "really beneficial" for him and his bandmates. "You can get burnt out on the road," the guitarist told "Whiplash", the KLOS radio show hosted by Full Metal Jackie (hear audio below). "And the music industry, with the touring and the non-stop this, non-stop that… So we're at a place where we can really look at ourselves and talk and be, like, 'Listen, we only have a certain number of years on the planet. So let's spend some time with our families.' Some of these guys have got young kids — Munky's [guitar] got really young kids. Ray [Luzier, drums] does, Fieldy [bass] does. So you've gotta balance the whole band thing. And so, yeah, we took great time off."
According to Welch, the time away from the road allowed KORN singer Jonathan Davis to grieve following the death of his estranged wife last August.
"I believe that someone's watching over us," Brian said. "So, Jonathan going through everything he did and us being with him, it was meant to be. You can totally see — it's clear that it was meant to be that we take a lot of time off. Because even though he went on a solo tour, the KORN machine needed to stop so he can focus on him, his family, his boys, and his solo thing. I think that's healing to him too, because he's been wanting to do this for a long time. And so it's just something different and new, and it took his mind off things. I think we're stronger now because of the break. When we get together, we're excited to see each other and excited to really dig in and see what kind of riffs we can come up with, me and Munky."
Welch also talked about the musical direction of the follow-up to 2016's "The Serenity Of Suffering", which is tentatively due in the fall. The effort, which is once again being produced by Nick Raskulinecz, will feature songwriting collaborations with GOLDFINGER's John Feldmann, while BLINK-182's Travis Barker recorded the "temporary drums" on some of the early demos.
"We're excited to let everybody hear what we're doing," Brian said. "And we've got a couple of surprises on the record that I can't say, but it's something that we don't do normally. And everyone's gonna really love what these two ideas that we've got. That's all I can say. I wanna say more, but these two ideas people are gonna love, because we never do it."
Last year, Davis said that there were "really good ideas" and "cool grooves" in some of the early material that had been written for KORN's next album. The singer also shot down as false Internet speculation that the band is using outside writers for material for its next studio album. "We're writing everything; we're still writing our own music," he said.