NEW YORK (Billboard) -- Korn guitarist Brian "Head" Welch has parted ways with the hard rock act, citing a recent religious awakening.
Welch broke the news Sunday on Bakersfield, California, station KRAB-FM.
"I had it in my heart to come here and explain to you," Welch said. "I'm good friends with Korn. I love those guys, and they love me, and they're very happy for me."
Addressing the aggressive tone of the music he made with Korn, Welch said, "Anger is a good thing, and if kids want to listen to Korn, good, but there's happiness after the anger. I'm going to show it through my actions how much I love my fans."
Welch added that he would be appearing at a local church on February 27, during which time he would "speak (about) how I got to this place in my life, and I'll answer all your questions."
On its official Web site (http://www.korn.com
), Korn's remaining members said they respect Welch's wishes and hope "he finds the happiness he is searching for." The group is in the studio working on a new album, due in September, which will be its first since fulfilling its contract with Epic last year.
For now, no replacement for Welch has been named, nor has a new label home for the band.