Reunions are as much a staple of rock music as breakups are. In fact when a band splits up it is almost expected they will be back together at some point, which in many ways is a good thing, because it gives the fans hope that they will hear their favourite bands play again. There are negatives too of course; many groups will gravitate back towards each other, not for the love of music or the fans or even the friendship, but solely to milk the potential cash cow that is a reunion tour. However, the line between this and an honest reunion is greatly blurred, because when all is said and done, a band is a business like any other, with profit margins and balance sheets.
It is perhaps refreshing to see the news that the band Korn have reunited with their old guitarist Brian ‘Head’ Welch, who quit in 2005 after he turned to religion in an attempt to eradicate his addiction to drugs. In the January of this year, Head joined Korn on stage for some one-off shows after becoming friends with the band again and creating peace following several years of accusations from both sides. Soon after, Korn confirmed he would be playing a whole tour alongside them and during this time Head naturally integrated himself (officially) back into the band, without a large headline-grabbing announcement. Korn are now currently in the studio together, signalling the band’s intent to continue onwards with Head.
The difference between most reunions and this one, is that is was completely natural and came about through good chemistry and honesty. It also wasn’t used as a publicity stunt to announce a new album, the events just unfolded without any lavish celebrations and unnecessary attention-seeking. With the addition of one of the original members back in the band, it will be interesting to see what direction Head steers Korn, who with the last couple of releases seem to have been a bit lost and unsure where to head (pun intended).
In Other News…
- Continuing on the theme of reunions, Black Sabbath’s new single ‘God is Dead?’ actually surprised me with how good it was. It is everything a good Black Sabbath song should be – dark riffs, eerie vocals, with solid drumming and rumbling bass lines. With the reunion being partly overshadowed by drummer Bill Ward and the rest of the band not coming to an agreement on the contract, I was expecting a rushed release and a long tour to try and please the fans, but if the album ’13’ continues on in the same vein as the single, it could be a contender for album of the year.
- On a sad note Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away on Thursday at the age of 49. He was an inspirational guitarist and responsible for Slayer classics like ‘Raining Blood’ and ‘Angel of Death’. R.I.P.