Korn guitarist and founding member Brian "Head" Welch has left the band, citing religious reasons for the departure.
Welch made the announcement Sunday in an on-air interview with Bakersfield, California, radio station KRAB-FM. "I had it in my heart to come here and explain it 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."
An official statement on the band's Web site confirms Welch's exit, stating he "has chosen Jesus Christ as his savior and will be dedicating his musical pursuits to that end." The remaining members -- vocalist Jonathan Davis, guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer, bassist Reggie "Fieldy" Arvizo and drummer David Silvera -- posted that they "respect Brian's wishes and hopes he finds the happiness he is searching for."
Welch will address the congregation of the local Valley Bible Fellowship church on Sunday, February 27th, to discuss his decision in greater detail.
Korn are currently recording their seventh studio album, their first since fulfilling their contract with label Epic, due in September. The band is currently in search of both a label and a guitarist to replace Welch.