Perfectly Preserved

Perfectly Preserved

In the eight years since Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch dropped an album from his side project Love and Death, he’s enlisted two new band members—Breaking Benjamin guitarist Jasen Rauch (on bass) and Phinehas drummer Isaiah Perez—to join him and guitarist/vocalist JR Bareis on the follow-up. Co-produced by Rauch and Joe Rickard, Perfectly Preserved takes its title from a line in opening track “Infamy,” the lyrics of which could be viewed as a reflection of our times. “That song makes me think about where we’re at in life and society and the world during this crazy season we’re walking through,” Welch tells Apple Music. “It makes me feel like everything is going to be okay.” Below, he takes us through each of the tracks on Perfectly Preserved. Infamy “I love piano, and with heavy music you don’t get a lot of piano work. I’m a spiritual person and I like to meditate, so I pretty much listen to all atmospheric and instrumental music because I feel like sometimes words get in the way. But the lyrics that Keith Wallen [of Breaking Benjamin] wrote are just incredible. They make me have the feeling during all this craziness that we’re going to be okay.” Tragedy “Keith and our co-producer Joe Rickard took some pieces of songs I wrote that didn’t get used and turned them into this song. I feel like it’s about a person that’s stuck in a past trauma that they haven’t gotten healing for or haven’t processed in a healthy way. You see that a lot, where people get wounded early on in life and it affects their whole lives—whether it’s addiction or destroyed relationships or whatever.” Down “I think Keith came up with that lyric—‘Buried beneath, I feel like I’m running out of time, show me I’m alive.’ I think people can get different meanings from it, because we all feel buried in life sometimes, especially in 2020 and coming into ’21. But for me, I was buried in addiction, just wanting to end it all. And I needed to be really alive, and it came for me. So this song makes me reflect on the person I was to where I am now.” Let Me Love You (feat. Lacey Sturm) “On our first record, we did a cover song from Devo, ‘Whip It,’ and the fans loved it. So for this new record I wanted to do a cover, but I really didn’t know which one. But JR, the other singer, sent me a demo and was like, ‘Don’t laugh. Just listen to the whole thing.’ And it was a cover of ‘Let Me Love You’ by DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber. I was immediately like, ‘Yes—we’re doing it.’ And then I felt we needed a female guest on it, so I immediately thought of Lacey Sturm, formerly of Flyleaf. I just love her voice. She agreed to do it and just killed it.” Death of Us “I heard a lot of stories about people having issues with family because they're stuck inside the house during the pandemic. You’re really getting to know the people you live with because you’re not going to work and then coming home later on. So everyone’s getting on each other's nerves and whatnot. So this is a relationship-issues song, and it's pretty obvious that it's a relationship that’s ending. Everybody can relate to that.” Slow Fire “JR wrote this song with Jasen Rauch. I think it was first written around 2015 or ’16, if I remember right, but it had totally different lyrics. I actually think this song was rewritten twice—we just kept changing stuff. But this is another relationship song. There’s some kind of relationship chaos going on. I think people will be able to relate to it in different ways, but it feels like broken hearts and division.” The Hunter (feat. Keith Wallen) “Keith Wallen sings lead on this one, and he wrote most of the lyrics. Tom Hane wrote all the music—he played with In This Moment for many years, and now he’s getting into writing and producing. But Jasen Rauch came up with the hunter concept, and I feel like that could be related to a lot of the chaos that’s going on in American politics with conspiracy theories and everything.” Lo Lamento “This song came out a few years ago, but we rerecorded the drums for this version. It was written when Jasen was going through a divorce. I’ve had my heart shattered into pieces, and that kind of feeling comes out in a lot of songs about love, right? It’s such a great subject to write about—people have been doing it forever.” Affliction “The lyrics are just about being afflicted by different things in life—like addiction, which is written about in some of the other songs. I’ve had a lot of those issues, so this song really feels personal when I think about it.” White Flag (feat. Ryan Hayes) “I haven’t met Ryan—Jasen knows him—but he killed it. I think he recorded his parts in 2017. To me, it’s about knowing whatever enemy you’re facing in life, you’re not going to let it tear you down. You’re going to conquer it. It makes me think of when I became a Christ follower years ago and a lot of religious people didn’t welcome me. It was like, ‘Oh, he’s not one of us. Look at the music he plays.’ But the song is basically saying, ‘I’m coming after you. And when you put up the flag of surrender, I’m going to burn it.’”

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