BRIAN 'HEAD' WELCH: Why KORN Doesn't Like Playing Encores

February 16, 2021

KORN guitarist Brian "Head" Welch has weighed in on the encore ritual at live music events.

Returning to the stage for the encore has become all but a formality at almost every concert, whereby a band will finish its regular set, walk offstage and then come back a few minutes later and play another couple of songs. In fact, the encore — which comes from French and means "again" — has become so automatic that musicians know before a show even begins how many encores they'll play and what songs they'll include.

Speaking to the "Bringin' it Backwards" podcast, Welch expressed his dismay at the prospect of the auto-encore, saying (hear audio below): "We never have been an encore band, man. We would debate about it, saying, 'It's so cheesy, man. It's so cheesy. They want it so bad, but…' We don't do encores. We would tell people in the press, 'We don't do encores. We give it our all, and then we're done.' And then fans started getting mad, especially fans in different countries. They're, like, 'It's disrespectful if you don't come back out.' So we had to do it. And to this day, we don't really love it. 'Cause everybody expects it, and they don't really cheer for it now. They're just, like, 'Okay.' … It's, like, you wanna be done, and then the crowd to demand you back out with applause. That's what the encores were meant for. But that's all gone to shit now."

Other bands, such as THE STROKES and the ARCTIC MONKEYS, had previously refused to play encores.

Encores are generally thought to have been popularized during opera performances in the 19th century, when singers would repeat arias if the audience enjoyed them enough.

Back in 2018, a California-based indie rock band said a man threatened to kill the members of the group for not playing an encore during a show in Houston.

Welch's LOVE AND DEATH project released its new album, "Perfectly Preserved", on February 12 via Earache Records.

KORN's latest album, "The Nothing", came out in September 2019 via Roadrunner/Elektra. The follow-up to 2016's "The Serenity Of Suffering" was once again produced by Nick Raskulinecz.

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