Maybe you’ve figured this out by now, but I’m a metal-head. From birth I’ve loved metal. My mom rocked me to sleep to Iron Maiden as a baby, I came home from pre-school and watched Metallica’s “One” Video and Motley Crue videos. I have ALWAYS loved it. Picked up a guitar and started playing at 13, started my first real band at 14. Of course, at age 14 in1998 the biggest band in metal was KoRn. All of my friends and I thought their sound was unique, fresh, and very identifiable I can’t tell you how many times I saw KoRn in concert. I traveled to see them, watched webcasts of concerts. I went to every metal concert I could, local or national acts. I plugged myself into the local scene and helped with booking, promoting, and running shows. I formed a band that found a level of success and a following, my musical tastes had more or less outgrown KoRn, and through their own evolution of sound, I didn’t identify with them or follow them.
I was the vocalist in the band, and in my mind, believing I was a Christian, I wrote lyrics that espoused my conservative christian viewpoint. Meanwhile, through moderate success and quite a few connections, my band was getting the chance to play at least once a week, as well as some light touring. In all of that, drinking and running around like an immoral jackwagon ensued. It didn’t matter, I was living my life for me, and it was awesome. People were filling up clubs to hear my band play, our MySpace had ridiculous numbers of followers, we were opening for really cool national acts that were huge influences of ours, people knew my name and sang my lyrics in chorus with me to almost every song. How awesome was I, right?
Moving forward, I had met a girl that just drove me crazy with good feelings, and I was climbing the ladder fast at my day job in big box retail. Next thing I know, I’m a dad. My band is over. WHOA…where’d all this come from? I sat down and began looking at my life. I had absolutely “KNOWN” that I was put on this earth to make music. I was positive that God was going to bring me to a point in my life where I was going to be making metal music that allowed me to spread His message. I formed another band with my drummer from the previous band and some other friends, wrote another album’s worth of material, recorded it all, and played some shows. I was gonna do it all over again, but before this band even hit a year, it was all over again. What was I missing here?
Well, of course, as so often does, life happened. I left the big box retail career, married the girl, and really jumped on the Dad thing. Of course, having both grown up in church, myself and my wife decided that we were going to raise our daughter in church. We shopped around a few, even walking out of mid-service a couple times. Our niece invited us to her church and we started going. It just fit. We did the baptism thing, and of course, me being the nerd that I am, I studied the Bible and christian history relentlessly. Then one day, the guy who was teaching the youth at the time called me and asked me to teach his class for him while he was going to be out of town one Sunday. I remember the lesson well, I taught about Solomon. I basically sat down one Friday and absolutely devoured 2Samuel and 1Kings, boiled it all down into what was basically an interactive narrative style story, and walked in that Sunday and just had an awesome time.
From there I was asked to be the assistant in the class. I hung out with the youth and was the “information guy” for the lessons each week as it all moved along. One day, the guy that was teaching the youth, wasn’t going to be teaching the youth anymore. In chatting with our pastor, my wife volluntold me for the Youth Director job and I jumped right at it. Wait, I’m a youth minister now? The dude that sang in a death metal band, drank like fish while doing it, and cussed like a sailor every other moment was now a youth minister? I was thoroughly convinced that I was certifiably insane. I started looking around and then one day I saw a link to a video. It was Brian “Head” Welch, the former guitarist for KoRn talking about how he had found Jesus and completely changed his life. At the end of the video, he said something that stuck with me, and was apparently the key to the whole ministry he was doing this interview for. He said “I am Brian ‘Head’ Welch, and I Am Second.” I’d found it, I was second too, and it all made sense.
Flash forward about 4 years or so, and here I sit, writing the blog that has become quite the adventure, and I am honored to say that I have been asked to be a launch partner for the new I Am Second book called Live Second: 365 Ways to Make Jesus First . What you will be seeing on here, as well as the I Am Second website (www.iamsecond.com), is me reading 4 days worth of this awesome new devotional and blogging through it from my perspective. I hope you come back to check it out.
My name is Zach Emerson, I’m a Holy Burrito brother, and I Am Second.
- Former Korn Guitarist, Brian “Head” Welch, Publishes Second Book, “STRONGER: Forty Days of Metal and Spirituality” (prweb.com)
- Former KORN Guitarist’s LOVE AND DEATH: New Song Available For Streaming (blabbermouth.net)