Brian "Head" Welch explained why Korn started playing seven string guitars, and the reaction that one of their heroes had to it.

The guitarist discussed his influences during a conversation with WSOU 89.5 FM. He recalled that the "heaviest" music when he was growing up was punk, which was too easy for him to learn on the guitar, and the "darkest" was groups such as Dio and Judas Priest.

As a guitar student, Head was interested in who he considered "the greats" — Eddie Van Halen, George Lynch and Warren DeMartini. James "Munky" Shaffer, on the other hand, was more captivated by Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, according to Head.

Head and Munky weren't playing in a band together yet, but Head influenced Munky to start playing the electric guitar.

Why Korn Started Playing Seven String Guitars

Munky picked up the seven string first, and then Head started playing them after.

"Later on, about 10 years later, [Munky] got into the seven string guitar because of Steve Vai. Steve Vai created that," Head noted, adding that he started playing the seven string after jamming with Munky.

"So I influenced him early, and then he influenced me. I started playing seven strings because of him."

Watch the full interview below.

Steve Vai's Reaction to Korn

Vai, on the other hand, has credited Korn for popularizing the seven string, even though they were inspired by him to play it.

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"When the seven-string came out, I wanted a seven-string, just for myself. I thought it would be cool," Vai told Ultimate Guitar in 2020.

"What I didn't realize was that there were a lot of young players at that time, who were unknown, listening to it. Some were attracted to what I was doing with it, and some were attracted to the idea of a seven-string guitar and may not have been very interested in the way I played."

Vai recalled sales for the seven string dropping for a while in the late '90s because it wasn't fresh and new anymore. However, he heard Korn on the radio one day, and immediately recognized the seven strings in the music.

"And that band was Korn. That was sort of the rebirth of the seven-string. So it was a co-creative effort. I was a part of it but it took many, many people to bring it to the level where it's at."

Why Korn Started Playing Seven String Guitars

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