Love and Death – An Interview With Christian Metal Bassist Mike Valentine
Mike Valentine is the bass player of the faith-driven Christian metal band Love and Death. Mike is the greatest bass player I have ever seen. Love and Death is a band formed by Korn guitarist Brian “Head” Welch. The group was officially announced in February 2012 as a re-branding of Welch’s solo music project.
He is the kind of musician who is so good that he makes it look easy. Mike Valentine is the perfect person to model if you want to be an absolute force in any rhythm section! He auditioned on YouTube for Bryan “Head” Welch’s Band when it was still in the ground phases. Mike beat out thousands of other bass players for the opportunity to be a part of the God-driven life force that is Love and Death. Right off the bat with the song “Chemicals” you can hear the deep bass playing that sounds like an impenetrable force driving the entire song. You will quickly find yourself bouncing your head and getting lost in the groove.
The band is currently on the road in Europe supporting their new album Between Here and Lost, touring with Korn on a world-wide tour. The amazing Brian “Head” Welch is playing with both bands. I’m certain he’s excited to share the Lord’s Gospel with such a magnitude of people. God always has the perfect plan and a distinct way of having his gospel reach the masses. If it happens to be in a hard rock metal band with songs that will shake your chest out of your ear holes—so be it!
I caught up with Mike Valentine who is soaking up Europe and living the dream (as I call it). Here are the questions he so graciously answered:
Congrats on touring with Love and Death in support of Korn’s massive worldwide tour! What has been your favorite moment so far?
“Thank you. I would have to say getting to know the rest of the Korn guys. I’ve been riding on JD’s [Jonathan Davis’s] bus and having a super fun time.”
Who were your biggest influences on bass, and how did you hone your skills?
“Steve Harris, Les Claypool, and Cliff Burton. And practice, so much practice! Other than that, more practice.”
Your Grandfather was a pastor. Was he an influence on your faith and on your lifestyle as the extraordinary bass player of Love and Death?
“Absolutely. My whole family is a group of musicians and artists. We all are very fond of art, and God stems at the beginning of that.”
What advice would you give to a person interested in learning bass?
“Do it because you love it, and don’t expect any money because there isn’t any!”
What is it like being in a band with Brian “Head” Welch?
“A beautiful disaster!”