Ray Luzier of Korn Interview

KORN-06-22-2012-005310pxrayUgly Scene was honored to have another interview with a member of Korn, Ray Luzier. He was even gracious enough to allow the interview on the tour bus. Ugly Scene: First of all. Happy Belated Birthday. Ray: Thanks. I appreciate it. Ugly Scene: Did you get to talk to your son at all or spend time with him? Ray: We had a little bit of time off so it was cool to chill out and hang with him. We live on Skype out here and it’s hard. He is 16 months now and he’s getting to the point where he kind of knows something is going on but he still doesn’t know yet. He can’t talk and say Daddy please don’t leave. Jon said wait til he looks you in the eye right as you are leaving and says Daddy please don’t leave and you are going to ball your eyes out. Ugly Scene: Your biggest supporters when you were growing up, one was your father right? Ray: Oh yeah, big time. My parents are always 100% behind me which means a lot. There are no musicians in my family and for them to understand how deep it was and how much I knew at a very young age that I’d be doing this the rest of my life it took a lot. It would be one thing if one of them was a musician because they kind of know the feeling, but when you are not a musician, we are not like normal people. We are out there creatively, artistically and it’s just a whole another realm and it’s hard to get that. For them to be so supportive and the only thing my mother ever said, because she is a principal, my aunt is a teacher, my uncle is a teacher, there is education in my family, is do something that you might fall back on. I said I want to be a music teacher if I’m going to do something. I actually did that and I taught at Musicians Institute for about 10 years before I started touring so much. Ugly Scene: You taught a drummer who plays for Daughtry. Ray: Yeah, the drummer is a student of mine. Several of the guys went on to do well which is kind of cool. One of my other students is Pete Parada who is in Offspring now and he was my roommate for four and a half years. He just sent me a picture of him playing to thirty thousand seats the other day in Germany. It’s awesome and it makes you feel good. Some of my students become plumbers to, don’t get me wrong. They are all successful. Teaching is another knack in itself. If you’re a decent musician it doesn’t mean you can teach. Music is hard to teach. Like when you are teaching History or English it’s a set thing, here’s the facts, learn them. In Music it is a lot of emotion and feeling and you can’t teach that. You can teach them skills and you can better their ways and give them curriculums but you can’t teach someone feel. You have to have a certain amount of natural ability and talent. I bought my son a little tiny kit and he loves it. Obviously I’m not going to push him but if he wants to do it. I want him to be a lawyer, this business is hard and I don’t want him to go through what I went through. Ugly Scene: You have an instructional video out there. Ray: It came out such a long time ago, in 2005. I want to do a new one and they keep beating me up to do another one. I have enough material but it’s hard because we tour so much and when I’m home I still like to play but I like to spend time with the family too. I’d say in about another two years it’s going to come out. Ugly Scene: The transition from playing with the guys from Stone Temple Pilots to Korn. How much of a transition was that? Ray: Huge. It was a huge transition. It was even more coming from David Lee Roth. Eight years of Dave and then going to the STP groove and then this groove is totally different. Even before that with Jake E. Lee and all of the other national bands I was in there hasn’t been too many of them that have been close. All rock but completely different. Usually you will see a metal drummer and they play in metal bands. The fortunate thing about the music school that I went to in ’89 was that they taught me other styles like funk, latin, regaee and different styles and I think that was why I was a session guy for so long. If someone asked me play on this movie soundtrack, play on this country record, you learn to adapt very quickly. David Lee Roth is all about the energy and swing and Korn obviously has their own style. No one sounds like Korn. You don’t just join a band like Korn, you have to really get inside what’s going on. It’s not like I’m an army of anyone and now I’m important. I was freaking the first week or two of shows. The fans are soo diehard with Korn you cant mess around. It’s not like you have to prove something but these fans are like who the hecks that? I get it I’m a fan of bands and I know what it’s like to see a new member back there and sometimes it’s hard to accept and get. Look at Alice in Chains and Journey, they have a new singer. Can you imagine? That is way different than a new drummer or a guitar player. 553748_380599438661302_475147310_nThey guys told me that we hired you for you. We want Ray Luzier in this band. We don’t want you copying. Of course I pay homage to David Silveria and what he did but we are totally different drummers. That is what’s unique about us and I’m a big fan of Terry Bozzio. He did most of the Untitled record. I loved doing the first tour because we played five songs off of Untitled. I was on cloud nine because of that. Now that I’ve been in the band almost five years I’m writing songs and developing my own thing with them. Ugly Scene: I saw your first gig with Korn was in Dublin. Ray: That was crazy and there were no rehearsals before. We rehearsed the day before at the venue so I was really freaking out. They had took some time off and it was crazy. Ugly Scene: The recording with Skrillex. That was going in a completely different direction with Korn. Ray: You have an open mind as well. It was unique because we all took time off the road, got in a room, three months off and did it ourselves. We got Ross Robinson back into the fold. It’s quite different when you are not in road mode and living on a bus like this. The Path to Totality was done over literally the globe. I didn’t actually work with Skrillex . It was him and Jon and a lot of times usually the drums are you lay them down and everything gets piled on those. In this case with technology these days the drum programming would be done and I would play sometimes last on the track. Then we would get it mixed in with the actual things and I didn’t meet Skrillex until we did our DVD last December. We have our new Blue Ray coming out this year. I don’t know when the release date is but Skrillex is actually on it and a lot of guest stars on it. That’s the first time I met the guy so it’s funny. I did Get up and Nacicistic Canibal and never met the guy until monts later. That is how it is and you can do that these days. You can bring it in and then Jon would do a vocal track in Seoul Korea and I would do a drum track backstage in a dressing room in Honolulu Hawaii all on a laptop. Ugly Scene: There was a comment from Jonathan that he believed that nu metal was going to die and it was going to merge with all this other different styles. Do you think that is what happened with the new album? Ray: To me it’s not that far out there. Korn has always had that element of hip hop rap and funk. They were doing this stuff way back in the day. To me this record is just extreme. I don’t even like the word nu metal. Korn to me is just Korn. They have always had their own style and we have our own style as a band together and it’s cool to branch off and be creative and go off the deep end and take chances. Skrillex didn’t blow up until a year or so ago and we have been working with people like that and to me it’s something we feel which one good thing that I think that makes the longevity about Korn is there is no half assing, there is no faking. We believe every step we do and the fans know that. They are smart, they are not stupid. I think when you try to start following trends that’s when it’s time to call it. Ugly Scene: It’s like you went off the path but it’s really cool. It sounds great. Ray: Even live it transposes even better. I’m playing everything note for note. There’s no programming and that’s what makes it even more insane live because you have to switch a gear in your head because the other stuff bends, it speeds up and it slows down. With this album I have a click track in my ears and some of the sub low basses on track and some of the really crazy noises that you can’t reproduce are on track but very minimal. Everything is recreated live and I was really adamant about that. I switched my acoustic snare for an electric snare and we sampled the sounds off of the record so it’s actually cool because I am playing it note for note. You kind of have to switch it up in your brain that you have to play right on the click to make that digital dub step but at the end of the day it’s still Korn. Ugly Scene: There was one fan who commented on our site “I’m going to be 40 and Korn is still cool. Will they be when I’m 60? Hell yeah!” Ray: Some interview overseas were talking about Ozzy, Iron Maiden and all these guys who are 60 and are still playing and asked do you guys still see yourselves doing it. All four of us almost at the same time said yeah. There are no signs of it stopping. It’s going to suck for our bones and our back in ten years because we have been bashing it. There is no such thing as taking a night off. We always do it and say I’m so sore I’m going to take it easy tonight. We don’t. We get out there and the adrenaline is flying and you see the crowd we always give it one hundred percent. Time changes and flights and seventeen hour time zones, it doesn’t matter, we always give it. Ugly Scene: I’ve seen Korn in concert clear back in the day and to see them now, nothing’s changed. There is still the same energy. Ray: This girl I thought she was the winner at 47 but then a guy came two days ago and he had seen Korn 53 times. That’s insane. If Zeplin came back from the dead I wouldn’t see them 53 times. That’s insane to me but that shows me that if you are paying to see a band 53 times you are doing something that definitely appeals to you. Ugly Scene: One of the purposes for Ugly Scene is looking at the other side of glam. That comes from the idea that music is inspiring and music can, in my opinion, save someone’s life. Also that if a person hears someone that they look up to musically talk about certain issues they can get the help they need. Would you like to talk about anything regarding this? Ray: I do drum clinics worldwide and I speak a lot. I’m not a motivational speaker but I am an encouraging, positive speaker at my clinics. I’m one of the few rockers that you will ever meet that have never done one drug in my life and I’m very proud to say that. I tried pot one time at a very young age and it didn’t work for me. I have a glass of red wine but I’ve never had an addiction problem. I’m around tons of recovering addicts in all my bands and have been since I moved to L.A. twenty four years ago. The band I’m in right now they have all dealt with stuff in the past. STP guys, David Lee Roth, I was in C.C. DeVille’s band, Poison, way back in the day, Stephen Pearcy from Ratt. Everyone that I was in a band with they have all had something and I think that is what made me not want to do it. I saw their lives pummeling into the earth and loose houses and loose family members and sometimes their own lives. It’s always one of those things that I don’t try to preach it or try to shove it down someone’s throat like check me out I never did drugs. But if there is a parent in the crowd and their kids are there I want to be a positive influence. I think it’s important to bring it up and I think it’s great what you are doing. Don’t do drugs and kids don’t be stupid it gets you nowhere. Ugly Scene: Is there anything you would like to add? Ray: Just thanks to all the Korn fans for keeping up with us. Check out Korn.com. We have cool things. We have VIP packages now. You can get a drum lesson from me, play a video games with Jonathan on his bus, win a guitar from Munky and sometimes we do roadies for the day where they can come out and shine up my drums. That’s about it. Thanks. Ugly Scene: Thank you so very much for the Interview! It was a lot of fun! After the interview we were fortunate enough to make it into the venue to see Jonathan Davis perform. His energy is over the top and doesn’t stop until the entire show, meaning until Korn was done playing. As usual Korn gave 110% and put on an Amazing show. For more information go to: Ray Luzier Korn Facebook Twitter iTunes YouTube

Comments are closed.