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Ray Luzier - Interview & Clinic Review

Date: 12/30/2009 | by webadmin | Viewed 38869 times

Ray Luzier - Interview & Clinic Review



For those of you who couldn’t make it Seminole Music and Sound on Monday you should just go ahead and kick yourself now! Sabian/ddrum artist Ray Luzier tore the house down with an amazing drum clinic and yes… you should have been there. You may remember Ray from such acts as the David Lee Roth Band as well as Army of Anyone. As of late Ray has become the latest member of Korn – probably one of the most influential metal bands EVER! Before the clinic started good ol’ Keith was able to get some pics of Ray as he played his sound check and channeled down his awesome power!



There were a couple of guest appearances as well with Kamelot artist Casey Grillo along with Terry Platt and the rest of the ddrum crew provided the audio visual aid.



It was also another great night for prizes and giveaways as the Drumometer was on hand to test the speed of those who dared to play it.


Over 20 contestants muscled it out to but it was Jim Berretta who walked away with the Sabian 16in APX Crash signed by Ray Luzier himself. I would also like to thank the rest of the participants who also took home prizes such as t-shirts, sticks, drumheads and hats provided by Cyclone Drums.

Make sure to check them out at  http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendI...



Ray started out with a brief introduction in which he gave a hilarious impersonation of David Lee Roth. Ray is the type of guy that really enjoys what he does and he makes it obvious by how he deals with the crowd. Very warm and receptive he takes away all the tension most people feel from interacting with an artist of his caliber. He did however manage to get on the bad side of one of the younger fans…..but a free drumstick made it all better and Ray was given the crowds blessing to begin.






WOW! Right out the gate the crowd is awoken by an overwhelming performance of a Korn melody, then moved on to play one of the greatest intros throughout the history of drumming… Hot For Teacher. Afterwards he broke down the intro for the many drummers who have been trying to learn it ever since it hit the airwaves those many years ago. Hard to believe some people still consider 80’s music as classic.



Ray also elaborated on many of the things which make him such a talented drummer such as: Playing cleanly, observing good posture, and many useful tips on how NOT to overplay. Many a gig has been lost to the overexcited drummer and Ray shows his mortal side by sharing a few of his own horror stories.

“I got my butt kicked while I was at music school, to put it lightly.”




Ray’s newest DVD from Musicians Institute is full of great ideas to apply to the drum kit-most of which he demonstrated, as well as a few of the tunes such as Elevation performed by The Hideous Sun Demons. He also went on to take a few questions from the audience about what life is like on the road and his experiences while working in the recording studio.



AM- audience member DC-drummer connection RL-Ray Luzier

AM: How do you like being in Korn?

RL: I love it, they’re awesome people. They love their families and they make very unique music and I value that about them. They have such a unique sound- no one sounds like them. I thought I knew them until I joined the band. The first couple of shows sold out in Dublin and when I got up there it is a whole other level man. You get on stage with those guys it the real deal. They step out there and they’re gonna give you the best show they possibly can. There’s not one fan that walks away and is like “Yeah…it was okay”, every fan leaves there like “What just happened?” And that’s such a powerful feeling to know that I can hit my kick drum and know it’s going to project over 40,000 people and make them rock their heads- that’s a rush like no other. You can’t do any other drug under the sun that’s gonna give you that high. Which brings me to my next point: Stay off drugs kids! I’m not gonna get preachy or anything but I can honestly say I haven’t done one drug throughout my entire career. You will see me with a beer or the occasional margarita.

AM: How do you keep you drum fills even while moving around the drums?

RL: Use a click track, a metronome is everything. Once you have that click there you don’t get frustrated cause I get frustrated easily. If you have a click track the machine never lies right? We’re human it’s a dumb machine so it’s just gonna sit there and click so it’s gonna tell us that it’s ok and we can slow it down- now we’re not going to get as frustrated. I get frustrated whenever I don’t use a click.

He then went on to gratify everyone with a wonderful display of grace and power during an unbelievable drum solo.


Even as tired as he was afterwards Ray was more than happy to stay for a meet and greet to interact with his fans by taking pics and signing autographs for anyone who wanted a keepsake from the event.




Once everyone cleared out he even took a shot at the Drumometer. (Sorry, the score is classified…you should have been there!




Make sure you check out Korn’s website for the upcoming news about tour dates, Jonathan Davis’ solo project, and when the next Korn album will be in the works. Ray also plans on releasing a new video in the future which is explained in the interview below.



Thanks again to Ray, Sabian, ddrum, and most of all the staff of Seminole Music and Sound for having us out, and providing their customers another great clinic.

DC: What is the process like for you when you record albums without a click track? Did you play with the band at the same time and then go back and recorded their separate tracks with your drums?

RL: That’s interesting because I just did four songs on Shankar’s album. He’s a famous violinist that’s worked with Peter Gabriel and Frank Zappa several others. His record was done and I did four drum tracks over top of the finished product and that was HARD. I had to lock in with all the bass parts- yeah they can move a kick or snare with Pro Tools but he really didn’t want to do that cause he wants a human feel. He doesn’t want it to sound like a machine.

DC: So they didn’t quantize anything?

RL: Not that I know if, we had to scoot some stuff- I’ll be honest cause you’re not dead on all the time, I don’t care how good you are. We’re humans and our hearts are all beating at different times right now. The first David Lee Roth album I did was DLR Band in “98” with Betty Page on the cover and that is called “no click track”. I thought I was being cool by having all the beats programmed out. Dave walks in and it’s my first time meeting him and he’s like “What’s that thing?” It was a R-5 Roland and I go “Dave that’s the metronome, I have all the clicks programmed: I have a tambourine in one ear so I can really feel the 8th note, got a 16th shaker in one ear and a cowbell straight up the middle.” I thought I was a pro you know? He takes a drag of his cigarette and walks over to the thing and pulls it out of the wall and goes “Old School kid….. Rock N Roll, just play.” And I was just like “Oh man!” Be ready for any situation because it will happen to you, don’t get too comfortable.

DC: What was it like to teach at PIT?

RL: I was out at PIT for about 9 years and I loved it, it was a great experience. When I was a student there my teachers were Ralph Humphrey, Joe Poccaro, Richie Garcia etc. They were all really top cats and I learned a lot, but there wasn’t really a rock program. The instructors mainly jazz and Latin orientated, I always wanted rock. Ralph Humphrey approached me in 92’ and said if I write a rock curriculum and present it, they would hire me at the school. So of course I did, and that’s how I got hired at the school. I started 2 or 3 hours a week and then it went into open counseling, private lessons and next thing you know I was there for like 28 hours a week.

DC: So who took over after you left?

RL: There were several instructors: Jeff Bowders was a student of mine and he plays for Paul Gilbert right now- he took over the double bass. Shane Gaalaas, another great double bass drummer, and Charlie Waymire all helped out with that. They all just kind of filled in, did their thing and made it their won.

DC: That’s quite an honor to actually implement a program at an accredited music institution that’s still in effect to this day.

RL: It was an honor to me because I really look up to the school. A lot of people get bummed out at school like “Man, I’m a street player” and I am too. I play from the heart and play by feel but it’s okay to have education and learn other things.

DC: A lot of musician’s careers become compromised when they step into a situation where they have to replace an original band member because they seem to be overshadowed by their previous accomplishments. Fans can become a very loyal and superstitious group that may not receive a new member with open arms and can have a tendency to be really critical about your playing. How do you approach those situations to make it comfortable for you to fit in?

RL: I just do my thing. Whatever gig I come into-like the DLR thing, of course you have to pay homage to Alex Van Halen and Gregg Bissonette, but Dave really let me be me. He wanted to hear Ray Luzier playing his songs so I thought that was really cool. The Korn thing is such a gear shift coming from Army of Anyone that has this Zeppelin kinda feel, to Richard Patrick that has this Nine Inch Nails kind of feel, to Korn having this new metal or whatever. It’s cool because you can incorporate your own personality into the music, but yet I want to produce the power of drumming that Korn deserves. It’s not a scary thing to do I just try to stay focused and really get inside the music.

DC: Were you worried about how the Korn fans would take to you? A lot of people might not have thought that you would fit in with that sort of band.

RL: Yeah absolutely! And that’s the thing because I don’t have dreads down to my ass or a sleeve tattoo’s but at the same time I feel that type of music. Korn fans are diehard! I would show up to meet and greets in South Africa and they were like “Who are you?” A lot of guys haven’t seen me play DLR or Army of Anyone down in some of these other countries so I’m a brand new drummer to them. But after the show they’re like “Dude that was awesome” so it’s cool that I was able to win some people over.

DC: A lot of people that play the same gig with a band for years and years tend to get bored or trapped within a particular sound or style of music. Because of that do you prefer being a journeyman drummer so to speak? It’s seems this way you have to opportunity to play what you want.

RL: Yeah, and Korn is really cool about “letting me be me” and that’s why I’m glad to be their new member. I hope it sticks and I really want to ride this out- I don’t want to join another band right now. I’m really happy in this band and I’m doing Jonathan Davis’ solo record right now, it’s called Jonathan Davis and the SFA’s and I couldn’t be happier with my situation right now.

DC: I loved your first DVD and I heard you mention another one may be on the way. When could we expect to see that?

RL: I want to but it’s a slow work in progress. There are a lot of ideas in my head I gotta get out it’s just a matter of finding the time to focus and record it.

DC: Having played with so many people is it going to be hard to decide the next batch of musicians to accompany you on the new DVD?

RL: To be honest I would love to have all my bass player buddies from James Lomenzo, Billy Sheehan, Robert DeLeo, and Fieldy! They’re such different bass players but all amazing at what they do so….who knows?

DC: So what’s next for you?

RL: Finishing John’s solo record, it’s gonna be coming out around Feb. or March of 2009. It’s all new stuff with Shankar on violin, Miles Mosely on bass, Shane Gibson on guitar and Zac Baird on keys. We’re going to do a small tour to promote that before we start on the next Korn album.









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