There are times when multitasking and being a jack of all trades don’t pay out much. Sinking your full energy and effort into the one thing you’re good at can do wonders. This is what Ray Luzier, the drummer of Korn, has done after telling himself that he’s going to be playing drums for the rest of his life. He shares the struggles of being noticed in the music industry during the era where household bands have been emerging from all over. Ray also gives an important life lesson about being good to others and explains why you need to drop your ego even if you’re a full-fledged rock star. Follow his story and learn what it truly takes to get that first big break that everyone’s been waiting for.

Listen to the podcast here:

Ray Luzier :: Sinking Your Energy Into Your One Thing – The Rich Redmond Show Ep 39

I’m with Jim McCarthy who is a sidekick, co-producer, and a longtime friend. We usually talk about current events. A funny thing happened on the way to the studio. I am being audited for the first time by the IRS for my 2017 taxes. I’m a good taxpayer. I pay every year.

They want to make sure that you’re up to snuff.

It’s another list of tasks and I got to do it, so I’m playing ball. If we want to live in the United States, we got to pay taxes. One of our guests had some tax issues the same year. He was telling me off-camera but we have a more important thing to talk about.

Our guest is one of the world’s greatest rock and roll drummers. You know him as the touring drummer forever with David Lee Roth. He was in a band called Army of Anyone and he’s been playing with the band, Korn, since 2007. He’s Mr. Ray Luzier. Thank you for being here.

It’s wonderful to be here.

What’s crazy is that a lot of people have sat in that chair and people throw this term around. “He’s a rock star.” You’re a rock star.

No, I’m a working musician-magician. My money disappears then I’m out there putting up.

You are in one of the biggest, most popular bands in the world that tours all the continents. Every one of them.

In Korn, I got this gig we did. The first tour we did, we did 36 countries in 4.5 months.

Do you think that’s where you were talking to me about your sleeping habits and you’re going from country to country and timezone to timezone?

Yeah. That was helping me because I was dead tired and you want to sleep at the hotel, but I have insomnia problems big time since I moved to LA and found out how wonderful the music business is.

It’s been good to you. We both have a birthday and I’m going to go big because every day above dirt is a great day. We’ve been able to put it all together and be able to be creative and affect people in a positive way. You grew up outside of Pittsburgh, in the farmlands of Pennsylvania.

We’re talking about David Lee Roth. I want to talk about David the entire time.

Does he smoke cigarettes or cigars?

He smoked several things. Anyway, it’s 118 acres on the farm. It was a place called West Newton, Pennsylvania.

What did your parents do?

My mom was in education, as well as my aunts and uncles. She was a principal in three schools before she retired. Hence, why I was fit into the Musicians Institute teaching thing, I had some of that in my blood. My dad managed the heating and air conditioning plants. There are no musicians in my family. It was weird.

When did the first drum set happen and they were supportive and said, “Put it in the garage. Put it in your bedroom.”

I was beaten on everything like most drummers. We all do that whole thing. I had this cassette case. I would beat on it and like, “What if you cup your hand the right way?” It was a kick drum and a snare. I’d make the hi-hat noise. I had this thing and I just beat the shit out of this cassette case. The next thing you know, “Mom, I need a new cassette case because it’s cracked.” After a while, they’re like, “Let’s get him a Junior Pro kit.” They bought me this Muppet thing and it was destroyed. It’s paper, but I still love it. Once they saw I was still playing, they went to this local drum shop and bought me a CB700, Camber cymbals. It was metallic blue and it was my first real kit. They had no idea what to do with it. They didn’t know how to step on the hi-hat.

Are you self-taught? You’re watching MTV and you’re playing along with records?

I play along with stacks of records. All I did was wait until my sister went to the mall and stole all her Rush, AC/DC, Kiss, Zeppelin, Ozzy.

Is she an older sister?

Yeah, five years older. My sister owns a 300-animal zoo outside of Pittsburgh.

How do you start a zoo? What’s that loan look like?

We were farmers and I always knew she would stay with farming. I didn’t know she’d take it to the extremities. She sent me pictures and she got three brand new tiger cubs. It’s not horse, calf, or pig. It’s kudamundis, lemurs.

Where is that?

In Smithton, Pennsylvania. It’s called Critter Country Animal Farm.

Is it like a roadside attraction?

Yeah, there’s some advertisement. Next time you’re in Pittsburgh and have a day off, go to Critter Country. It’s amazing.

You got good at playing rock. Was that the music that appealed to you?

My uncle would give me Kiss tapes and that’s what was attracted to me. When I heard Steely Dan and stuff on the radio, I perked up. I knew that my dad loved the country and that turned me off from the country thing. I’m like, “Turn this off. Put some Ozzy on.”

In 1988, you went all the way with your sticks to Hollywood, California.

My guitar player at the time with Mount Pleasant was like, “If we don’t get out of Pittsburgh, we’re going to die here and we’ll never play covers.”

Did you move together with your friend?

I wanted to go to New York. I’m like, “Let’s go. It’s right up the road. It’s a five-hour drive and an hour flight.” “No, we’ll get to the end at that time.” Paul Gilbert, who’s a world-renowned and an amazing guitar player, his dad used to modify my guitar players’ amps back then. I have VHS tapes of me in a parole shirt in Paul Gilbert’s basement when I was fourteen. I was watching these guys and he told us stories, he’s in a band and was starting to build Billy Sheehan, and all this crazy stuff.

You then go on to play with Billy Sheehan. He’s a good pal of yours.

I’m on his last couple of records and we are great pals.

He loves you.

I love him, he’s amazing. We moved out there but I’m like, “How are we going to do this?” There’s a school called Musicians Institute, MI.

Hollywood & Highland. Was it at that corner at that time?

Yes. I’m like, “I’ll never get into freaking plays. I do five beats and I can play rock.” He’s like, “You got to know jazz, Latin, and swing.” He’s like, “Just take the test.” We’ve got the exam and I’m like, “It was a basic swing. It was a bossa nova. It was a basic samba.” I faked my way through a country beat, which is nearly as good as you are. I made it through the test. I’ll never forget when we got that acceptance letter. I was like, “Me? I’m a farm kid.” Anyway, we went out there. I bought a beat-up, old Dodge Maxiwagon from my church and gutted it. It’s a fifteen-passenger van. I filled it with kick drums and Marshall cabinets and drove it across the US. It broke down three times.

Do you have pictures and stuff?

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Because there’s definitely a memoir in you.

My parents said, “We’re going to make the trip with you. We’ll make a vacation out of it.” We saw those different states. It was not, so we moved. It’s funny on our first day on Hollywood Boulevard, we were looking for apartments because we showed up there. The freeways kept getting wider and my mom’s like, “Raymond, I don’t know what lane to be in.”

The first thing you see is Spider-Man, Wonder Woman, and a woman with Adam’s apple.

We stayed overnight. I forgot the hotel.

Is it like a roadway inn?

Roach Motel or something.

Right there behind the Starbucks.

The next thing you know, I hear something and my mom goes, “What was that, Raymond?” I go, “That was a car backfire, mom. It wasn’t a gunshot at all.” At that time, they cleaned up Hollywood a lot but that time was hurting.

That was still Crips and Bloods.

I wore my BK shoes to rehearsal one time downtown LA and the guy goes, “You want to get shot?” I’m like, “I don’t. Why?” He’s like, “You got Blood Killer shoes on.” I’m like, “BK stands for Blood Killer? I’ll be wearing Nikes tomorrow.” True story. If they see you, they think you’re threatening them. They think they’re messing with them.

Little things you got to know about.

This farm boy was naive.

You’re in the practice room and at that time, it’s Joe Porcaro.

My staff, Casey Scheuerell, Joe Porcaro, Ralph Humphrey, Chuck Flores, Efrain Toro, and Richard Garcia. It went on and on. I’m a punk off the farm. I thought I was a badass. I’m like, “Check out this fill.” They’re like, “That’s great. Your timing sucks and your group is awful.” I’m like, “Huh?” They’re like, “You got to eat a metronome.” I’ll never forget that I got offstage because Chad Smith was in my class. He’s in a little band called Chili Peppers.

If you stayed in the program, he’d left?

He was in there for two weeks and we shared a cymbal locker together. He came back one day and he’s like, “I got this audition.” I’m like, “What do you mean you got an audition? What about school? We need to learn.” I swear that’s what I said. He’s like, “It’s called the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” I’m like, “That’s a wacky name.” He’s like, “I know.” You know the story from there.

Was his groove always that natural?

There’s a funk LPW class, Live Playing Workshop and he sat down. They can hear you back then. I was up there and the teacher’s like, “What are you doing? Don’t play a fill.”

When you came and taught years ago at my fourth annual Drummers Weekend and you met my buddy Sarah and all my great students, you’ve got these melodies that you play that’s melodic and these little rhythmic structures that find their way into a lot of the music that you play. It’s perfectly in time, it’s served up with an attitude and there are dynamics. It takes all these years to put it all together.

That’s the thing. It’s a ton of experience. I appreciate you saying that, but it’s far from perfect. This is all I do. I don’t know how to do anything else. I started playing when I was six.

Me, too, 1976. When I think about you, I think you were a product of the LA music scene in its heyday in the ‘80s. You still own a home there even though you’ve migrated over to the outside of Franklin, Tennessee, raising a family with more space. What has changed about Los Angeles?

When I moved out there, The Script was alive. In ‘88, you go on that Friday night and everybody’s passing out their flyers. “Come see my band. Come see Roxy.” You’d leave there at 2:00 AM and there’ll be a deep stack of flyers. The energy was alive and of course, I wasn’t smart enough to get a fake ID. I’d stand outside the Rainbow and wait for Ozzy, Vince Neil, and Tommy Lee to come out, walking out to catch a peak because I was such a fan and still am.

After Nirvana came out, everything was weird and all that. You could feel the simmer and next thing you know, I’m standing on the Sunset Strip one night and the guy goes, “Keep it moving. It’s a cop.” I’m like, “People aren’t moving. I stand here every week.” He’s like, “Not tonight.” It was weird. All my friends looked at me like, “This is going away.” They didn’t want any loitering. This is where everyone hangs out. It was sad.

The Viper Room has been sold. If they’re going to put up a high rise, the Roxy probably will go away but the Whiskey, I don’t know.

I don’t think the Whiskey will ever. If it does, that’s sad. If somebody let’s that go away, there are enough billionaires out there.

The Rainbow will be there forever. People are still wearing the same jacket from 1983.

I go there once every two years and there’s some lady I’ve seen when I was going to MI. They’re still there or working there but that’s their legacy. They will never let it die.

Time stands still.

Many clubs closed, the Coconut Teaszer I used to play, and the Country Club. I remember Racer X was one of my favorite bands when I moved. When my original band got a gig at the Country Club, “Racer X will play here. We’re going to rule the world.” I know as I’m writing a check for $200 to play that. It was a Thursday at 8:15 PM with twelve people and the waitresses.

Ray, a sponsor of our show is at the School of Rock and I’ve been working with my friends, Andy and Kelly McCray. They’ve had almost ten years here in Nashville. You probably met them briefly over at my camp. They would probably have loved to have you come in and talk to the kids.

I’m all about anything that has to do with education or supporting, especially if it has the name rock in it. These school programs are killing me because many school programs have closed and it’s like, “I would have died without the music program. I was in marching, concert and symphonic, waiting for the 32 bars for crash cymbals.”

Your triangle hit. It’s cool to know because a lot of people probably wouldn’t figure out that you did play in the concert band, marching band, pep band, and jazz band in high school. It laid this foundation for you. Our folks over at the School of Rock Franklin and School of Rock Nashville, if you’re interested in getting your kids in the program, learning bass, drums, guitar, keyboards, and fronting a band. If the kids don’t even become professional musicians, Jim, they’re going to learn life skills, time management, being persistent, discipline, and working in a group. They’re going to leave with life skills. I got some email addresses for you, or Tell them I sent you or Ray sent you. Another thing that I like to think of when I think of you is your work ethic. You worked your way up to the top of the ladder in MI that they asked you to come back and teach years later.

That was frightening to me. Ralph, I’ll never forget, I was always one of the kids there bitching about there was no rock program. There’s a little bit here and there. It was big-time jazz fusion and Ralph taught an amazing class called Even in the Odds, which is based on his book. I didn’t have to count all that stuff. It was a fill. I was like, “There’s no rock we needed here.” It’s me and one other Swedish guy. There were these double bass labs across the street from the MI.

Did they want the double bass guys across the street?

Yeah. They kicked us out. It would come over like, “I got to practice my reading.”

On Mel’s Diner side or across the street where the Stella Adler and all that?

The other side of the street where that buck sits over there. That does no longer exists. Anyway, Ralph called me in. It was ‘92 and I just turned 22 years old. He goes, “People want a rock program. If you present us with a rock curriculum, a simple double bass thing.” I was like, “Me? I’m 22.” He’s like, “Yeah.” Everyone thinks I graduated top of my class and I aced everything I did. I was far from that. I did well and I did pass the test but I was all about the experience.

I wanted to play. I wanted to get out there in the clubs and do what I’m doing. Wasn’t that amazing? When he asked me this, I was baffled like, “I got a 76 in reading. You know that, right?” That’s what happened. I presented him with a basic double bass curriculum like pronouncing notes, evening out if you’re right-handed and bringing your left hand up. The same thing with their feet, simple things. It took off, so I started for three hours and then went 33 hours a week teaching there.

That curriculum led to you doing your VHS rock?

Yeah. I put out a DVD in 2003 or ‘04 through MI. I did it like that was the last thing I was ever going to do. It was a ton of four-way coordination and all this stuff in there. We filmed for 6.5 hours and edited down to 1 hour and 43 minutes.

That came out when people were spending $39.95 on a DVD or VHS.

RRS 39 | Your One Thing

Your One Thing: If children learn music, even if they don’t become professional musicians, they’re going to learn life skills, time management, persistence, and discipline.

They sent me emails going, “I saw it on YouTube the other day.” I’m like, “What are we going to do?”

Was your big break from 1997 to 2005, the David Lee Roth band?

I don’t know what a break was.

It was a pivotal moment.

Here’s the thing. I had failed band after the original failed band. Everyone’s like, “Would you do all that time before the David Lee Roth?” I’m like, “I was trying to do what Korn did. I was trying to do what Nirvana did.” All these bands that were huge, everyone had that dream of being from the ground up. I had a band called Freak Power Ticket that had the carrot dangling right in front of us, selling out the Troubadour, Whiskey, and all this stuff.

Before they signed us, they pulled the rug. “I don’t believe in it that much to give you a Vance and put you in the studio.” My band 9.0, which was on Shrapnel, did one record indie, a showcase for Warner Bros. They loved it and said, “Get a new singer and we’ll hire you.” I’m like, “Huh?” People have no idea what people go through from that graph. Long story short, I started auditioning for bigger bands and started getting some talent scouts. Barry Squire is one of them.

I tried to invite Barry one day to my gig at the Hollywood Ball and he never responded to my message. I couldn’t get angry. Come on, Barry. Is he still active doing that?

I think so. It’s been a while since I talked to him but he’s such a great guy. He would send me on these pop auditions, just four and a floor kinds of stuff. He’s like, “Whenever you get the next game, you have to get your feet wet. Get out there and play some gigs.” I did some of those and it didn’t work out. My first audition was for the Jake E. Lee band. He plays, with Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark At The Moon and Ultimate Sin. I was a huge Ozzy fan. It was a dream of mine to get to Ozzy gig someday. Jake was playing Ultimate Sin in the set. He was playing a couple of Ozzy tunes. I’m a huge Badlands fan, his old band. Anyway, 500 drummers narrowed down to 100, narrowed down to 10 and 5 from Canada to Europe. They were flying in for this.

It was a major testament to your talent.

It’s a crazy thing. This is another thing because I know you know a lot about the audition process. Everyone says things like, “How did you get that out of all those people?” You’re supposed to learn those three songs. I was number 50 or whatever it was and they’re like, “Let’s get this over with. Who’s this guy? Great, Ray. That’s awesome.” I came in and like, “Let’s do High Wire of the Badlands. Let’s do Ultimate Sin.” He’s like, “Let’s just stick to the three songs.”

You called B-Sides and they were impressed with that?

I called out the songs that Jake had written and the bass player is like, “High Wire, I don’t know.” Jake was like, “It’s like this.” The next thing you know, they’re standing up. There’s a different energy in a room. We’re playing High Wire. We pissed off all the drummers outside and they’re like, “Why is he playing that?” I’m not saying that’s how I got the gig. It’s definitely something that I brought a different energy into the room. Next thing you know, they were telling me when to go home and, “You got the gig. Come to start rehearsal.”

That was my first tour on a bus. I looked back to itineraries and we had 22 shows in a row. We didn’t bump and we didn’t do them all on a day off, let’s work. I did a small run with Arcade, which is Stephen Pearcy from Ratt. Fred Coury quit Arcade and I finished that tour. That led to me and Billy Sheehan playing the NAMM Show and Sun Demons. It’s a wacky record we did. Robert and Dean Deleo we’re playing with Steve Ferrone. The little guy named Billy Cobham played that night. I’m talking about intimidating.

Three to four times.

I’m like, “We’re playing all these notes. I know him. He’s Billy Sheehan.” I’m thinking, “They must hate us because they’re funky.” Robert and Dean are back with their arms crossed nudging each other. I’m like, “How’s it going? I’m a huge STP fan. It’s good to meet you.” They’re like, “What are you doing right now?” I’m like, “I was playing with the David Lee Roth gig.” I skipped the whole Dave thing. I didn’t mean to do that but I went right over. I don’t know why.

It didn’t take years off your life.

I said, “I’m trying to leave the David Lee Roth gig.” Next thing you know, that was the original band. That was back to that thing.

Back to you being an original member of the Army of Anyone.

We should rewind a little bit. Let’s talk about Dave.

Let’s talk about doing anything to give yourself an edge or show your humanity in separating yourself from the pack in an audition. I remember reading about how Bissonette got the job with David Lee Roth and he was also a massive cattle call. They said, “Here’s a song that wasn’t the one we told you to learn.” He could quickly chart out the form on a snare drum and they said, “Open drum solo. Go.” He was able to do an open drum solo that wasn’t your typical rock drum solo that showed some different flavors or maybe Latin or something. They’re like, “This guy’s probably the best bet because he’s versatile, he could take direction, he’s fun and he can rock.”

I remember calling Bissonette at the end of the Arcade thing. I didn’t audition for Dave. I was a session guy. I thought I was going to be the Joe session guy for a while because I was getting calls to do movie soundtracks. I was playing on people’s records like movies and commercials. It’s funny I was watching this movie, Money for Nothing with John Cusack. I heard this ride cymbal thing that I do and I’m like, “That is me.” I forgot that I was in that movie. I was getting hired and sometimes they’ll pay you and you move on. You don’t know where your songs are going to end up and you’re watching a movie like, “That’s weird. It is me,” so you don’t know.

It wasn’t a union thing. You get paid once and it’s done.

I get paid once as a session guy. I did a session for this kid named Mike Hartman. He’s not here anymore. He was an amazing guitar player and Dave Lee Roth was writing with him. I played two songs on his record. Gregg Bissonette played on it as well and he’s friends with Steve Vai. He’s was this beady little eyed kid come up with my open council, he said, “Am I going?” I go, “What are you doing here? You’re a guitar player.” “I like your play. You’re going to play on my record someday. We’re going to do it at Steve Vai’s house.” I was like, “Sure kid. Get out of here.” Next thing you know, we’re at Vai’s house in the Hollywood Hills recording two songs on this record.

Long story short, he calls me up and he’s like, “I’m working with Dave. He likes these two songs you played on. Can we come back and track them with Dave and take out all the leads and all?” Because it was instrumental music. I go, “That means Dave’s going to be there?” Next thing you know, I’m driving down to Burbank with David Lee Roth and I’m like, “This is weird. It’s definitely a dream of mine.” Because I’ve watched Van Halen for so long. It’s hanging on my wall when I was ten.

This is a theme that I’m seeing in your life. All your heroes you end up playing with. The posters are on your wall and you must be an amazing dreamer or manifester.

I stared at Kiss though. Eric Singer, come on. I firmly believe in that. Not if you dwell on stuff but if you sink your energy in a positive way in anything you want to do, whether it be music or anything. If you’re a good person and you’re good at what you do in your craft, you’re going to get that. I’m a firm believer in that because I told myself when I left the farm, “I’m going to play drums the rest of my life till I die. Whether I’m playing on buckets under Santa Monica Pier or I’m playing stadiums with Korn.”

A lot of people were telling you that it wasn’t possible.

Many people.

Not your parents though.

My parents always believed me, 110%. “Raymond, you’re going to do it. Keep that head-on. Don’t do drugs,” and I didn’t.

I bet they’re proud. Where do you put them at a Korn show? Side stage with headphones?

Wherever they want. We played the Rock on the Range festival and they sat in these big piers up on the side of the stage so they could see 60,000 people and look down on their son. That’s crazy.

What do you think of this positive energy and encouragement for now that you’re a dad and you have two sons?

I definitely give that to my sons and teach them that they can do anything.

Do they have some musical talent?

It’s funny because everyone’s like, “Of course, they’re drummers.” I don’t push it. There are drums, keyboards, and guitars all over the house. One of my sons started playing piano so I’ll show him Harry Potter and simple things on the piano or chords and he loves it. He freaking lights up. Every once in awhile, if I showed him someone drums, he’s like, “Dad, I got this other thing.” He did by himself. He did it in one hand and I didn’t show him one thing.

Are they into video games and stuff like that? Are they into the music of video games?

Yeah. Thanks, Fortnite.

They’re ruining our youth.

Geometry Dash is a game my kid plays all the time. There are guys that are writing music for it and banking on these video games. All he listens to is this video game music.

I got some notes on you.

I remember liking the music to Pitfall and Dig Dug. All the Millennials are going, “What’s Dig Dug?” A common theme in this conversation is the manifestation of dreams, believing in yourself, and surrounding yourself with positive people. While you were playing with David Lee Roth, you would come back to LA and you would work for this company called Perfect World Entertainment where you would dress up. You would put wigs on and play in disco bands.

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We had a funk band. I wore a giant white afro wig and I had a thing called Atomic Dogs. That was a funk band. I put in the thing called Metal Shop that turned into Steel Panther. They’re still playing. It’s an amazing organization headed by Jamie Brown out in LA.

We started The Spazmatics here that I did many years ago and then I stopped doing it because my wife at the time was like, “You get to the studio at 8:30 in the morning to do sessions. You’re onstage on a Monday night playing with The Spazmatics until 2:00. Do you need to dress up as a nerd and do this?” I was like, “That was fun.”

Anyone can start a cover band and anyone can do what we did, but in Perfect World, Jamie had this niche where it’s high-quality entertainment. There are horn players and there are tracks. It sounds like, a lot of times, original records. Jeff Scott Soto did it for many years in Sons of Apollo or his own thing. It’s paid my bills for many years. There were many times I got off the road and got a cut salary. I started teaching lessons and called Jamie. He’s like, “You got to go to Arizona. You got to go to Texas and bring your wig and your tracks, and that’s it.” Because you play house gear and the next thing you know, you make bank off that. They pay great.

The fact that you’re playing in major touring rock bands and you were willing to go, “I’m going to put this wig on and go play I Will Survive.”

I’m a working drummer. A lot of people don’t understand. I don’t get into the whole rock star thing. It’s cool and I love the accommodations, don’t get me wrong. Flying first class to Europe does not suck. I love Korn. They’re good to me and they let me live the life that they live which is amazing. We took a private jet to Mexico and that’s rock star stuff but when I come home, I still keep that humble mentality like, “It could end tomorrow.” You never know when you get your phone call.

You are incredibly approachable, into music education, giving back, and all that stuff. Tell us a little bit about the David Lee Roth gig. I listened to his interview on the Marc Maron podcast and he is such an insanely high energy guy and he’s intelligent.

He’s super intelligent and people think he’s a rock and roll clown guy. I don’t know what your perception is. That dude taught me so much about life, not only the rock and roll business. He taught me how to be a performer. Everyone’s like, “You flip your stiction. You’re a showboat.” I’m like, “I don’t look at it as a showboat thing.” David Lee Roth taught me, “Look who’s here. There’s a lot of people paying money out there. They’re yours. You do. Don’t sit back there like waiting for the bus.” I’ll be like, “I never thought of that.” I was conscious like, “That guy’s looking at me, too.” Next thing you know, my sticks are getting hotter.

I got in trouble. Can you imagine me bringing the way that I played in Nashville in 1997? I got a lot of hate.

You’d spend your sticks while recording. Energy makes it to tape.

That guy would ride down a tour bus in Sweden and be like, “The population here is like this,” and it goes on. He has all this information.

He’s a student of life.

He’s not the easiest guy to tolerate and handle sometimes.

I like what he said, “I never got along with the Van Halen brothers.” That’s what he told Mark.

I heard stories beyond stories. I’m a fan and I still am a fan. Dave was nice enough when Van Halen got back together. He invited me down before they had friends and family thing. I was there with the white lights on and he’s like, “You’re out of tune. You’re playing got me.” He’s yelling at Ed Van Halen and he’s out of tune. I’m like, “What? This is surreal.” I’m backstage and he’s stretching. When Dave starts stretching, I usually start doing my warm-ups where I’m like, “Some guy named Al Van Halen is going to be playing drums today. I’m just going to watch.” It was weird, but he’s such a great person inside. I learned so much. It was a rough eight years sometimes, but I look back and I’m thankful for the work he gave me and touring the world. There wasn’t one time I didn’t look at playing going, “That’s David Lee Roth.” You’d never ever get used to that.

Wasn’t that part of your audition where he was like, “Do you do that double bass thing?”

I called Bissonette right away. He threw my name in the hat years ago before I got the gig. He’s a sweetheart guy. I go, “What’s the biggest advice you got for me?” He’s like, “Swing your balls off.” He goes, “Dave’s all about the swing. He’d care less about how many you can do. It’s the swing.” Think about it. California Girls, Just a Gigolo, Hot for Teacher and I’m The One. They’re swung.

He loves big band music.

I kept that in mind. When I went down for those two songs with Mike Hartman, he’d come in the studio and he’d be like, “What if I said play this and what if I said swing this instead of straight?” He’s asking me all these questions and I’m like, “This guy’s wacky.” It was literally me and him in the studio. I got cans on and he’s asked me all this stuff. He’s like, “What if I said, play his drum solo? Go.” I started dynamics and I was trying to think smart because I knew it was going to last long. He’s spent staring at me with a doughnut in his mouth. It’s freaking surreal. He’s a healthy guy but at that time, he had a doughnut in his mouth. I was like, “This is bizarre.”

Anyway, I leave that session and then he goes, “Kid, great job. Maybe we’ll work together again someday,” and that was it. I’m like, “You don’t even know.” The next morning at 7:00 AM, Big Ed Anderson, his security guard from New York, said, “He passed with flying colors.” “Passed what, Ed?” “Didn’t you think that was weird he was asking all those questions?” I’m like, “I thought he was wacky. I didn’t know that was my audition,” so I got the gig. Next thing you know, it was me and John Lowery at the time, John 5. There was too much of a space in there to start the record. We did the record but to start the tour, John left for Marilyn Manson. There was no band but me so we put a band together. That was eight years, ‘97 to ‘05.

I’m watching a video of you playing with him in Charlotte from 2003.

Do you like that?

Yeah, because you’re singing, too.

You had to sing and there was no choice in that. I don’t have a good voice but I got great ears. That’s the first time I ever use in-ear monitors because he’s like, “Sing everything.” He goes, “Because I’m only going to sing a couple of words in the chorus. Someone’s got to do it.” That was his part. I would sing Dave’s part in the choruses. The unchained You Really Got Me and Just Like Paradise, I’m singing Dave Roth’s part. Someone’s got a hold of that down sometimes and you were glued to that mic.

Is it around in front of them?

Yeah. It got a gooseneck. I had one of those things where I’d throw it over to myself and throw it back.

It’s like the Stan Lynch and Drew Copeland vibe.

Bissonette as well because they had a big old gooseneck.

You’re singing and you’re playing with that intensity.

That’s the thing. You couldn’t let the intensity down and you had to hold notes as best as you possibly could. He had what he calls Acapulco. He’s like, “Let’s do an Acapulco rehearsal,” and you’re like, “Huh?” That’s key beside it. It would sing and dance the night away over and over again. When he felt it was right, he’d get up on stage and go into the plane. It taught me so much about the five-way coordination because I’m holding notes and it’s insane.

Singing and playing is tough.

It’s impressive.

I haven’t done it in thirteen years with Korn.

There was no background in singing.

You got your hands full. You’re playing like an animal back then.

I have the Korn Koffee and this is a gift for you. We have our old roast, dark roast and we released one called Wired off of our new record, The Nothing. It’s in stores now. This is an amazing blend and this is insanely smooth. It’s not bitter and it doesn’t have that bitter aftertaste.

Are you a coffee guy?

I’m a coffee freak. Our buddy, Jeremy Gursey in Vegas was Tom Cruise’s barista for years and all this crazy stuff. He’s our partner on this. He’s insanely perfect with beans and all that.

Do people just go to or I am a Bongo player.

Get back in the Bongos, kid.

RRS 39 | Your One Thing

Your One Thing: After living like a rock star, when you come home, it’s important to keep that humble mentality like it could end tomorrow.

“Tell the Bongo player to go to Starbucks. He’s dragged in.”

Tell us about the new record.

Nothing yet. It’s produced by Nick Raskulinecz and I’m happy with it. Jonathan Davis, as everybody knows, went through a hard time. He lost his wife. It’s the most insane hardship ever and in Jonathan’s mind, he had to push on. If he didn’t do music, he’s going to go mentally insane. This happened in the middle of the Jonathan Davis tour. I’m also on the Black Labyrinth record he released.

I saw you play at The Cowan in Nashville.

Thanks for coming, by the way. We were in the middle of that tour and we finished it. I can’t believe that guy finished it because that’s your other half and your everything. It’s his kid’s mommy. It’s bad in many ways but that music, as everyone knows, has healing powers. It saves and it does a lot.

Music heals.

Anyway, on The Nothing, you’ll hear his emotion come out and it’s freaking heavy but a lot of the old score Korn fans miss that side of it. The first couple records are hardcore with emotion and all that so I’m proud of it. I love the way I had monkey-played on it. He annihilated it. This is the second record we did with him. Raskulinecz also did The Serenity of Suffering, which is another one of my favorites.

Do you write and record in Los Angeles?

No. Nash and LA. We own the original Buck Owens studio in Bakersfield, California. Come on, you’re Mr. Country.

I scream country.

It’s oozing out of your pores.

The fact that the kid from Connecticut became a country in a western drummer.

You blazed the path.

All the people around Nash live here. It’s funny they’re like, “You don’t own the Buck Owens. Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and all those?” I’m like, “All those records were done there.”

It’s a band investment.

We leave the Buck Owens statue in the middle of the monitors. It’s like the bucks are watching. Jonathan lives at that studio. He loves it and we fly. I allow them in Franklin, Tennessee. I’ve lived on airplanes. Hud and I live in Tennessee and the other three live in LA. It works out great. Munky and Fieldy would fly out here and would write at Nick’s studio. Nick is out here as well. He got a brand-new studio in Berryhill and it’s amazing. His studio is phenomenal. It works. We would fly out there and do some vocals. We would go back and forth and We’d all meet. We met at a couple of LA studios and all five wrote together. It’s a great vibe all around you.

Do you get to still maintain the KXM gig at the same time?

I do. It’s funny you say that Rich because I happen to have a new whole product of KXM. We have a record player. With the fan thing, I was a huge Dokken fan back in the day. KXM is George Lynch and Doug Pinnick from King’s X. If you haven’t gotten a King’s X records, go buy their records. It’s unbelievable. A power trio is amazing. The soul that comes out of Doug at 68 years old. He’s ripped and it’s insane. I don’t think he eats anymore. He ate something. Anyway, this is our third effort. It takes nothing out of my life. We were in the studio for twelve days and we have not one note was written, no pre-pro and no nothing. We walk into the studio with cans on, “What do you get?” Most of the groups come when I’m testing my drums, George is like, “What is that?” “I don’t know. I’m checking my toms.” “Keep doing that,” and then he starts with a riff. That’s how the whole record starts.

That’s one of your melodies.

I appreciate you saying that. That means a lot.

You’re instantly recognizable.

I try to play melodically. You say, “How do you do that on the drums?” There are ways. There are things you could do, little ear candy things you can do, and keep repeating something every couple of bars. There’s all the smart stuff you can do.

Ray, do you want to treat our readers to some of these verses and chorus to some of the songs?


What’s the single from Korn?

The first thing that was released is called You’ll Never Find Me. There are videos on YouTube, so check it out.

It’s certainly music to test the capabilities of the base of your car. That is D, right?

Yeah. It gets your buffer gone.

You can hear the bass string rattling.

Josh Wilbur is one of my favorite mixers of all time and he gets Korn. It’s got to be fat low-end. Fieldy plays such a percussive bass. You get all those notes and fill the bottom. That takes a lot.

That was the fill your son did. What I love about this music is there’s so much energy. It’s a lot. It’s better to work out to than our music that I played.

It’s got the energy to it.

Our music is such storytelling. It’s mid-tempo stuff, but this has got the motion.

This is the kind of music I grew up playing. I was a heavy player with Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and everything.

I want to get on the StairMaster and go.

Drive fast on the highway.

Here’s a little bit of Can You Hear Me?

This is a song we had Jonathan that he wrote many years ago and I played on to be on this solo record or anything. Nick Raskulinecz heard it and said, “We need to Kornized this.” We put it on the new record and it came out amazing.

We had Tom Hurst on the show and we would have been teaching that because we’re teachers so he’s always thinking how you could break it down and teach somebody.

I know what I like about it. Raised kit is the fact that it’s unorthodox. It’s you and I would imagine you set it up in a way that was just you. Remote hi-hat, I would imagine.

I got stacks over there but I got weird. I started playing left-hand lead and I’m right-handed so hats were open all the time. The Beach Boys dude, that’s how you play. My uncle’s like, “You’re right-handed, you should cross over.” It never felt but I do ghost notes better when I go this way but it’s wide open. I used to do the whole mirror thing years ago like Mangini’s done with the hats, and everything. After a while, it’s a little pushing it for me, but I still have floor time on each side. The crashes are symmetrical.

The whole story on China as everyone asked me is like, “Why is freaking China in the middle?” I was a Tommy Lee freak for a while. When he had that Theater Of Pain Kit with two red Chinas, I went and bought and painted buildings and I bought those Chinas. I cracked one but I like to do this left and right-handed thing. I’m like, “Crap. What do I do? I’ll just throw it in the middle for now.” That’s what happened. My guitar player goes, “That’s cool. We should keep it there,” and I’m like, “Alright.” Next thing you know, three decades later.

Music, as everyone knows, has healing powers. It saves. Music heals. Click To Tweet

It gets people talking.

When you see you got that little 10-inch Tom on the right, you know Kenny’s on the gig. If you see high China, you know it’s you. I had the double Chinas one year and then it seems like every year, the cymbals get lower, less cymbal, and just boom whack.

You’re talking about switching up when you’re going to get 3 up and 2 down?

I don’t know if the guys in the band with all those sounds because they don’t put the toms in their ears. They like the kick and snare. They feel like the toms muddy things.

What about you? Do you have your own mix?

I got my own mix. If I had too many times, they’ll be like, “What do you do?” Because I do a lot of Pat Boone Debbie Boone. It would be fun to be in a situation where I could cut loose like you because you have this vocabulary. These melodies and surface, you know it’s you.

Thanks. I appreciate that.

The falling rocks.

You don’t want to ever pull out an odd time signature groove over pick town?

I do a little bit of that but it’s always in four. There’s no 7s or 5s. The most progressive I’ve ever gotten was David Lee Roth. He let us jam and we will go off into seven lands every once in a while but there’s not too much of that. They would always say, “Play for the chicks in the front row, Luzier. They don’t give a crap about all this.” He’s one of the original Pat Boone and Debbie Boone. He’s like, “Think Pat Boone and Debbie Boone.” I’m like, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

There’s a KXM song called War of Words.

That’s the first single, first video off of our record.

You’re like two bands at the same time.

It’s a sideband. It’s a musical outlet for me. There’s no producer telling us what to do. Chris Collier is amazing. He mixed and mastered all three records. He’s the producer and tells us, “That’s too many times of this.”

I hear Soundgarden’s singer Chris Cornell and a little bit of Roth in there.

I hear a little bit of Motörhead in there, too.

The funny thing about the KXM is it takes me out of the Korn element and out of the King’s X. George definitely doesn’t play his AD stuff at all. We try to go way out of the box. He’s bringing in different pedals and different amps and I’m using a different setup and different cymbals. We have fun with it. There’s nothing more than that and we never thought that would ever happen. They ended up at a birthday party for my son when he turned one in LA or in my LA house. They’re all up in my studio and I had these weird guitars. They call them dragonfly guitars. They have five extra frets and they make you play heavy. I’m not a good guitar player, but I can play enough to write. Those things make you the king of the world.

George’s checking all these out and everybody left. It was just me, Doug, and George standing in the room. I’m looking around going, “Just to jam with this.” I wasn’t set up amp-wise to jam. George goes, “We should get to write some songs.” I’m like, “That’ll ever happen. Korn’s busy.” It happened. He was the persistent guy. He’s like, “Korn’s off this weekend. I’m off. Let’s get together on Monday. We’re going to get there Thursday.” Next thing you know, KXM was born. We sold a decent amount of records for being aside but haven’t played one show yet. No reasons. It’s my fault because I’m busy. We sell records and put them out. We want to play live. We’re trying to put a two-week run together sometime before Doug’s 79.

What’s the promotion like? Through Active rock radio?

It’s word of mouth on the internet. There are some stations that play it. It’s hard when you’re an indie label. Rat Pack does what they can but it’s an indie label out of Connecticut. They’re passionate people.

That’s where Jim’s from and that’s where I’m from.

I worked out in Vegas for a group of radio stations, X107.5. That’s probably one of the stations that still probably play a lot of Korn, I imagine. I don’t know if you’ve ever come through there at all.

We’ve been everywhere but Zimbabwe. We haven’t played there yet.

I have a sensitive stomach. How do you deal with food on the road in foreign countries with the ice and the water?

I got one in Japan. That was no joke. We were down in Fukuoka, which is the south of Japan. I teach music schools over there as well. It’s called the GK group. I started in Sendai and then two in Tokyo. We go to Nagoya, Osaka, and Fukuoka. I’m down there and every time I’m there, one of my best buddies, Toshi, was in the David Lee Roth band.

Now he’s on Jimmy Kimmel, right?

No, it’s a different Toshi. It’s Toshi Hiketa. He lives back in Osaka and he does amazing things over there. Anyway, I go, “Toshi, we’re the only Americans here. You always accommodate the American by going to some shop where I can eat. I want deep dark Japan.” He’s like, “You can’t handle it.” I said, “Yes, I can.”

Do you mean underground with the locals?

It’s what the locals eat. I want to eat what they eat because I love Japanese culture. It’s one of my favorite countries to go to. I have been there many times. I love it. He goes, “Alright. I’m giving you miso soup.” I’m like, “You give me miso soup all the time.” I lift the thing up and there’s a fish head without an eyeball bouncing up and down. I’m like, “Whatever.” I ate so much stuff that a couple of days into the trip, my stomach ached. I’m on the plane and doubled over. I thought I was going to die. I got back and I had a parasite. It sucked.

What happens? How do you pass a parasite?

It sucks, it’s bad, and it’s a lot of doctor visits. He showed. He magnified and blew it up. I’m like, “That’s living in me?” It was like an alien thing. It was not cool. Beyond that, I have an iron stomach. I’ll go to Brazil. I love embracing cultures. I’m fortunate to get paid to go and travel the world. I love showing up and eating in different parts of Germany. I love all that.

It makes me a little nervous because you’re lucky to have an iron stomach, but in the back of my mind, “You’re going to play in front of 24,000-people tonight, Rich. Don’t eat that.” One time, I put too much hot sauce on my eggs. Bad day. If I’m eating miso soup with a floating fish head, something’s going to go wrong.

Be careful.

It’s going to come out the same way it went in.

I want to get to Japan.

There are such beautiful human beings. They live on this little tiny island in the middle. They have a work ethic and they’re clean. They have the utmost respect for American musicians. I love it.

Do you teach at music schools over there?

Yeah. I’ve been under contract for the GK group with Jennifer Batten from Michael Jackson. We both represent the schools. We go over there and we’ll do open counseling and performances.

Do they need a teacher from Nashville?

They might. They love American rhythm sections.

Wasn’t Lindsay looking for a connection to Jennifer at all?

We had Lindsay Ell. She’s a new guitar singer and I was saying, “Do you hang out with Jennifer Batten or Orianthi?” She said, “I hang with Ori but I don’t know Jennifer.”

RRS 39 | Your One Thing

Your One Thing: Play your balls off. Get in front of people because how are you going to get known if people don’t see it?

There’s a lot of great musicians out there.

Will you at the same time with Glen Sobel coming up?

I wasn’t the same. We knew each other. We met and showed up to many auditions. I’ll be number 12 and he’ll be like number 17 and I’m like, “What’s up?”

It took him a while to get that job.

He’s such an amazing drummer. That Jennifer Batten record, have you heard that? Ricky walking on it?


Ricky does eight fretless basses at the same time on that Bumblebee.

He’s playing mountain tambourines, cowbells, jam blocks, and things with his feet.

You’re in the business, too. You know there’s a lot like, “I got a virtuoso guitar player,” but he’s working at coffee shops. They can’t get a break. It’s hard to get that break. Sometimes you don’t earn that right situation. That’s why I always tell people to be cool, play your balls off, and get in front of people because how are you going to get known if people don’t see it? Don’t lock yourself. I made a mistake when I moved to LA. I locked myself in my little 10×10 room and I thought, “I’m going to get good. No one can turn me down.” It’s far from getting a gig but I didn’t drink beer and I didn’t do anything.

There’s something cool to that mentality that paid off.

Skill-wise, yeah, I got decent but there are people that were getting gigs. I’ll never forget this guy coming and he got the Joan Jett gig dripping with sweat coming into my lab. He’s like, “I got the Joan Jett gig.” I’m like, “No offense, but how?”

The question is, where is he now?

I don’t know. He had this pocket and they wanted that pocket so you learn a lot. You’re naive. I was dumb when I moved on the farm but you learn what people are looking for. If you’re trying to get the Dream Theater gig, you better know a lot of vocabulary. You better have a lot of crap up here and be able to play anything. Look at you, you’re the king of pocket. The way you play, the emotion that comes out of your face and I feel every note you play. That’s what should be enhanced in many gigs out there.

All these years, I worked hard on editing my playing because when I was with Sutter and Carlock and all those guys at North Texas, we were working on playing Super Dance. When I moved here, I worked on being able to play a Tom Petty song and not do the fills.

That’s way harder to me than trying to play Pull Me Under from Dream Theater.

People like the chops.

It’s a weird thing. The YouTube sensation of a twelve-year-old is playing rush records and you’re like, “Huh?” There’s a lot of impressive drummers out there that blow me. I have to feel it. If I haven’t moved emotionally, next. I don’t give a crap how many people by 64s on your feet at 180.

The way you play, you’re always going to be in good shape. Your heart health, cardio, and everything because you’re playing all out every night.

You got to stay authentic and true to yourself.

There are many surface drummers. Do you know what I’m saying? The surface guitar.

They play at the notes.

You call it circus drumming, Rich.

I get it, you’re impressing your girlfriend. That’s awesome. How are you going to get a gig? Do you want to work in this business? No offense to the people that work all week and they play the weekends. I thought that’s what I was going to be ultimately when I moved to LA. I’m like, “If I can’t get a gig, I’ll get a jobby job and do it.” I wasn’t taking no for an answer. Many people say, “You’ll never do this.” I’m like, “Watch me.”

I tried to do that with the Carter Beauford days when he was big with Dave Matthews. He’s playing similar to how he would play all the time. He had a lot of funk and groove and a lot of Dennis Chambers, but for that band to just fit.

Work perfectly.

That’s the thing. You got to fit the gig. The cool thing about Korn when I got the gig, I was like Van Halen, David Lee Roth, and Bissonette. Do I copy those guys? Dave was cool about letting me be me. Jonathan Davis is a drummer first and foremost and then he’s a singer so he knows every note I play. He’s like, “Do your thing. We hired you for you. We want you in this band.” That’s a great thing because he could say, “Play every note of every record,” and then the new stuff. They were cool about that. When I got the gig, Bozzio had just played on the untitled record and we were doing seven songs off of that. Brooks Wackerman played 1 or 2. I’m like, “That was amazing,” because I love Bozzio and I was getting to play those parts with the old drummer’s parts and making it my own. I’m meshing it into my thing. Thirteen years later, I hope to think that I’m meshing.

I know that there are people who can watch this video floating around the YouTube of you at your audition for Korn, where they’re just throwing songs at you.

You can see the pee going on my leg.

You learn the songs were in it.

The thing is they’re such an untouchable band. No pun intended. If you told me many years ago that I’ll be in Korn for thirteen years, I would have laughed in your face because no one’s ever going to get that gig. There are such five Bakersfield dudes that did this thing and they had such a unique sound. When all of the Soundgardens, STPs, and Nirvanas came out, they carved right through all of it. This is what we sound like. It appealed to the masses and they kept getting bigger and bigger up to 47 million records later.

They had the cult following build-up throughout the ‘90s and then they became big in the Millennium and everything but it’s similar to the story of Rush. They did their thing for 40 years. They develop over following that was on fire.

That’s the thing. When I got the gig they’re like, “Who’s this new guy?” I’m like, “I’m a new guy?” They ate me alive and I was rightfully so. People will come up to the meet and greets of Korn. “Jonathan, you saved my life. Munky. Fieldy.” They would skip over. I was nothing to them in the first couple of years.

Now they bring you big banana bread.

They got tattoos of my face on their shoulder.

That’s weird.

It’s bizarre. This guy goes, “I hated you for so long but I’ve seen you seven times, I love you.” It took seven gigs. Whatever it takes. People don’t understand out there if it wasn’t me, these bands going to live on. It would have been some other drummer. I’m lucky and unfortunate that was me and I feel like, after all this time, I deserved to get but. The band’s going to live on and I got what I got craft to. Neal Peirce was the new drummer in Rush. There are many like Nicko McBrain and Jay Weinberg. You could go on the list of all the drummers.

Neal Peirce was the new guy. He was the best of Rush.

He didn’t plan on working. The original drummer is a bodybuilder now, John Rutsey. It’s funny because what you’re talking about is the same effect that Jason Newstead had to go through with Metallica.

It goes on and on.

They hated him for years.

I get it. When I listen to a record, it’s hard to hear someone new. We went out with Alice In Chains one time, all summer, sold-out shows left and right. That dude killed it every night and we’ve taken Layne Staley’s place. I’m a drummer and can you imagine singing an Alice In Chains song?

Even Mangini. He’s probably going through that stuff.

The singer from Journey, the little Filipino dude. He kills it.

Even if you’re a rock star, you don’t have to act like that. Click To Tweet

The transition? Big time.

There are many singers though.

My wife has an organization called Rebel for a Change and you’ve been nice enough to donate to it. She does this amazing thing. It deals with family members that have addicts or people that have addiction in their family. She’s doing amazing things. It’s She’s dealing with people from all over the world. It’s biting off a lot but she’s dealing with moving forward in it. Check out Rebel For a Change on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

You have one of those perfect hat heads.

I don’t wear a lot of hats. They say if you want to keep your hair, don’t wear them.

I didn’t take that advice.

Toupee looks good.

You had an image change. You used to have the dead surfer hair.

Thanks, Rich.

The blonde.

I didn’t know what I was doing. I had hair down on my butt in the ‘90s and I cut it one day in Boogie Nights band, Ralph. David Lee Roth from Steel Panther. I call him that. I had these bangs and long straight hair. He’s like, “You need to cut your hair.” I’m still getting crapped. I shaved the back and people were like, “You have weird hair.” I’m like, “Why? What are you talking about?”

It’s you. It’s unique.

Do you go somewhere else or you do it yourself?

My wife cuts it.

You save a little money there. I was married to a hairstylist. I saved a little bit of money there.

There’s no reason. I don’t know. I had the blonde thing and I was on the street thing. I was in a band called The Nixons in 2000 and I put the purple streaks in my hair.

You were in The Nixons?


From the Dallas and Oklahoma areas?

Yeah. Zac Maloy and those guys. John Humphrey and Jesse, the guitar player, quit. I got let go from the David Lee Roth gig because he was right with Eddie again. I wasn’t fired. “You’re not fired. There’s just no more gig.”

Zac Maloy lives here and produces country music.

The original Nixons are back together on a tour but my friend, Scott Bush, is in a band called Cinder. They put a record out. He made him do the Nixons for a bit. I got called back for Dave because he got in a fight with Eddie. He’s like, “We need you back,” and I’m like, “I’m in the middle of a tour.” He goes, “Dave’s going to wait for you.” He did wait for a couple of months.

Can you expand on that at all as to why they would always clash?

I’m not going to talk bad about anybody. They did their thing. Think about it. It’s like a marriage. We all have peace with each other. We’re riding on buses and touring different countries. You’re going to have any kind of personality and then to mix rock stars on top of that, your ego is going to inflate. Some people do and they did. All that power. “No, we’re not going to do that.” “Yeah, we are.” That’s what was cool about when I got the Dave gig because he was definitely the boss. We were working for him and I dug that whole thing of like, “Luzier, are you going to wear that shirt? It looks stupid.” I’m like, “Crap.” He’s like, “Don’t wear any jeans in my band. Cargo pants only.” I’m like, “Crap. I don’t own a pair of cargo pants.” I go out and buy seven cargo pants. He wanted different looks. Watch some of those videos on YouTube. Put in David Lee Roth 2002.

Do you make those in black?

He wanted to be practical and be able to carry stuff while you’re playing.

He said, “You’re wearing a button-down you should cut the sleeves off that thing.” Next thing you know, I cut the sleeves up.

I’m such a fan of your playing. What excites you and where’s your next couple of years?

We got a big tour coming up with Breaking Benjamin. It’s in Redding, Pennsylvania, which is not far from my hometown. We have a ton of stuff. We’ve booked many things and I’m excited about promoting The Nothing. We have many grounds to cover in many different areas that we haven’t been to which I’m excited about. We’re going to a lot of European festivals and things. I can’t say too much about it but there’s a lot of cool things coming up on Go to my Instagram, RayLuzierKorn, and my Twitter’s RayLuzier1.

You got a lot of followers and a lot of great interaction. You don’t have a website, do you?

I used to and I still have it.

I’m surprised by that. You know Wiki.

I have, but I need to revamp it. My wife, she won’t let me bump that out, too.

I have a guy. Check out mine if you like. He’s a drummer and does web design.

You’re around a lot of drummers, aren’t you?

Many drummers.

Pataflafla’s here.

We’ve got six drummers in this house. It’s unbelievable. There are 3 downstairs and 3 upstairs.

I’m not exactly a professional drummer.

What did you learn on this show, Jim?

He’s a hilarious guy. I don’t think I’ve laughed this hard in a long time. Your impersonation is dead on.

RRS 39 | Your One Thing

Your One Thing: Check the whole ego attitude crap out the door. Just be yourself and be a great person to other people, and you’re going to go places.

It makes me want to smoke something.

Thank you. I appreciate that.

It reinforces my love of the fact that even if you are a rock star, you don’t have to act like that. Look at the way this young man acts.

It sounded like Roth was an admirable culture creator within his organization. That’s what I could take from that.

That’s a petri dish.

I’m big on business culture and I talk a lot about it. Being a boss that strives for a good culture is something to be admired.

I always tell up and coming musicians in general, the whole ego attitude crap, check that at the freaking door. Go be yourself, and be a great person to other people, then you’re going to get places. How do these people expect to get anywhere if you’re a dick? Stop being dicks.

It’s been fun. Thank you. Check out Korn’s record, The Nothing, and the KXM record, Circle of Dolls. They’re available on vinyl and of course, on Spotify. Check out Korn coffee. You can get it at If you have questions, hit us up at As always, we appreciate a five-star rating. Leave us a review. It takes a minute. Subscribe, share, rate, and review. Keep coming back to the great stuff. We’ll be here. See you next time.

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