Miranda: How have you been since our last chat in Atlanta last year?
Ray: Fantastic, we’re still busy.
Miranda: Touring a lot?
Ray: Yeah we’re busy, we’re still out here promoting a lot. We’ve been to Australia, and Japan. We did Europe since Mayhem fest. We started the Music as a Weapon tour on what January 13th something like that. It’s fun we’re all bros out here. It’s hard to get a good package these days, put together there are a lot of concerts and sporting events out there so to get people to come out I think it’s good to get 2 power bands like us and Disturbed. They have a great fan base as well as Korn, and Sevendust has been it for the long haul and they have been doing and again have a faithful following. In This Moment is just a great, they aren’t new they have been around for 6 or 7 years now, but they are really starting to get that buzz now and they were on the side stage at Mayhem last year. So were all having a good time out here, except that it’s freezing on the east coast. It was about 25 below in Glenn Falls the other day, that wasn’t fun.
Miranda: I told Sebastien for ya’ll to get out of here tonight because it’s suppose to snow tomorrow. There’s a 70% chance of it tomorrow.
Ray: Wow. We’ve gotta go.
Miranda: He mentioned your headed to Texas. But they already got it so.
Ray: yeah (laughs)
Miranda: So how has this tour been for you so far?
Ray: It’s good we’re co-head lining with Disturbed. So we open one night and they open the next. They brought their full production and our full production is pretty scaled down. We only have a curtain backdrop and an excellent light guy and sound guy. We’re kinda doing old school just up there playing. Korn’s catalog is so huge, they have so many hits you know it hard for a metal band or nu-metal to have such an eclectic amount of hits so we’ve even put together a medley, and 8 song medley this time. Because we’re only playing an hour a piece so we’re trying to fit in as much as possible.
Miranda: A medley would be great to hear. That something that has got me interested in tonight’s show.
Miranda: Okay since Mayhem fest, we talked about your drums. Have you added any new toys to your arsenal?
Ray: A couple things changed um. Chad Smith, which is a good buddy of mine from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, he put out a new thing called The Holy China. It’s a China cymbal with holes in it and we have 3 of those up now. So it’s kinda of crazy, we change it around every once in a while, I have like a swivel cymbal in the back. We change it up and just pull it around and do whatever. It’s one of those things where I have to like um you know it’s cool to evolve and try new colors and things but you can also get to busy and overdo it so you gotta be careful. I used to make fun of guys that had drum kits my size but you know my drum tech says “well if you don’t hit it I take it away” so I have to hit it. I don’t like when drummers put up stuff just for decoration or look you know.
Miranda: Making it look like they’re doing more than they really are.
Ray: Exactly! Like around New Years I went and sat in with an old band of mine at the Sky Bar in L.A. and I played a 4-piece drum kit with 2 cymbals and I had a blast so I love all extremes.
Miranda: You probably get a good thick sound out of just the bare basics.
Ray: Yeah, absolutely and sometimes it makes you more creative the less you have because it makes you come up with more ideas than if you have a million things to hit.
Miranda: So just out of curiosity how many drum sticks do you generally go through in a night?
Ray: (looks at his tech) Catfish?
Catfish: A lot!
Ray: (laughs) Catfish chimes in with A lot!
Miranda: So you have to refill his stick bags all the time.
Ray: What’s the average I don’t even know?
Catfish: I would go oh about 8 pair
Ray: 8 pairs something like that, depends on the tree sometimes you get a solid good stick and then I do stupid stuff like throw it and yeah it’s stuff like that whenever the moment arises
Miranda: So whenever you break one you just drop the set and get a new pair?
Ray: yeah you get to the point where you can’t miss a beat, and these songs are pretty vital and you can kind of feel it when it’s going you either drop it or toss it. Which is a good time to plug my new signature stick that’s in stores now. It’s the Ray Luzier the 757 pro mark model and it’s available in most stores.
Ray: It doesn’t I didn’t get that cool.
Miranda: You see if they could take a twig of your hair and stick it inside
Ray: Yeah I thought about urine. I was gonna make them yellow and just pee in it. No I’m kidding
Miranda: or pee in the ink?
Ray: You like that poochie?
Poochie: No I don’t
Miranda: He wouldn’t touch them (laughs), everybody would be wearing gloves.
Ray: I still can’t believe Joey did that, that’s just a little too weird the blood in the stick thing.
Miranda: well it’s not any weirder they what Kiss did with the blood in the ink of the comic book.
Ray: Yeah, that were he ripped it off Kiss did that back in the 70’s.
Poochie: Kiss also wore mask/makeup in the 70’s
Ray: that’s right ooohh. See
Miranda: ohhh, let’s get back to the questions.
Miranda: Let’s get away from music and talk about the Super Bowl. Who do you want to win?
Ray: I’m a Pittsburgh boy obviously. I’m a big Steelers freak, I don’t care about sports as much as I used to it’s weird. I watch a good game every once in a while, but I don’t care about stats anymore. I played baseball for 8 years when I was growing up, and I thought I would be a pro baseball player someday. I just I don’t know I’m such a musio geek I’m way more into bands and what side project that Michael Anthony from Van Halen has going. You know what I mean?
Miranda: You tastes have changed
Ray: Yeah, I guess you know my buddies are Disturbed and Sevendust. Dan and those guys from Disturbed you know are just in. Don’t even think about talking to them when a game is on they will throw stuff at you.
Miranda: Yeah my husband is a big Steelers fan too. We watch the Super Bowl and that’s about it. You said you played baseball you have something to chat with Morgan Rose of Sevendust about it he’s a big baseball guy too.
Ray: yeah big baseball guy.
Ray: I don’t and you know what I would love them too much, I was big back in the day 80’s old arcade games. Like old school Galaga and Ms. Pacman kinda of guy.
Miranda: The Atari kinda of guy
Ray: Yeah the Atari full blown
Miranda: My grandmother still has one
Ray: I think my sister still haves one. Like the 5600 it’s awesome. But like I pick them up and we have a full-blown PS3, we have 3 buses out here just Korn alone brand new systems and they never get touched. It’s weird I think I would like them too much to sit there for hours and hours. So I’m not as big of an advocate as most people.
(looks at Catfish)
Miranda: Do you play games?
Catfish: Video games?
Catfish: my Angry Birds
Ray: Angry Birds on the iPhone, yeah I play that too.
Catfish: I’m all about Angry Birds
Miranda: I’ve heard about that I just haven’t gotten around to downloading that app
Ray: it’s the dumbest game on the face of the planet and it’s the most addicting thing
Miranda: I’m stuck with Whirly Words on the Iphone
Ray: I heard about that yeah
Miranda: Okay back to the music. So you guys came out with an album in 2010, are you working on new material?
Ray: We’re up for a Grammy too, I didn’t know if you knew that
Miranda: I did not know that.
Ray: Yeah, Where up for a Grammy for best-recorded performance. For”Let the Guilt Go” our latest single we’ve been happy about that.
Catfish: Do I get to go with you to that?
Ray: Sure I don’t even know if I’m going. But that’s crazy because they have already won 3 Grammy’s and this will be my 1st so I’m just happy to be nominated it blows me away. The music scene is going through such a weird hard time in the last couple of years. So to even be nominated for me, it’s us (Korn), Lamb of God, Megadeth, and Iron Maiden. So to just be in a category with that is just awesome. I’m on the new studio record as well Kidnapped the Santa Cause from the Nightmare before Christmas soundtrack, that was my first recording with the band. Yeah it’s been doing really well it’s crazy like um. People are still ripping it off, I still get kids coming up to me telling me “Hey I ripped your record a week before it came out” and I’m like (makes a astonished expression) and they are totally fine with it, but they don’t know they stole, it’s 12 freakin dollars. It’s like how hard is it to buy, but they don’t know.
Miranda: I will be first to admit, when I first started interviewing bands I did not know how much they are taking from the artist’s pocket until I spoke with bands like Shadows Fall and in the interview with their singer he explained to me how it all actually works.
Ray: it’s unbelievable, if kids would support their favorite artist. I went out the other day and there is a band that has been around forever called “King’s X” one of my favorite bands out of Texas.
Ray: Right, either you know the band or you don’t they are one of those bands. They have an cult like following and I will fly to another state to go see them, they are my friends now and I love them. I actually bought 3 of their latest DVD’s Live in London because I know those guys aren’t making money off sales, and then gave them to my friends because I love to support I mean I buy at the store a physical copy and then give it to my friends.
Miranda: We do our purchases at the shows and the festivals because we want the band to see the support and cash flow there, since they are out there in the heat busting their asses for the fans. When you buy them, at shows and festivals, you sometimes get signing and then we turn around and give them away to friends because they didn’t get to go and see the show for other reasons. Because it’s supporting the artists especially with long tours like this you need the money.
Ray: it’s weird it’s like thank god that people still come out to the shows.
Miranda: Because your bills don’t stop even when you’re on tour.
Ray: Oh for sure, this one kid I almost made him cry. He comes up to me, and he had ripped off my last band “Army of Anyone”. He just blantly told me he ripped off that and the new Korn and this and this. I finally went “Hey what does your dad do?” I was in a feisty mood “I was like what’s your dad do?” and he was like “Oh he’s a plumber” awesome, I go “So when you, that pair of shoes you got on who bought you those?” the kids says, “My dad did.” I said “Cool, so when you dad goes and does a job and he fixes a pipe pr whatever he does, he gets a check in the mail right?” and the kid say, “Of course what are you trying to get at?” Like he is getting all pissed off, and I’m like “Well you know it’s funny when we’re in there creating in the studio, where in there for like 3 or 4 months sometime to give someone a 45 – 55 minute CD that only cost 12 dollars.” And I say “and that’s all we ask for all that time we invested into that work.” Literally, he was like in shock, that I went into to this whole spin about it, I wasn’t trying to be mean about it, but sometimes I just want to make someone see.
Miranda: You educated him
Ray: Yeah, exactly I didn’t want to hurt the kid or slam him or anything, I just wanted him to see that this is a job out here that we are doing, and yeah it’s fun we have the best job on the planet. But it’s still a job and we still need the support and I was trying to get him to support his favorite band or artist. It’s like if you like that band go buy their records, or their merchandise.
Miranda: I used to ask bands how they felt about Pirating and I kinda of dropped the question when I interviewed a band that had 2 members that interviewed and 1 was against it and 1 didn’t mind it because he said it was getting the band’s name out there.
Ray: there is that fact of it, I have had people that have ripped off music that shared it with 10 or more of their friends and those friends have bought concert tickets so it does have its plus’s. But it’s just so easy to go buy it for .99 cents a song or whatever.
Miranda: or catch it when it first comes out and it’s on sale at a new release price.
Miranda: So tell me what 2011, has planned for Korn.
Ray: We are not going to stop for awhile, well I’m leaving this tour actually a couple days early because I’m baby next week.
Ray: Yeah, yeah my girl is getting induced on Thursday or Friday.
Miranda: little girl or boy?
Ray: little boy (smiles) coming so. Then we’re off for about 3 weeks almost a month and March 6th we start again in the west coast, then we do Canada 10 days in Canada. Off for a little bit then we start the festivals overseas. We’re doing Rock Am Ring to Download, all those festivals from Sweden and everything in Europe in the summer.
Miranda: Their summer festivals
Ray: yep, and hopefully we are gonna start on the new record in the fall, because they are always writing. We never stop writing material or working on stuff, which is good, you know. But it’s one of those things were you know it great to be in this band now everyone is so creative and all the party days are gone. This band 7 or 8 years ago I don’t know if I could have been in it, you know I’m one of those few musicians that never done a drug in my life and I have been in the music business for 22 years professionally. I drink my wine and that is about it, drug and all that party stuff really get in the way. This band was definitely a part of the whole substance abuse, but they had great success around it.
Miranda: they didn’t let it kill them
Ray: no, and they got themselves better and Jon hasn’t had a drink about 12 years I think he’s said.
Miranda: I seen Fieldy’s story on the 700 club on late night TV were he mentions he’s changed his life. By changing and stopping the drugs and partying it keeps you around longer.
Ray: um it does
Miranda: Some people say it kills the creative if you can’t alter your mind.
Ray: and that’s not true
Miranda: I don’t think it’s true
Ray: Dean Deleo is a perfect example he was worshiping Jimmy Page and he was a massive Heroin addict and sure enough Dean got on that whole path in STP and he’s one of the best humans on the planet but he looks so aged because of drugs. He’s clean now and has a beautiful 6 year old boy. But you know it’s not worth it’s so stupid and people need to wise up and learn you know before it’s too late. Nothing good ever comes out of it ever.
Miranda: It will ruin your career later
Ray: you gotta look long term, look down the road. If you don’t have anything at the end of all of that it’s really not worth it.
Miranda: That’s what bothers me about kids today.
Ray: yep, I’m scared about bringing a kid into the world right now, what are you gonna do.
Miranda: First kid?
Ray: yep, do you have kids?
Miranda: No, we chose not to have children. But I can say parents aren’t perfect, so don’t try to be that’s when you mess up.
Miranda: Any message for your fans?
Ray: Thanks for being there, thank you for the support. Everyone always says this but there really are no fans like Korn fans. Their lifers, my mom was here in Hershey, PA. 2 weeks ago and that was my 18th tattooed signature on someone’s body part and that just blows me away, and they were like “you’re in this band now and they saved my life and got me through the roughest times of my life” I’m like are you kidding me and my mom was there it was awesome. So I say if you’re gonna get this tattooed can I write whatever I want and their like yeah. So I draw a smiley face, write Korn 3, the date and they get everything tattooed and it’s unbelievable the support is unsurpassive there is nothing like it.
Miranda: There is a lot of people if you really really have done something for them, they want to remember you buy it.
Ray: just thanks for all the support. Stay good and be good to each other.
We would like to thank Amy at Roadrunner, Ray, Catfish, Poochie, KoRn, and the seemingly endless number of road crew for making this event and this interview happen. Thanks Ray for putting us to work.
We would also like to congratulate Ray on the birth of his first child.