KORN’s RAY LUZIER: Why it’s important for musicians to learn the business side of the music business

In a new appearance on “Drinks with Johnny”the internet television show hosted by AVENGED SEVENFOLD bass player Johnny Christ, CORN drummer Ray Luzier pointed out that knowledge of the business is essential for new players who want to succeed in the music market.

“I haven’t done any since the pandemic, but I would do a lot of drum festivals everywhere – from the UK to Spain and everywhere else,” he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET). “And it’s really cool to show up with a bunch of drum geeks like me.

“There are 10 people smoking me on the internet right now. And I don’t see it that way,” he continued. “It’s great for what people do. There’s always going to be someone better. But for me, I don’t look at it like who’s the best and the best. It’s, like, I want longevity in a career. I wanted to do this until the day I died. Since I was in my early teens, if I beat buckets on the Santa Monica pier, if I played in stadiums, I would do this until the day I die. So if you take an oath like that, if you take an oath, that’s a big enough thing – to let your family do what we do on the road, even to this day.

“But every time I do a drumming festival and I see a young boy, and [they tell me], “I can play 64th notes at 132 bpms,” and I’m like, “That’s awesome.” I’m sure your girlfriend is really impressed. …I was very safe with [what I would tell these kids] and go, ‘Oh, well, that’s cool.’ Now I’m like, ‘Man, just stop.’ You gotta be real, man. Because as you know, the business side is a business side.

“When I moved to LA, I locked myself in my drum lab in MID when I was a student there, and I was just shredding six hours a day, and I was going to play with that band and I was going to play with that band,” Luzier added. “I was just trying to be the best I could on the drums, and I didn’t know that I should have educated myself about the business. Because I didn’t know how many bad contracts I was going to sign and how many people i trusted i thought had my back doesn’t have my back. And I was getting my ass kicked left and right in my early twenties because I was in failed original bands that were, like… I wanted to be EMBRACE and MOTLEY CRUE and ozy [Osbourne] and I didn’t realize what was going on commercially. So I try to educate people on, for example, looking at that perspective. Don’t just stand there and play. It doesn’t matter how fast you can play licks on your guitar or whatever. Really try to embrace the whole company – if you want to be in there. If you want to do it on the weekends for fun, that’s perfect. And you want to have a [regular] work during the week – God bless America; do what you have to do. But if you really want to do this job, there are so many possibilities and there are so many promises that might not come true. And there’s no security there, even at the tape level. When I had that gig [with KORN] in ’07, [KORN bassist] Champy told me we had a few years. Fifteen years later, we are stronger than ever. So you never [know]. Nobody has a crystal ball last time I checked.”

First Call Touring and Session Drummer, Luzier is known for his highly publicized concerts with David Lee Roth, Jake E. Lee and ARMY OF ANYBODY. From movie soundtracks to rock and metal albums, LuzierThe game can currently be found on over 70 recordings. As an educator, he was a Institute of Musicians instructor for more than 10 years and author of a very appreciated eponymous educational DVD.

Two years ago, Luzier told the Philadelphia radio station 93.3WMMR that he was working on a “rock book”. He explained at the time: “It’s not about, like, ‘Oh, Mr. Rock Star guy.’ It’s about getting signed, getting dropped, getting what was promised, then joining national groups But 50% of my book is David Lee Roth, because eight years with this guy, you can’t make that up. And I love him to death – he’s the most amazing, one of the best artists ever. But there’s a lot out there – there’s a lot of content.

“A lot of people don’t realize they think this is your favorite band, they just think, ‘Oh, they signed up and they’re huge and they’re famous,'” he continued. “A lot of people have no idea what some of us are going through,” he continued. “I’ve done the hardest road. …People have no idea, so I figured I’m just going to put together a book that will talk about the realism of being promised all this. Practice and become really good at your art is just part of the whole equation.”

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