An interview with drummer Ray Luzier of Korn
by Aaron Manogue
July 2012

There have been very few bands in the history of metal that have paved the way for other bands much like Korn did in the ’90s. The biggest thing that people don’t realize is that with their latest change toward dubstep is that change is Korn’s mode of operation. They came onto the scene with a new form of metal that would later be dubbed numetal and quickly became one of the world’s most recognizable sounds. Through lineup changes, to sound changes, Korn has remained at the top of metal’s peak. And whether or not you like their new direction towards dubstep or not, the one thing that cannot be disputed is Korn’s ability to shake up the scene and try something new, all the while kicking the living shit out of your ear drums. Maximum Ink’s Aaron Manogue spoke with drummer Ray Luzier about their Revolver Magazine Record of the Year, their recent gig where they played with original member Brian “Head” Welch and their upcoming appearance at 94.1 WJJO’s mighty Band Camp 2012.

Maximum Ink: How have people taken to Korn’s new direction of dubstep when you’ve gone out and played live?
Ray Luzier: Yeah, it’s cool man. We won Album of the year from Revolver Magazine and it’s been well received. You’re always going to have people that are always pissed off. We pissed people off because people wanted something new. Then when you make something new and different it pisses off the diehards and they want something old school metal. You can’t ever make everyone happy. It was a little bit to digest in the beginning I think but it wasn’t that different. Korn has always had an element of hip-hop or funk-rap in the music and this one was just kind of extreme. Jonathan (Davis) met Skrillex a while ago and he’s been into this before dubstep broke. To me it was just another element and something to add and we’re always going to take twist and turns here and there, you know? You can’t put the same record out year after year.

MI: Do you think that’s something that has kept you guys so successful for so long, changing up your patterns and repertoire?
RL: Right, you never half ass anything. You always have to give it everything you’ve got. I think that’s what provides longevity in a career and success in a band. Korn’s never ever just done something to follow a trend. That’s pretty obvious, because they (Korn) have paved the way for so many bands in the ‘90s. I’ve never seen Jonathan so excited to write music and it’s a great thing, you know? Some bands have just been appealing to certain areas but we’ve done a 35 country tour, and coming up we’re going to India, which Korn has never been to. It’s crazy to sell out shows in crazy places that you wouldn’t think the music might be accepted or well-received.

MI: You guys recently had the opportunity to hook up with Head (Brian Welch). What was it like to have him back around the band and on stage?
RL: It was definitely a dream of mine to have the five original band members be back. The ice has been broken. Everyone’s talking now and on good terms. The five original members built this thing, and built this empire, and to have music that appeals to the masses is quite special. It doesn’t happen to many people. People move on and most people don’t understand. Bands are very much like a marriage and you’re with these people and you grow up with them and then be in a band together. There’s a lot that goes on. Most people just think you get on stage for an hour and a half and go home. There’s much more to it. It was great to see him come back. He was sitting in with a band called Red and they were playing on a side stage in North Carolina. James (Shaffer, a.k.a. Munky) and him spoke and we didn’t decide right before we got on stage that he would come and play “Blind” with us. And as you can imagine the response was great. And here’s to the future, we’re keeping our fingers crossed, and nothing’s written in stone, it’s just good to know our brother came back.

MI: On July 28th, you guys are going to be up here in Wisconsin playing 94.1 WJJO’s Band Camp. They’ve had such a great reputation for bringing in the biggest and best bands around here to the Midwest. How excited are you guys?
RL: Yeah, definitely. Our favorite is touring the state, because we’re from here obviously and although the European crowds are usually much more intense in terms of like camping out in tents a week before, but there’s nothing like the good old U.S.A. I’m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and that’s definitely a rock town as well. There’s definitely small towns and such that are more into it and we get bigger crowds. Nothing replaces live entertainment no matter what happens to the industry.

See Korn live at 94.1 WJJo Band Camp on July 28th at Willow Island in Madison!

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