Natalia Britt of California Rock News conducted an interview with KORN drummer Ray Luzier at this year’s NAMM show, which took place January 22-24 in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below.
Speaking about one of his pre-KORN gigs, Luzier said: “I’m the original drummer in STEEL PANTHER. Not a lot of people know that. They don’t believe it. But I was in a band called METAL SHOP back in the mid-’90s to late ’90s. We had the wigs, playing to twelve people at The Viper Room. I was not into it at the beginning. It was, like, ‘Man, this is stupid. We’ve got wigs on. We’re playing MÖTLEY CRÜE and WHITESNAKE covers. What are we doing?’ And then all of a sudden, Chad Smith from the [RED HOT CHILI] PEPPERS would show up, Steven Tyler [AEROSMITH]… all these people. And they started sitting in with the band. We did ‘Walk This Way’ with Steven Tyler, and next thing you know, the buzz around Hollywood was, like, why is there celebrities showing up to this Viper Room cover night on a Monday night at midnight? Next thing you know, the line’s on both sides of the boulevard. They’re selling out, selling out. And I got to a point in my original point, and Dave Lee Roth was touring so much that I was missing so much of it that my sub, Darren Leader [a.k.a. Stix Zadinia], became a full-time member. And now they’re still killing it. They do great out there. I’ll show up at a festival in London and I’ll see STEEL PANTHER and KORN right across from each other. It’s awesome. They’re my bros. I love ‘em.”
In a 2010 interview with MikeDolbear.com, Luzier stated about his time with METAL SHOP: “I was in the band for six years. It was the weirdest experience playing the O2 arena with them because when I started to do it, it was to twelve people at the Viper Room! I got the gig through an agency I worked for called Perfect World Entertainment; I would put a wig on and play disco, ’80s metal, ’80s retro, anything! I thought it was stupid. The comedy element went crazy. The band would fight, people would walk out, people would be fired and the crowd went nuts! They’d get some guy to come play guitar and then a week later they would fire him and get Russ [a.k.a. Satchel] back in the band. A couple of weeks later, Chad Smith would be in the audience, and the same thing, they would shout at me, I’d storm out, knock the cymbal over, and Chad Smith would replace me. The audience would go apeshit! Next thing you know, Steven Tyler’s coming, Meatloaf, and then there’s queues down the block and our money started going up… and then I got fired for real! They didn’t want me going on tour anymore. They said I could either stay with the band or go on the road with Dave Lee Roth. I thought, ‘No way. I’ve just played to 40,000 people in Finland with DLR. Why would I want to give that up?’ So we had a little bit of beef for a few years, because I thought it was kind of funny getting fired from a covers band. I had no idea that all these years later we’d both be at the O2 arena with Ozzy. We’re all friends now, of course.”