Korn’s Ray Luzier on David Lee Roth: ‘A Lot of People Don’t Understand His Intelligence’
Luzier served as the drummer of the Van Halen frontman’s solo band from 1997 to 2005, performing on 1998’s ‘DLR Band’ and 2003’s ‘Diamond Dave’ albums. In an exclusive excerpt from an interview with Loudwire, Luzier admits Roth was eccentric — or as he put it, “not normal by any means” — but also praised his brains and talent.
When asked to recall his favorite DLR story, Luzier explains, “Roth is so eccentric and out there and I’ve learned so much from that guy, no one’s like him on the planet. To name one story is super hard. His stories are so funny, even onstage. When I was ten I had David Lee Roth hanging on my wall and I was just like ‘I want to meet that guy before I die.’ I was in my bedroom in my underwear trying to practice ‘Hot For Teacher’ on my drums in Pennsylvania. Never in a million years did I think I would be onstage with him, so that to me is a bizarre enough story right there – playing that song with David every night.”
Luzier’s also quick to point out that Roth’s public goofball image can sometimes make people forget about his keen intellect. “He’s a smart guy and this powerful entertainer. A lot of people don’t understand his intelligence — they think he’s this clown-y lead singer guy. (But) we’ll be in Sweden somewhere and (he’ll say) ‘You know the elevation here is blah blah and the population is blah blah blah’ and I’m like ‘How do you know all this s—?’ There’s no one on the planet like him. He’s eccentric — you have to have a lot of tolerance and patience to work with the guy, he’s not normal by any means. My mama taught me a lot of tolerance and patience, I guess. Steve Vai came up to me one time and went, ‘You played with Dave for eight years? You should get a medal. They should throw a parade for you!’ — that’s how eccentric he is.”
Luzier adds that he’s writing a book about his life, and that a good portion of it will deal with his years drumming for Roth. “I love Dave to death and he was a massive chunk of my professional life and career and I wouldn’t change anything.”