Basic Background Info
Ray Luzier (pronounced lose-ear) approaches music intellectually and works to effectively convey even the minutest detail to his students. This intellectual "rock head" was asked to develop a rock curriculum for the Percussion Institute of Technology at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California, and then taught that curriculum to aspiring drummers for nine years. That's a long way from a 110-acre farm outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Ray Luzier was born to two very supportive parents in small-town West Newton in 1970. A few piano lessons at age four evolved into drumming at five and his first drum set as a seventh-birthday gift. Ray Luzier taught himself to play following along with records from Rush, AC/DC, Ozzy Osbourne, Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, and Deep Purple. In high school, Ray Luzier joined the symphonic, marching, jazz, and concert bands. At fifteen, Ray Luzier joined a rock band and started playing gigs around Pittsburgh. He said, "After my first gig, I knew I wanted to be a professional musician for the rest of my life."
Ray Luzier moved to Hollywood, California, and enrolled in the Percussion Institute of Technology at the Musicians Institute, often drumming for eight hours a day. His instructors Ralph Humphrey, Joe Porcaro, Toss Panos, Richie Garcia, and Tim Pedersen encouraged him to master multiple playing styles, such as Latin, jazz, funk, and hand percussion, as well as sight-reading.
Shortly after arriving in Hollywood, Ray Luzier joined guitarist Craig Small's band 9.0. Shrapnel Records signed the band and they recorded their first CD. Ray continued to record under the Shrapnel Records label with many other bands. A couple years after graduating from the Musicians Institute program, the Percussion Institute of Technology asked him to develop and instruct a rock curriculum. Ray Luzier taught there for nine years, eventually becoming the expert in rock, double bass, and progressive styles. Ray Luzier's teaching emphasized the importance of professionalism to his students - a lesson he also learned from a teacher. Ray Luzier recommended versatility to his students and encouraged them to play with various musicians and to always be over-prepared, whether for a performance or an audition.
In 1994, Ray Luzier went on tour with Jake E. Lee on his 'first big official tour.' Two years later, he joined Perfect World Entertainment, a talent company providing musical entertainment, and he played five times a week and perfected his skill playing to a click track.
After a recording session with David Lee Roth in 1997, Ray joined the David Lee Roth band on tour. They toured for eight years and recorded two albums, performing with the Boston Pops Orchestra and Sammy Hagar. Ray Luzier claimed, "Diamond Dave is, by far, one of the greatest frontmen that ever lived!"
After touring, Ray Luzier, James LoMenzo, and Toshi Hiketa (all DLR band members) formed the instrumental group Hideous Sun Demons.
Expanding his earlier teaching skills and utilizing years of tour experiences, Ray Luzier released an instructional DVD in 2004. The DVD and accompanying book include lessons on double bass, warm-ups, four-way independence exercises, drum fills, and motion exercises. Ray Luzier carefully broke down every point to maximize comprehension. Bill Sheehan and Toshi Hiketa appear in video instructions with Ray and they frequently teach clinics together at music schools and shops.
While performing at the NAMM Show in 2005, Ray Luzier met Robert and Dean DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots and a few months later, joined by Richard Patrick from Filter, they created Army of Anyone. Ray Luzier now prides himself in his devotion to Army of Anyone.
Most recently, Korn's Jonathan Davis admired Ray Luzier's work with Army of Anyone and Ray began touring with Korn in January 2008.
Ray Luzier once said, "My plan was to do a little bit of everything. I wanted to play on other people's records, to be a live entertainer, to be an educator, AND I wanted to be a bandmember. I wanted to do it all." Before reaching 40, it looks like he has.
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