Say what you will about drug use, but there’s no hiding from the fact that it has led to some less-than-desirable outcomes in the music world, everything from a raging headache to bands breaking up to people dying. That’s what has kept Korn drummer Ray Luzier away from any and all drugs, and now he says that he’s one of very few people in rock and roll who have managed to stay away from drugs completely.
In a video posted by the You Rock Foundation, which uses music to help people deal with depression, Luzier says that while attending Musicians Institute in Hollywood as a young drummer, he saw how drugs affected his classmates and decided quickly that he wanted no part of it:
“I went to Los Angeles to go to a music school, and right away when I went to the music school, I saw a lot of drugs and I saw a lot of pot and I saw a lot of people just there for the wrong reasons. And I’ve always been there for a hundred percent music; I wanted to better my craft, I wanted to get better at playing. So I decided, every time I’d go to a party and I’d see people partaking in these actions, in these activities, I decided not to do it, because I saw the repercussions — I saw the next day how hungover they’d be — and, to me, it wasn’t fun.
I was the geek that was going to the practice lab and practicing and getting better at my instrument. And I just made that decision at a very young age that… I saw what it did to people and I saw a lot of divorces from my friends, I saw a lot of bands break up, I saw a lot of bank accounts being drained — a lot of really bad things because of substance [abuse]. So I’m one of the few rock and rollers that’s a lifer — and I will be doing this till the day I die — that has never taken a drug. And only for that reason, I saw what it did to other people.”
He goes on to say that that the best way to quit using drugs is to never start, which he believes would be especially true for him, given his addictive personality. He also says that he doesn’t have an interest in trying drugs anyway, because he thinks there’s no way any substance will ever make him feel as good as great music can:
“I have a very addictive personality, and, to be honest, I’d probably love a lot of the things out there, a lot of the bad things out there. So my whole theory has always been: if you don’t start it, you don’t have to stop it. And that, to me, is a very important thing. That has to do with cigarettes, pot, drugs, anything that’s not good for your body. That was my whole theory, and I still live by it to this day. So anyone out there that’s maybe hasn’t tried anything that’s thinking about, I’m living proof that you can be around shady situations or maybe not the most healthiest situations and you can still say no and you can still get away from it and live your life and be even happier.
To me, music has always… My whole thing was no drug would ever take you any higher than music, and that’s something that I clearly believe in. Because when I go to a concert or if I put my favorite record on, the feeling that I get and the emotions that I get, no drug or no substance or no artificial substance is ever gonna take that place.”
Meanwhile, Luzier’s Korn bandmates have taken a different approach to drugs over the years: In a 2007 interview, singer Jonathan Davis said that he has dealt with alcohol and drug problems, saying, “I was a f**king f**k-up, living out my Jim Morrison fantasy of what I thought a rockstar should be. I was f**king stupid. But that’s how you think you’re supposed to act when you’re a kid.” Guitarist Brian Welch also admitted on CNN in 2005 that he was addicted to a variety of drugs before becoming a born again Christian and leaving Korn (before returning to the band in 2013).
Watch Luzier discuss drugs in the video above.