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West Newton drummer Luzier puts on a clinic for fans

| Wednesday, May 1, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Korn drummer and West Newton native Ray Luzier signs an autograph for Jacob Cox of Herminie after giving a drum clinic at Monroeville Guitar Center on Saturday, April 27, 2013.
Stacey Federoff | The Times-Sun
Korn drummer and West Newton native Ray Luzier signs an autograph for Jacob Cox of Herminie after giving a drum clinic at Monroeville Guitar Center on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

Jacob Cox remembered when he was in third grade five years ago and then-Yough administrator Sharon Luzier brought her son Ray into his classroom for a visit.

The young drummer was awestruck of the musician that has toured with the likes of David Lee Roth and Stone Temple Pilots and has been the drummer for metal band Korn for six years.

“He's just my inspiration,” the 13-year-old from Herminie said as he waited in line for Luzier's autograph after a drum clinic at the Monroeville Guitar Center on Saturday. “I'm going to see if he remembers me.”

Luzier spent two hours playing songs, solos and exercises in between answering questions from the crowd of about 100 people gathered at the store.

The West Newton native spent a week in the area visiting with his family, capped off by the clinic, before he returned to Los Angeles to rehearse for two weeks ahead of a tour kickoff stop at the Ice Garden in Rostraver.

Luzier said he offhandedly mentioned the small venue when Korn's management was looking for “warm-up” locations before heading out to summer festivals across the country and in Europe.

“I never thought it would come to fruition,” he said. “I used to skate there when I was 10.”

Austin Nicholson, 16, of Connellsville said he likes the drummer's use of cymbals and triplets. The teenager has been a Korn fan since he was 9, influenced by his father Bill.

“He already had his tickets to see them in Rostraver two minutes after they went on sale,” said his mother who took him to the clinic Saturday. “I'm forced to listen to Korn whether I want to or not,” she said jokingly, wearing a T-shirt she borrowed from her husband.

Michelle Lloyd and Mark McCormick drove more than eight hours from Kingston, Ontario, to see Ray Luzier behind his kit.

McCormick, 31, said a friend had turned him on to the band when they were in eighth grade together and they had seen the band live together twice.

“It's just the energy,” he said. “It's a good show.”

Unfortunately, his friend committed suicide in 2011. McCormick had Luzier sign a Korn sweatshirt he had made in his friend's memory.

“I'm sure he's watching right now,” Lloyd said smiling after the couple met the drummer.

Store Manager Taylor Frost said Luzier was very relatable during the clinic, keeping things interesting not only for drummers or musicians, but anyone who was a fan.

“He's lived in L.A. for a long time, but you can definitely tell he's from here,” Frost said. “I think the message was really simple: have fun, be dedicated and enjoy making music.”

Korn has recorded 20 songs for an album planned for a fall release and Luzier is also working to release an album at about the same time with a side project, called KXM, with George Lynch of Dokken and Dug Pinnick of King's X.

The drummer already knows the Ice Garden will be packed with friendly faces, since he often sees his parents, family and classmates from Yough's Class of 1988 at hometown gigs.

“They just know that my passion is so great and the fire's never gone out,” he said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at sfederoff@tribweb.com or 724-836-6660.

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