Like many musicians in pandemic times, Johnny Christ (bassist with Avenged Sevenfold) has started his own podcast called Drinks with Johnny.
One of his most recent guests was Korn drummer, Ray Luzier. Out of the numerous topics covered in this in-depth talk one is of special importance to those who wish to pursue a professional career in music, i.e. the knowledge of the music business.
“When I moved to L.A., I locked myself in my drum lab at M.I. [Musicians’ Institute in LA] when I was a student there, and I would just shred for six hours a day, and I would go play with this band and I’d go play with that band. I was just trying to be as best as I could on drums, and I didn’t realize I should have been educating myself on the business. ‘Cause I didn’t realize how many bad contracts I was gonna sign and how many people that I trusted that I thought had my back didn’t have my back.
And I was getting my ass kicked left and right in my early 20s ’cause I was in some failed original bands that were, like… I wanted to be Kiss and Mötley Crüe and Ozzy [Osbourne] and I didn’t realize what was going on business-wise.
“So I try to educate people on […] that perspective. Don’t just sit there and play. Who cares how fast you can play? […] Really try to embrace the whole business – if you wanna be in this. If you wanna do it on the weekends for fun, great. And you wanna have a job during the week – God bless America. Do what you gotta do.
But if you really wanna be in this line of work, there’s so many avenues and there’s so many promises that might not happen. And there’s no security in it – even band-wise. When I got this gig [with Korn] in ’07, Fieldy [Korn bassist] told me we had a couple of years. Fifteen years later, we’re stronger than ever. So you just never know. No one’s got a crystal ball, last time I checked.”
Worth thinking over…