DATE OF INTERVIEW:
7th May 2010
METAL DISCOVERY: Next year will be the 25th anniversary since the release of ‘Reign in Blood’ - has there been any talks to celebrate the occasion in any way?
DAVE LOMBARDO: Wow, twenty five years already?!
(Dave Lombardo on Slayer's seminal album 'Reign in Blood')
“...it’s just unreal, the fire that was there. I mean, we still have the fire but it sounds different; the sound of that record.”
Slayer - promo shot, 2009
Interview by Mark Holmes
God Hates Us All (2001)
Official Slayer Website:
Official Slayer MySpace:
Christ Illusion (2006)
World Painted Blood (2009)
Thanks to Katie Gwyther at Columbia Records UK for arranging the interview
Photograph copyright © 2009 Mark Seliger - www.markseliger.com, supplied by, and used with permission from, Columbia Records UK
Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
Divine Intervention (1994)
Undisputed Attitude (1996)
Diabolus in Musica (1998)
Show No Mercy (1983)
Hell Awaits (1985)
Reign In Blood (1986)
South of Heaven (1988)
MD: Was it 1986 it came out, I believe?
DL: Yeah, next year’s gonna be twenty five.
MD: It doesn’t seem like twenty five years. Are you going to mark the occasion at all?
DL: Maybe. I would love to mark the occasion.
MD: It’s still hailed as one of the greatest, most influential metal records ever made, of course, but how do you personally regard it all these years on, and is it an album you still listen to much yourself?
DL: Whenever I put it on…because I have my iPod and it’s on shuffle, if something comes on I’m like - “Damn! That shit’s fast!” You know, it’s just unreal, the fire that was there. I mean, we still have the fire but it sounds different; the sound of that record.
MD: It’s been announced you’ll be performing the ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ album from start to finish during August at the joint headline shows with Megadeth in the States. Has it been a big nostalgic trip revisiting that album in its entirety in rehearsals? It must be a while since you’ve played some of those songs live.
DL: Well, yeah, ‘Seasons…’, it’s been…jeez, it has been a while. But there were songs that we had not played since their conception when we recorded.
MD: So there are songs from the album you’ve never played live?
DL: Never. We never played the whole thing; there were various songs that…I think one of them was ‘Temptation’ and…I think that’s it. We played all the other ones apart from ‘Temptation’. That was the only one that we really needed to refresh ourselves with and listen back. There were others too…I still have to go back and think - what did I do then?! - if it didn’t sound right at rehearsal. It’s been a while since I heard those songs.
MD: Slayer were subject to a degree of controversy in the band’s early days at a time where it seemed people’s sensibilities were more easily threatened by extreme music, but does it surprise you that Slayer still have the capacity to cause controversy in the 21st century like when ‘Christ Illusion’ came out? The artwork caused a bit of controversy and the song ‘Jihad’ as well.
DL: You know, people that get offended by art and music, I feel like they’re in the dark ages. It’s just…c’mon, get with it. Don’t they understand that it’s just self-expression; it’s nothing to be threatened by. It’s only music.
DL: It's only music and art, and if they take it any further it’s their own paranoia and their own insecurities.
MD: Of course, definitely. Good answer. Your style of playing has influenced so many drummers over the years and continues to be an inspiration for countless modern metal drummers, but are there any players out there who inspire you in any way these days?
DL: You know, I’m gonna sit down and write a list of all these drummers that I like! Yeah, the drummers vary in different genres that I enjoy. I like, of course, the drummer for the Melvins, Dale Crover. I like Edgar that plays in a band called Jucifer. They play really cool, doom, grungy kind of music. I like really fast, punk drummers like Gabe Serbian from The Locust. That’s insane music! And he does it live, and it’s perfect and tight. So, extremes there in drummers. I like a lot of the jazz drummers, you know, I like Elvin Jones. A lot of the Latin Jazz drummers…Raul Pineda. The list goes on and on. It’s really hard to pinpoint one drummer. Now, if you go back to the drummers who influenced me at an early age, you know, of course Bonham, Mitch Mitchell, Ginger Baker, Ian Paice, Bill Ward…
MD: Oh yeah, all the classic players.
DL: Yeah. I like drummers that contribute to the sound of the band, the music.
MD: Add a bit of feeling to it rather than just being functional, kind of thing.
DL: Exactly. Technicality and how many ambidextrous moves you can do, do not impress me. What you do within the band context is what’s important to me.
MD: Okay, before we finish up there’s one question I have to ask. Mike Patton keeps on mentioning a new Fantômas album in the works - has your involvement in that band ended now, or is that a band you’ll still be playing with?
DL: Oh, absolutely.
MD: Oh, cool.
DL: Yeah. We just had a little meeting at the end of January…actually, it was his birthday. We sat down and had some sushi, and talked about the future, and that we want to put another album out. It’s just busy doing other things and we’re just waiting for the right time. It will happen.
MD: I’ve read in an interview, about a year ago, that he wants to do an all-electronic Fantômas album.
DL: Definitely. That’s what he was saying to me, that he wants to incorporate electronic sounds into this new Fantômas record. There would be triggered sounds that I would be playing, like in the middle of the song, and he would change them sporadically. So it would be, I think, really cool. It’s just gonna take a little time to develop that concept.
MD: Cool. I’ll look forward to hearing that! Okay, thank you very much for your time.
DL: You’re very welcome.
MD: It’s been a pleasure speaking to you, and good luck with the tour. I’ll be checking out the Nottingham show, so looking forward to it.
DL: Awesome man. Take care.
MD: Okay, cheers.