Dave Lombardo Credits Jeff Hanneman’s Punk Influence For Slayer’s Evolution

Dave Lombardo recently made a visit to Amoeba Music in Hollywood for a new episode of ‘What’s In My Bag?’ While sifting through records, Lombardo shed light on a vital piece of Slayer’s history – the pivotal role of Jeff Hanneman in shaping the band’s evolution with his affinity for punk music.

During his nostalgic trip to Amoeba Music, Lombardo picked up The Germs album ‘(MIA) The Complete Anthology.‘ While doing so, he shared that it was actually Hanneman who introduced him to The Germs and other influential punk bands such as Dead Kennedys, GBH, The Exploited, and Wasted Youth. He candidly expressed that these bands, surprisingly to some, fueled the evolution of Slayer.

Providing more context, Lombardo elaborated that Slayer, before their first album, resembled a typical metal band, belting out covers of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. However, a noticeable shift occurred which Lombardo attributes to Hanneman’s influence. Their sound took a distinctive turn, propelling them towards becoming a pioneering thrash metal band. According to Lombardo, this particular album is a kind of musical chronicle of those transformative early days of Slayer.

Here is what Dave Lombardo said about The Germs’ ‘(MIA) The Complete Anthology’:

“Jeff Hanneman from Slayer, rest in peace, he turned me onto The Germs as well as all these other punk bands, like Dead Kennedys, GBH, The Exploited, and Wasted Youth. Those bands, believe it or not, fueled the evolution of Slayer.

When we first started, before our first album, we were just a typical metal band playing Judas Priest covers and Iron Maiden. But something happened, and I attribute that to Jeff’s involvement. This was definitely the soundtrack to those early days. Slayer quickly changed into a thrash metal band shortly after being influenced by a lot of punk bands. So, this is another essential.”

It’s clear that Jeff Hanneman played a fundamental role in Slayer’s journey. His introduction of punk rock to the band catalyzed a significant transformation in their sound, and by extension, their identity. Had it not been for Hanneman’s involvement, Slayer might have remained a cover band, paying tribute to the giants of metal, instead of becoming innovators themselves.