Dave Lombardo Reveals The Constraints Imposed By His Slayer Career

Ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo gave an interview to New Noise Magazine where he talked about his Slayer times, solo career, his Cuban roots, and his music taste. When asked about his association with being one of the fastest drummers and its link to extreme metal, Dave explained that his attraction to fast rhythms originated from his youth:

“At that time, you associate speed obviously with aggression. Punk music had a whole different tempo than your typical rock music. And growing up listening to rock music, you’re hitting the age of 13, 14, 15 years old, and, of course, you have that young energy. For some reason, this punk style of music or songs that were just a little more on the cutting edge, a little faster than a typical radio song, always appealed to me.”

Lombardo credited ex-Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman for introducing him to punk music:

“When I first heard punk music, thanks to Jeff Hanneman, he opened that door and presented me with all these records. It was energizing. It was a shot in the arm. Instant adrenaline. It still does that to me. I’ll cook dinner with my wife, and I’ll throw on a punk album. I immediately start bobbing my head, head banging, then my hands get all sweaty. I’ll start pogoing, then jumping around. It still does that to me.”

The Godfather of Double Bass then mentioned that around the 1990s, he felt a musical absence within his Slayer career:

“But as time went on, around ‘South of Heaven,’ definitely through ‘Seasons (of the Abyss),’ I felt a yearning to express myself in different ways. Slayer really didn’t help that urge that I had because, at that time, I was listening to all kinds of music other than metal. Deep inside, I felt I needed to explore other styles.”

In a recent interview, Lombardo further discussed the late Jeff Hanneman’s punk influence on 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.”

In another interview, he acknowledged that Slayer’s group dynamics shaped their style:

“I don’t think we thought we were creating something special. I don’t think we knew what we were doing. We just knew that whatever it was, it felt good. We’re like brothers in constant battles. There are always rifts in families, so I feel that was just the nature of the band. In a lot of ways, it drove the band to be as aggressive as it was.”

Dave Lombardo’s latest album ‘Rites of Percussion’ came out in May. Check out below to listen to the whole album.