DAVE LOMBARDO Says SLAYER Was Best 'Big Four' Band: 'We Really Showed Everyone Else How It Should Be Done'

October 20, 2023

In a new interview with Metal Hammer, original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was asked which of the bands in the "Big Four" of 1980s thrash metal — METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX — was best. He responded without hesitation: "SLAYER. Ha ha ha! Who else could I pick?! We were brutal man, we were on top of our game, and if you watch the videos we were on fire. We really showed everyone else how it should be done — we tore everyone a new one."

In a 2011 interview with Geeks Of Doom, Lombardo denied that there was ever any competition between the "Big Four" acts. "I can't really speak for anybody else but there was never any rivalry from myself with the bands," he said. "I never had issues with any of them. I'm sure maybe with other guitar, er, musicians within the bands, maybe, of course there would have been. Twenty years, god, you can imagine the egos and the arrogance and attitude most musicians carry around with them when they haven't grown up.

When the interviewer pointed out that he very nearly said the problem between "guitarists", Dave said: "I nearly said that, yeah. [Laughs] Because, I don't know, I feel like drummers, we get along a lot better than guitar players do with each other. I've done the Modern Drummer drum festival, I've done all these various drumming clinics and things and there's one thing that we all have in common, which all us drummers have, is we like to share what we do. There's no secret. I think guitar players tend to be a little more secretive and a little more passionate. Well, maybe passionate isn't the right word, but they're a little more secretive about their tricks and whatever they do. And twenty years ago, man, I tell ya, it was the same thing."

That same year, Lombardo told Revolver about sharing the stage with the other "Big Four" bands for several gigs in 2010 and 2011, "There's camaraderie in this camp. In the metal world, there's camaraderie. I think it's really cool that it's come to that. Loving a style of music and doing a big festival like this really promotes the positive energy all these bands have to offer. Although some of us are a bit on the dark side — like, I'd say SLAYER, musically. But there is some good to the music."

In the same article, METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich also denied that there was any rivalry between the four bands. "There was a time, sure, where there was a competitive edge to all of us, but I really don't feel that anymore," he said. "No matter how much anybody will push it in the press, or how many people don't buy it, I can tell you hand on heart that there's no competitive edge. It's not a bunch of 27-year-olds trying to see who's got the biggest dick. ANTHRAX, MEGADETH, SLAYER, METALLICA, we all kind of have our own little niche, our own little unique place. So it's not sorta like, Who's better at this? 'Cause at the end of the day we all do our own thing. And when it comes to drums, Dave Lombardo is, by far and away, God. There's no competitive edge, but if there was, Dave would win. Lombardo could kick the rest of our asses with just a whip of his little finger. So there was no competitive edge. That's the thing that I can truly say is the biggest difference now."

Lombardo, who has spent most of the recent years between crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS, hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS and MR. BUNGLE, was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the group's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other bandmembers. He was later replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001.

SLAYER played its last-ever show in November 2019 at The Forum in Los Angeles.

Find more on Slayer
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).