Ex-SLAYER Drummer DAVE LOMBARDO Says Early Punk Albums Were 'Energizing': 'It Was A Shot In The Arm'

July 31, 2023

In a new interview with New Noise Magazine, original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was asked about speed as an expression of extremity, especially considering that his name would get brought up in the late 1980s and early 1990s when people were talking about the fastest drummers. He said: "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, I'm 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.

"When I first heard punk music, thanks to [late SLAYER guitarist] 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. But as time went on, around 'South Of Heaven', definitely through 'Seasons [In 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."

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.

Shortly after his dismissal, Lombardo said that he discovered that 90 percent of SLAYER's tour income was being deducted as expenses, including fees to management, costing the band millions and leaving them with about 10 percent to split four ways. While he and Tom Araya hired auditors to figure out what had happened, Lombardo said he was never allowed to see any of the information obtained.

Lombardo released a statement in February 2013 saying he "was denied access to detailed information and the necessary backup documents." He added: "I was told that I would not be paid until I signed a longform contract which gave me no written assurance of how much or on what basis management would deduct commissions, nor did it provide me access to the financial budgets or records for review. It also forbade me to do interviews or make statements having to do with the band, in effect a gagging order."

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