Ex-SLAYER Drummer DAVE LOMBARDO Will Never Retire: 'I'm Not Going To Give Up The Drumsticks, Man'

January 4, 2021

In a recent interview with Ultimate Guitar, former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was asked what he hopes his legacy is on the day he hangs up the drumsticks. He responded: "I'm not going to give up the drumsticks, man. Those motherfuckers are going to die with me. Shit, I don't retire. Even with all the money in the world, you couldn't get me to retire.

"I love what I do. I love music. Musicians don't retire, they only move on to another band or something.

"What do I want to be known for? There are so many moments. There was one time I performed live in front of all these composers and I was working, at the time, with Christopher Young, this was for 'Ghost Rider'. We did a live performance. It's on YouTube and it's really cool. That was a proud moment. Working with Tyler Bates in 2004 on 'Dawn Of The Dead'. Another amazing composer.

"There's another composer I've worked with recently — Phil Eisner. That's another surprise that will be coming out [in 2021]. That's another proud moment.

"The 'Big Four', of course. That was the pinnacle of the metal era — or my metal years.

"Releasing this [MR.] BUNGLE album. You know, starting another band after SLAYER called DEAD CROSS and asking [Mike] Patton to join — and he agreed. That was an amazing thing. It almost happens every day. I love what I do."

Lombardo went on to say that retirement is a curse word for him.

"I don't believe in that word," he said. "Buddy Rich… all those guys played until they were 80, you know? I think he played until he was 80. That's just something I had in my mind ever since I was a kid, looking up to these older guys — Gene Krupa, Buddy Rich.

"Ed Shaughnessy wrote me a beautiful letter. We got to hang out. He played for years on 'The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson'. He played well into his later years. We love it. It's good for our health. It's good for our lungs and our upper body strength."

The 55-year-old musician, who splits most of his time between crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS and hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS, 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 He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001.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 Araya hired auditors to figure out what had happened, Lombardo said he was never allowed to see any of the information obtained.

A few years ago, King said that "when Dave was in [SLAYER] this last time, I figured I'd be on the stage with him until one of us fell off the stage, dead. Things change. He got some bad advice and listened to some bad advice, gave us an ultimatum ten days before we went to Australia [to do the Soundwave festival tour]. And I said, 'I can't have this over my head.' And I feel bad for Dave to this day; I really feel bad for him because he shot himself in the foot. Maybe he thought he had the upper hand, but you ain't gonna get me."

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

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