SLAYER Drummer Says 'Everybody Should Shut Up' About SHADOWS FALL's BITTNER

July 28, 2006

Cam Lindsay of Canada's Exclaim! magazine recently conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. A few excerpts from the chat follow:

Exclaim!: What are your current fixations?

Lombardo: "Right now it's music and it's been that for a while: rhythm and music, immersing myself in as much good stuff as possible. There's a Bulgarian band TARAF DE HAIDOUKS and their album 'Band of Gypsies'. Their music is fast and resembles the intensity and the speed of SLAYER. It's a whole different genre, gypsy folk music. But let me tell you, it's some of the fastest stuff that I've ever heard in my life. I'm just intrigued by these guys who enjoy playing fast like we do, so there's a common thread there. It gives you a good rush."

Exclaim!: What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?

Lombardo: "In Paris at a jazz festival. I played there with John Zorn and Bill Laswell, the dub producer, and Fred Frith, the guitar player/sound effects guy. We did an improv there that brought the people to their feet — it was just amazing. We clicked so well that night that I don't think it was ever recreated again. That showed what could come out from your inside naturally — a musical experience that only happens not very often."

Exclaim!: What have been your career highs and lows?

Lombardo: "Career lows would probably be leaving SLAYER and starting my next band [GRIP INC.]. When I was trying to think of what kind of music I was going to do. I didn't know, so it took four or five years till I released 'Power of Inner Strength'. I think I've been consistently at a high point since 1999, at least personally I feel like I've been up there since then, when FANTÔMAS started. The one year [1999] that I did 'Vivaldi: The Meeting', which was me playing drums to some chamber instruments and soprano singers, I did FANTÔMAS, TESTAMENT, GRIP INC. and I released my drum methods book. Ever since that point I got to a certain height and I think I'm still up there, which is kind of cool."

Exclaim!: What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?

Lombardo: "The meanest thing that was done to me was being tackled by security guards at L'Amour in Brooklyn in, I don't know what year, 1985 or '86? I was with the crowd, throwing my sticks and pretending I was going to jump in the crowd, and the security guys came up and just grabbed me. I kept fighting them away, we knocked down these Marshall stacks and we got down to the floor and he let me go. I said, 'You son of a bitch, I'm in the band!' and he turned around and punched me in the face. That's the worst situation that ever happened to me."

Exclaim!: What should everyone shut up about?

Lombardo: "I'm trying to watch my words; this is a hard one. Jason Bittner. SHADOWS FALL. Sorry, I just have two drum magazines here and I guess he's getting a good profile. I've known him for years, ever since he was a little kid. But come on!"

Exclaim!: What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?

Lombardo: "I drink a lot of coffee and Red Bull so I'm bubbly. I like that trait. I hate when I have bad days. I don't react well."

Exclaim!: What advice should you have taken, but did not?

Lombardo: "To stay in technical drafting. No, probably to learn the piano when I was a kid. I don't know it fluently, but I can play it and make up my own stuff. When you're a child you've learned all the hard stuff that you don't want to remember now. At that time, you're like a sponge so you remember everything that you're taught. And then it becomes second nature when you're an adult.

Exclaim!: What are your feelings on piracy, Internet or otherwise?

Lombardo: "It sucks if you don't write any of the music because those musicians get royalties from the whole record being sold. So, I think downloads do suck."

Exclaim!: What makes you want to take it off and get it on?

Lombardo: "My wife does, man. My wife Theresa, man, she really makes me want to take it off and get it on. I'll see her up in Vancouver and I already have a boner."

Exclaim!: What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?

Lombardo: "There was a time where I met Bono [from U2] that was really funny he was with Gwen Stefani. I walked up to him and said, 'Hey, I'm Dave Lombardo from SLAYER.' And he goes, 'You're the drummer, right?' I go, 'Yeah.' Then he just says, 'Oh…' And that was it."

Read the entire interview at

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