Geeks Of Doom recently conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Geeks Of Doom: You've been playing "Big Four" shows for a while now. How are you finding them?
Dave Lombardo: Exciting! Every time there's more in the pipe for us to play on. I at least am looking forward to hanging out with the other guys and doing these festivals that are amazing. It's bringing the European festival vibe to the States. It just feels a little bit like that to me with the big crowds and stuff. It's a lot of fun, I've been enjoying it very much.
Geeks Of Doom: Earlier this year Jeff Hanneman [SLAYER guitarist] had to leave the band temporarily after contracting [flesh-eating bug] necrotising fasciitis. How is Jeff now?
Dave Lombardo: Jeff is doing much better. He's still recovering. He played two songs at the "Big Four" [Jeff joined SLAYER for the two-song encore in Indio, California on April 23] you know it was great, he went out there, he kicked ass! But he still needs a lot more recovery. He needs to work a lot more on that arm, so he's still in recovery.
Geeks Of Doom: While Jeff was out you had Gary Holt [EXODUS] and Pat O'Brien [CANNIBAL CORPSE] covering for some shows. What were those shows like?
Dave Lombardo: Well, it was a little odd having a different guitar player on stage. But they did a really, really good job in helping us out. They really stepped up. They did their homework, especially Pat O'Brien. Pat O'Brien came in kind of at the last minute because obviously Gary had to do some shows in South America with EXODUS that he had committed to. But we were really undecided on who we were going to get so time was just ticking away and we had to make a decision. So we called Pat in and he only had a certain amount of time to learn all the songs so he worked so hard, that guy. Gary as well, but Gary had a little more time. I just remember on the European tour that Pat O'Brien justsat in the dressing room [and] he sometimes didn't get a hotel room, just sat in the dressing room and just kicked ass! He learned everything and did everything perfect. He was a little hard on himself because he wanted everything to be, in his eyes, absolutely perfect and I didn't hear anything that he did wrong. Nothing. He's a perfectionist, like most of us are, and [musicians] are never happy with their own performances. We're very critical but that just makes us who we are. But he did an amazing job, and Gary did as well.
Geeks Of Doom: How did you feel watching your bandmates during your years away from the band?
Dave Lombardo: I never watched them! [laughs] I was happy for them; "yeah, just go on." I was doing my own thing, it never really bothered me. I was happy where I was at and they were doing their own thing and it was good.
Geeks Of Doom: What did you think of the albums they made during that time?
Dave Lombardo: I wasn't a fan of them. I listened to them a little bit, not like listen to a complete song or anything, I just like skipped over the songs, listened to the mix, listened to the drums and it told me the whole story. I didn't have to listen to the whole record for me to get the gist of the whole project. So it was pretty good but I just wasn't a fan. Now I perform those songs of course I like the music and I have [added] my own drums now so I love performing those songs.
Geeks Of Doom: Did you think they were maybe too basic?
Dave Lombardo: Oh no, no. Paul [Bostaph, ex-SLAYER drummer] really tried to complicate it, tried to get creative which was great. But still, just for me personally, it wasn't the SLAYER that I knew. Because I sometimes step out of myself and listen to things and it just wasn't the same.
Geeks Of Doom: That's good. Are there any plans for a new SLAYER album?
Dave Lombardo: Yes absolutely. Although there's nothing written but there is definitely plans. Of course. We have to! Why not?! [laughs] I'm not retiring and I don't think Kerry's [King, guitar] retiring either so Charlie Watts [THE ROLLING STONES drummer] is somebody I look up to and for someone to be on those drums for as long as he's been up there then I'm on my way! I'm right behind him, man! [laughs] I'm one of those guys. I like longevity and a true musician never abandons his art.
Read the entire interview from Geeks Of Doom.