SLAYER's DAVE LOMBARDO On 'World Painted Blood': 'I Am So Proud Of This Record'

Chad Bowar of recently conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below. Did you approach recording your drum parts any different than usual for this album ["World Painted Blood"]?

Lombardo: Yes. The first thing I did when we started rehearsing for this record was eliminate my largest and smallest tom tom. That scaled down my kit to 9 pieces instead of 11 pieces. With that kit, it helped me approach the songs and the drum rolls and changes a little bit differently. I had to think what was going to come out of a certain drum roll. I had to really focus on that. That helped me think a little bit differently. I did drum parts I wouldn't have created otherwise. So many metal bands have a very sterile and artificial drum sound these days, and yours is more natural.

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Lombardo: This one definitely reflects to the old records like "Reign In Blood", "South Of Heaven" and "Season In The Abyss" where no computers were involved in editing and mixing. We kept that feel for this record. He kept as much of the true performance. In other words, he didn't cut every single bass drum, every roll. There are a lot of takes on this record that are almost 80 percent one take. Things were kept as pure as possible, and I think it shows on this record. You hear little clicks of my stick at the end of a song, you hear me breathing. Things aren't polished. It's great. I am so proud of this record. I think only after the fact when "Reign In Blood", "South Of Heaven" and "Season In The Abyss" were released was I proud of them, but never at the time. With this one, I was proud at the beginning when we first started rehearsal and were laying down the foundation, which are the drums. I was noticing there was this really amazing chemistry going on in the studio, not only with all four of us, but five of us with Greg [Fidelman, producer]. It's really cool to have something to be proud of way in the beginning rather than later on, waiting for the reaction of the people. I knew something was there from the get-go. How do you measure the success of an album these days? It used to be a platinum or gold album, but with sales down across the board and so much illegal downloading, those numbers don't mean the same as they once did.

Lombardo: Without looking at all that stuff you just said, I think the reaction of the people when you're playing the songs is another way to evaluate whether the record is good or not. For this one, when we opened with "World Painted Blood", the reaction of the people when the song ends was very positive. I think the feedback from the kids is important too, through the internet or even the press. A lot of little things like that. You had to cancel a show on your Australian tour not too long ago. Is Tom's [Araya] voice back to normal?

Lombardo: Yeah, he's fine. We took a day off. He lost his voice in Melbourne, we cancelled Adelaide, which was the day after, and flew to Perth. He was fine after that. You had to wing it a bit during the Melbourne show, I understand, and even play some songs as instrumentals.

Lombardo: I wish they were all instrumentals. We had some people I didn't even know who they were, and I don't know who they were to this day, get up there and try to sing SLAYER without knowing the words. It was a joke. You can't have another singer without rehearsal, or any other musician for that matter, go up on stage and try to pull off what the band is trying to do. It's just stupid. I didn't approve of that. I'm sympathetic toward Tom losing his voice, but I'm not into bringing other musicians up on stage and trying to pull this off. You don't want to shortchange the kids. At least the kids could have sang it on their own. They might have done a better job. I don't know who went up there, but it was horrible, almost to the point of embarrassment.

Read the entire interview at


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