The new issue of Rhythm magazine, available from November 24, features an in-depth interview with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. In the feature, written by SLAYER biographer Joel McIver, Lombardo discusses his Cuban roots, his early influences and the high points of his 28-year career all the way up to the release of the Los Angeles thrash quartet's latest album, "World Painted Blood". Excerpts from the interview follow.

Rhythm: Tell us about the drumming on "World Painted Blood".

Lombardo: "Man, I can't tell you how pleased I am with it! The producer, Greg Fidelman, is an all-round musician as far as I know, but he's especially keen on drums and very, very good at recording them. I swear to you, there were times when I'd record a dozen fills and he'd sit down with me and dissect each one — stroke by stroke! Literally one hit, and then another hit, and then another one — and then we'd decide whether to use this fill or that roll or whatever. It was incredible."

Rhythm: Playing with METALLICA at Download in 2004 must have been quite an experience. (See/hear video/audio footage below.)

Lombardo: "Yeah. Show 'em how it's done! No disrespect to Lars [Ulrich], because Lars is great and he's a very nice guy, but he needs to spend a week at my house and we need to sit down and play. I could show him — 'No, Lars, like this!'… 'Let's chill, let's relax, have some coffee and let's play!' Hahahahaha!"

Rhythm: When you played blastbeats on the song "Supremist", on the 2006 album "Christ Illusion", everybody wondered if SLAYER were going to turn death metal…

Lombardo: "It's what the riff demanded. See, that's my thing — I can't close the door on other music. I expose myself to this stuff to stay on top and to let people know, 'Hey, I'm aware of what's going on!' Just because I don't play it, doesn't mean I'm not aware of it. I'll throw in little tidbits here and there. For example, I've been listening to all this jungle [hums frantic drum'n'bass pattern] To me it's like England's rap. It's very cool. I love that music — I really enjoy it because it's fast, and it moves."

Rhythm: So have you heard CANNIBAL CORPSE and the other death metal bands doing blastbeats?

Lombardo: "I've heard it. Does it impress me? No, because too much is over-redundant. I can't tolerate it, it's just [hums series of machine-like blasts]… there's no feeling."

Rhythm: It was rumored a while back that you had a problem with your thyroid gland from drinking too much caffeine. True?

Lombardo: "I don't know if it was the coffee. I doubt it. I think it was just too much touring. I started noticing that I was losing a lot of weight, and my heart was beating at 170 beats a minute — just while I was sitting down! I would wake up in the middle of the night and my bed would be soaking wet, because I would be tossing and turning and really hot. It was really bad. I turned into a complete skeleton, it was insane. So they zapped me with radio-iodine, I took this radioactive pill, and I think it shrunk it [my thyroid gland] down, because I feel great and I've gained weight. The only nervousness or agitation I feel is if I drink a little too much coffee. Actually I was taking more caffeine while I was sick, because having your heart rate go that fast, 24 hours a day, you get tired — so I'd drink Red Bull and coffee and more on top of that!"

Rhythm magazine is available from the usual stores and at this location.


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