Meltdown of Detroit's WRIF radio station recently conducted an interview with drum legend Dave Lombardo (SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, DEAD CROSS, MISFITS, MR. BUNGLE, FANTÔMAS, GRIP INC., SLAYER). A few excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On whether he will ever transition out of full-time touring into studio and film scoring work:
Dave: "No. Come on, man. I love playing drums and being onstage and going on tours, visiting all these fine cities. It's part of my life. It's going to be difficult to slow me down. Here I am, 54, and my wife is, like, 'Wow, you are the Energizer Bunny. You are just always going.' It's, like, 'Well, hey, it's just my nature.' I realized several years ago I put myself in a different perspective. Instead of I'm always the hyper one: 'Oh, god. You're so hyper. You're so full of energy.' It's, like, 'No. You are all slow. That's the problem.' [Laughs] I'm just at a different tape speed than you are. I'm running at 45. You guys are at 33 and a third."
On whether doing the score for Nicholas Brennan's "Los Últimos Frikis" documentary on Cuban metal band ZEUS was close to his heart:
Dave: "It is. People know I was born in Havana, Cuba. My parents in the middle of the revolution that was going on there at that time decided to immigrate to the United States. So, I found that this documentary really hit home. It felt very personal because what these guys endured — while I was in the States starting SLAYER and playing in that band and doing shows — I had two bands before I even joined SLAYER. So, as a child, as a kid, I was here flourishing. To know these guys had the same passion, had the same drive that I had and they were being oppressed. The singer was jailed for six years for playing metal music. It just goes to show what these guys have gone through for the love of music and what at times, we all take for granted, and take for granted some of the freedoms that we have. It really hit home. It felt very natural for me to dive into this project wholeheartedly and with the same passion that when I play on stage and with the same love. It was a treat. It was really awesome to be part of it."
On whether "Los Últimos Frikis" reminds him of ANVIL's 2008 "The Anvil! The Story Of Anvil" documentary or METALLICA's 2004 "Some Kind Of Monster":
Dave: "Actually, no. I stay away from a lot… I've never watched the ANVIL documentary and I'm really sorry; I apologize. Maybe I should. Same with the METALLICA documentary. I hear so much from the underground and it resonates and I want to leave my perception of these bands, leave it alone. There's some things I don't want to see. And I have deep love and respect for not only METALLICA and for ANVIL and everything they've gone through. I have respect for them. I don't like it being tarnished or anything. It is what it is."
On whether he plans on attending SLAYER's final show on November 30 at The Forum in Los Angeles:
Dave: "No. Come on, man. No. [Laughs] Yeah, no. I think I have a show on that day. I'm playing Knotfest in Mexico City [with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES], then heading over to El Salvador and playing another festival. I'm onstage."
On working with FAITH NO MORE vocalist Mike Patton in DEAD CROSS, MR. BUNGLE and FANTÔMAS:
Dave: "He's one of the most kindest humans I've ever met. He's an amazing artist. He's a dear friend whom I love and respect. To work with him, it's an absolute pleasure to work with the guy. He's so creative and so musically inclined on various instruments and his vocal range, my god, seven-octave range. The guy is a master at his art. This is the honest truth: I'd say it if I met him once, twice, and I've known him for 20-some years, probably longer. He's definitely a great human and I'm very fortunate to know him and play in two bands with him. I've actually played in three, maybe four or five because I've done improvisations and random improvisations whether it's with saxophone or a violin player or Bill Laswell, the bass player, or John Zorn. We've done so much together that I really cherish our friendship."
"Los Últimos Frikis" captures an intimate portrait of ZEUS, a heavy metal band from Havana, Cuba. After fighting for two decades for the right to play their once-forbidden music, ZEUS embarks on a journey across the island for their first national tour. While on tour, the band confronts their own fragile place in the country's shifting culture as a new generation turns to newer, sexier sounds. Returning home to Havana on the cusp of their 30th anniversary, the band comes to terms with how they've dedicated their lives, as the film becomes a reflection on time, art and life's purpose.
Lombardo, who currently splits 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.
Photo credit: Dean Karr