In a new interview with The Pit's MoshTalks Cover Stories, former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo discussed the importance of staying authentic and following your heart when it comes to making music.
He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "If the Internet existed back when SLAYER released their very first album, we would have been destroyed. 'Oh, what is this?' … So, today, these days, you have to go with the approach of how we did it back then — we didn't care. We thought it was heavy; we thought it was brutal and evil. It was dark. It had a certain feel to it. And it made all of us happy; it had our stamp of approval.
"What we were listening to at the time created a bar," he continued. "It's, like, 'Okay, we've gotta come up with something like this or better. And we always wanted to do something better and different.
"I think, really, musicians and bands, listen to yourselves. Don't listen to anyone [else].
"And another thing is bands that feel, 'Oh, no. Our fans won't go for that, because our fans only like us to do this style.' Well, then there's no growth. You're gonna grow stagnant. It's just not gonna evolve if you don't venture out and try new things.
"I feel like part of longevity is being as creative as you can be," Lombardo added. "Like, for example, when SLAYER released 'Reign In Blood', we did the exact opposite on 'South Of Heaven'. It was a little bit slower — although there were some fast songs, but we touched on slower rhythms. We shifted things. And the sound was a little bit different as well. And then 'Seasons [In The Abyss]' came out, and it was different. You have to do that, man. Otherwise… I don't know. Maybe it works for some bands, but for me personally, it feels good when you try different styles, different approaches to music."
Lombardo, who splits most of 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 He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001.
The 56-year-old musician, who was born in Havana, Cuba but emigrated to Southern California with his parents when he was a toddler, finally got a chance to visit his former homeland in May 2018 when SUICIDAL TENDENCIES played two shows in Cuba. The concerts at Centro Cultural Club Bariay in Holguin and at Salon Rosado De La Tropical in Havana marked the first time Dave had ever performed in the Caribbean nation.