In a recent interview with Heavy Metal Artwork, former SLAYER and current PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo spoke about what has drawn him to get involved with a lot of diverse projects — a list that includes APOCALYPTICA, John Zorn and FANTÔMAS — during his time in and out of SLAYER.
"I think what's driven me to be as diverse as I am is the fact that at such an early time in my career, I created a style that I was known for, and I felt that there was more to me than just thrash," he said. "Once SLAYER released their first album, we had already tapped into the style, and drummers started coming up to me and saying, 'Hey, I really like your style!' but I'd always be like, there's more to me. I'm into all other kinds of stuff. Most drummers would be surprised at what I listened to, which musicians."
He continued: "So I think that's what kind of drives me to be creative — I think that's what initialized it, the drive to create something different. Now it's enjoyment, to create different things, different movements and beats; working with different artists. I think that it keeps things exciting, challenging; it keeps your style diverse, and it teaches you a lot because when you work with the same guys day in and day out, you only know how those guys work.
"When you step out and you challenge yourself and go into a room with this artist that you've never met before and you've only talked to, say, over the phone or via Internet, you tend to be put on the spot. So you go, 'OK, what do I do here? What do I do there? What's gonna make him happy?' It's challenging, and I like challenges, because once you get stuck in the rut, it just becomes very boring."
Asked what he thought he brought from all of his diverse influences to what he's doing now with PHILM, Lombardo said: "Because I listened to so many different styles, I'm able to adapt my drumming into those different styles. Like, for example, on my iPod, while I was rehearsing for a drum workshop that I had to do in Italy, Ray Charles mysteriously came on. I have Ray Charles on my iPod, and several other bands you'd be surprised I listen to. Well, he came on, and I was like, 'Hmm. I love that. Damn.' So I kept playing along, because I was just trying to play along to his stuff just to warm up, and I added double bass to a Ray Charles song, it was 'Mess Around', which, I think, was his first hit. I did that, and I think that listening to all the different styles of music when I was growing up has helped me to adapt my drumming to anything I hear.
"You know, I just listen to anything. Even country — I'll listen to some country and I'll be, like, 'I could put some double bass in there, that'd be a perfect double bass part!'
"It's all drumming at the end of the day, it's just how you approach it, and if you could adapt to it, if you could adapt to the swing that the song has. So I think I've been kind of lucky to have been around people who've exposed me to all these styles of music, and I've just absorbed it."
PHILM released its sophomore album, "Fire From The Evening Sun", on September 16 (one day earlier internationally) via UDR. The band's lineup is completed by guitarist/vocalist Gerry Paul Nestler (CIVIL DEFIANCE), and bassist Francisco "Pancho" Eduardo Tomaselli (WAR).