Metal Wani editor in chief Owais "Vitek" Nabi recently conducted an interview with vocalist Mike Muir of Venice, California crossover thrash/hardcore punk legends SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. You can now listen to the chat in two parts below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo's addition to SUICIDAL TENDENCIES' touring and recording lineup:
Muir: "We've already done, like, probably seventy shows with Dave and the new lineup, and it's just been so much fun. People that love Dave, they're, like, 'Dude, I've never seen him smiling so much at a show.' And I always say this, four or five times every show, I'm running across and I almost trip. He'll do something [on the drums], and I just laugh. I'm, like, 'What the fuck was that?' It's so cool. I mean, he's just the gnarliest drummer, and I've always been a huge fan. But being around him, being in the studio, being when we're just playing things, he just is way more, way more musical and versatile than a lot of people would ever know. He's just a beast on drums."
"One of the other things I'll definitely say about Dave is he's a person who doesn't wanna live in the past. He's up there and he [delivers] every night. And it's the same thing with SUICIDAL. If you're not good, then people are, like, 'Oh, wow. That's a shame.' And he takes every show very, very serious, and he wants to be at his best, and he always wants to go forward. And it's interesting a number of other things that he's said in conversations that's really impressed me. One of the things he said, he goes, 'Musicians never retire. They always wanna play.' He goes, 'I wanna play 'till I'm 80.' And I was, like, 'That's crazy talk.' 'Cause I certainly can't see being… obviously, 80 doing SUICIDAL. You know, I don't think physically I could. But you have to kind of have that approach. I'm on the other side that… I go, 'Hey, I've had three back surgeries and I have three kids.' And if the family ever said, 'This is too much,' then I'm done. So I say every show potentially could be the last show, and I want it to be my best. I don't wanna be, like,' Wow, my last show was the worst show I ever did.' So it's a little different approach. But his attitude is really important and his approach is really impressive. And I'll see it too, because before shows there'll be people talking, 'Oh, Dave. I love Dave. I've loved him for years,' and this and that, and be really excited. And afterwards they're, like, 'Dude, that was fucking amazing!' And even though they want to like it, I think they like it even more than they thought [they would], which, to me, is the best thing."
On Lombardo's contributions to SUICIDAL TENDENCIES' new album, "World Gone Mad":
Muir: "Well, it's interesting, because this is the first record, he said, that he's ever played when he's already the vocals and the singing was on it and everything; he actually played last. So I think that really comes across, because he's playing to what the music is, accentuating what… you know, listening to the lyrics and taking everything into consideration. So that really comes across. It's easier to go in there and for a drummer to play and just do his thing and take his spot, but he picks his spots according to what the music is, and I think that's what really comes across to me that I really enjoy. And he knows when to… It's like driving — you know when to slow down and when to go around the curves and all that, and I think he did an amazing job on the record."
On Dave Lombardo playing drums for the reunited classic lineup of MISFITS:
Muir: "We played [at the Riot Fest in Denver] on Friday [September 2] and the MISFITS were [playing] on Sunday [September 4], so Dave was there, and I couldn't stay — originally we didn't even know about it — but I couldn't stay, 'cause we had a family… a birthday party I had to go to, and family always is gonna win out, especially when I'm gone so much. But I would have loved to have been there just to see how Dave handled it. I heard it was really great. To me, it's funny, 'cause some people said, 'Oh, Dave is too overqualified.' And I go, 'No, Dave knows how to play drums,' and he is an amazing foundation. And any building that you have, no matter how great it looks, the bigger that it is, it's the foundation and how deep they go down to make it strong. I heard it went really, really, really well, it went great, people were very happy, and I think it was probably 'cause they made a very smart decision having Dave play drums."
On whether "World Gone Mad" will be the final SUICIDAL TENDENCIES album:
Muir: "Right now, it probably will [be]. We recorded extra songs — well, we recorded quite a few songs — and so specifically when the inauguration comes out, when the next [U.S.] president is [sworn in], whoever that is, we'll have an EP that we're putting out that's a little… People say we're political, I don't say we're political, but this is a little more political — SUICIDAL politics. [We'll have] an EP [coming] out, I guess that's January 21st [of 2017]. But we have no plans [for other albums right now]. Of course, same thing with Dave. Dave's already talking about, 'When we do the next record…' And I'm, like, 'Hold on! Hold on!' [Laughs] He has such a youthful enthusiasm, it's great. But, you know, I think when you do something, you should… kind of the same approach like I said with the shows: this might be our last one, so it doesn't matter if you're sick and you're throwing up, you just have to forget about it and move on. And I think for a record, you have to take the approach, 'If this is my last record, am I gonna be happy?' I think that's a really important thing. And if it comes down and there's a situation that I really feel it's important that we do another SUICIDAL record, I would have to talk to my family, 'cause it takes a lot of time and commitment [to do] that."
"World Gone Mad" will be released on September 30. The follow-up to 2013's "13" disc will be the band's first to feature Lombardo and guitarist Jeff Pogan, who replaced Nico Santora in May.