Dave Lombardo Opens Up About Why He Initially Left Slayer: ‘I Felt Disillusioned’

Dave Lombardo: Krousky Peutebatre, Krousky Peutebatre Pictures, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons
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The year is 1986: Slayer has wrapped up recording what will become one of the greatest metal albums ever made – Regin in Blood – and Dave Lombardo has decided to leave the band.

Though the former Slayer drummer would return the following year, he initially wanted out of the band. While talking to Revolver recently, Lombardo opened up about his initial exit from Slayer.

Lombardo mentions an issue that played a role in motivating him to leave the band in 1986. However, he would not stay away from Slayer for too long, for Rick Rubin, who served as producer on Reign in Blood, was able to bring him back to the band.

Speaking about leaving Slayer in 1986, Lombardo shares:

“I was still living with my parents during ’83, ’84, ’85, and then I got my own place in ’86 … and [I realized a] financial issue when it came to Slayer. But Rick Rubin, because we had just signed with him [to Def Jam], made sure to call me every day.

“He said, ‘You need to go back. Dude, they need you.’ I was like, ‘No, man. Fuck that shit.’ But then he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I went back, and it was good. I’m glad I did.”

The interviewer follows this up by asking Lombardo if his initial reason for leaving Slayer was because he didn’t think it was worth living on such small pay. In response to this, Lombardo says:

“I think I felt disillusioned. Even after recording Reign in Blood, because that’s when I left in ’86, I felt a little disillusioned with the business. But I ended up going to a Megadeth concert. They were opening up for Alice Cooper at the Long Beach Arena. I think there might have been talk about me working with Megadeth, but I just didn’t feel it was a right fit. I don’t think they were in a good headspace for me to join. But I thought about it, and I’m sure if I would not have gone back to Slayer, I would’ve joined another band or created a band. But Rick Rubin, he stayed on those phone calls.”

Dave Lombardo returned to Slayer in 1987, and would stay in the band until 1992; he then rejoined Slayer in 2001 and would leave the band again in 2013. What is your favorite Slayer album featuring Lombardo?

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