Dave Lombardo: Slayer Didn’t Understand What I Wanted to Do Creatively

Dave Lombardo Photo credit: Ekaterina Gorbacheva
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Although he was one of the band’s original members, Dave Lombardo dipped in and out of Slayer throughout the band’s career. Initially, Lombardo drummed for the band from 1981 up to 1986; he did come back in 1987, however, he ended up leaving once again in 1992.

Nine years later in 2001, Lombardo returned to Slayer and performed with them once again; though, he would ultimately leave the band in 2013. While taking part in a recent conversation with the Conan Neutron’s Protonic Reversal podcast, Lombardo was asked about his final run with Slayer. While reflecting on that time, Lombardo expresses some frustration, saying that he didn’t feel the band fully understood what he wanted to do creatively. Here is what the ex-Slayer drummer had to say about his final run with the band (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):

“It made sense. I was out of the band for 10 years — 10 [or] 11 years. And they decided to bring me back in. And everything was good. Everything felt fine. We had a good run. I was able to bring my own creativity or at least…

“It was difficult to change the Slayer path. They really liked their niche market, and they didn’t wanna stray too much. But in a live sense, I was able to be free when it came to some of the drum rolls and some of the changes. I used to throw the guys in the band for a loop when I would create a really bizarre drum roll.

“And it makes them turn around [and go], ‘What the fuck is that?’ And then I land on the ‘one.’ It’s, like, ‘There it is.’ But I was getting creative, I think, because I knew the music so well. And so there was room for me to fuck around. It’s, like, ‘Why didn’t I play this drum part when I recorded the album? It would have been so much better.’ After you played something for so long…”

Lombardo goes on to add:

“I read once that Mick Jagger said, ‘God, I wish we would have written that song ‘Satisfaction’ a little better if I knew we were gonna play it for [almost 60] years.’ I was going through a little bit of the same thing with my own drum parts.

“‘Ah, I’m gonna do this.’ ‘Oh, that double-bass section in ‘Angel Of Death’. You know what? I’m gonna extend it a little longer.’ Or ‘I’m gonna add a snare roll in the middle of it.’ So I was just having fun with it.

“And it was because I was, I guess, seasoned from the musicians I was working with in the past. And that kind of helped, I think — helped me personally — to enjoy the moments on stage. Because when you are on tour and playing the same songs month after month, year after year, it becomes a little redundant. So that kind of helped me entertain myself on stage, to see if I could stump the guitar players, if I could mess with them.”

What do you think of Dave Lombardo’s points and his final run with Slayer? Do you wish that he took part in the band’s farewell tour? You can check out the full interview featuring Dave Lombardo below.

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