Former SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo spoke to NorthJersey.com about his involvement with California hardcore thrash favorites SUICIDAL TENDENCIES and the reunited classic lineup of the North Jersey horror-punks MISFITS.
“I’m a big fan of SUICIDAL and it’s an honor for me to play with [singer] Mike Muir and the band,” Lombardo said.
“When I first received a call from a mutual friend saying that Mike was interested in me playing some shows, I said, ‘absolutely.’
“With the MISFITS, I knew it was something very special,” he continued. “You can’t imagine how musically satisfying it was. With the West Coast punk of SUICIDAL and the East Coast punk of the MISFITS, I’ve just been blown away.”
Lombardo made his recorded debut with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES on the band’s latest album, “World Gone Mad”, which came out at the end of September.
“They wanted me to be myself and their music is very drum friendly with some amazing structuring and vocals and lyrics,” Lombardo said about the effort. “They gave me the freedom to do what I wanted and I gave the songs what I felt they needed.”
Dave added that playing SUICIDAL‘s classic songs live “brings back some really good memories. I remember driving the van on one of our early SLAYER tours and me and [late SLAYER guitarist] Jeff Hanneman would listen to their first record and switch off singing the lyrics.”
Muir said in a recent interview that Lombardo added a new dimension to the SUICIDAL TENDENCIES musical approach. “It’s interesting, because a lot of people, obviously, associate [Dave] with the SLAYER sound,” he said. “On some of the SUICIDAL songs, it’s different musically, and you can see how really a tremendously diverse drummer that he is. I think some of the songs, obviously, people that love his drumming, they’re gonna hear it and they’re gonna really, really, I think, enjoy it. He’s really excited about it. He’s getting to play some different kind of things, and it just brings a whole different intensity and rhythmic feel to the band. And he’s definitely got the Cuban thing going on, that Latin flavor, where he gets to do a little bit more in SUICIDAL than he did in SLAYER. I think you hear it and you definitely know it’s Dave, but it definitely takes us to another level.”
On the topic of what it was like working with Lombardo at the first MISFITS reunion concert, Jerry Only said: “Obviously there’s a little transitional period for Dave coming from a thrash-metal background with SLAYER or even SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. Dave is molding into this ’50s atomic-punk band. He needs to learn the fine elements of our songs. When he gets that, we’ll be good. Because Doyle [Wolfgang Von Frankenstein] was, like, ‘Dave really doesn’t know our material but he wasn’t a fanboy.’ That was one of the things I liked about him. So if we move forward as a unit and start writing new albums with somebody like Dave, we’ve got a drummer who’s from a different place; we might add a different element into our mixture. You feel him build the energy level. I like playing with him. And he’s a nice guy.”