During a recent appearance on Speak N’ Destroy, classic SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo talked about METALLICA, talked about Lars Ulrich‘s importance for the band, while also looking back on the very early days when MEGADETH mainman Dave Mustaine and original bassist Ron McGovney were still in the group.
After interviewer noted, “I think the thing with Lars is – you first have to acknowledge the massive role that he plays in the band in terms of assembling the band and then arranging the songs and career choices, aesthetics, but even from a purely-drum standpoint there’s something about his particular style of playing that he is perfectly suited to that band,” Lombardo said: “The band would take on a different personality if anybody else would be behind the kit, and that’s why I wouldn’t change METALLICA for anything.
“I mean, METALLICA is who they are, and it’s commendable that they’ve maintained their lineup pretty much intact — well, obviously not with the bass player changes and the passing of Cliff [Burton].”
When asked if he remembers what first interactions between SLAYER and METALLICA were like, Lombardo responded: “We played at a very, very small club, maximum capacity of 250-300 people. It was METALLICA and SLAYER, Ron McGovney was on bass and Dave Mustaine was on the second guitar.
“Dave Mustaine would sometimes sing some songs, and then other times [James] Hetfield would sing, but the person that would talk to the crowd I remember was Mustaine,” he continued. “I remember standing in the front and they were f*cking tough as rocks. These guys, I think, had been already touring and they looked mean and they were just vicious on stage – it was awesome.
“And I believe they inspired us in a lot of ways because then we got ahold of the demo [1982’s No Life ‘Til Leather], and we were influenced definitely by them. I mean, if you listen to ‘Hit the Lights’ and you listen to ‘Aggressive Perfector,‘ they have almost the exact same structure.
“There’s an intro that is very similar, you know, it was almost a carbon copy of ‘Hit the Lights.’ SLAYER did pretty good in the beginning, but yeah, listening to those, they have very similar sections. Although the riffing obviously isn’t the same — but yeah, you can tell that we were influenced.”