DAVE LOMBARDO On His Final Years With SLAYER: ‘It Was Difficult To Change The Band’s Path’

Dave Lombardo

While being a guest on a recent edition of the “Conan Neutron’s Protonic Reversal” podcast, Dave Lombardo looked back on his final stint with SLAYER, spanning from 2001 to his departure in 2013.

Asked about his emotions on rejoining the group after such a lengthy absence, the currently 58-year-old drummer shared his thoughts, saying: “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,” Lombardo continued. “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 f*ck 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 f*ck 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…

“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.”

Not long after being let go, Lombardo revealed that he found out 90 percent of SLAYER‘s touring revenue was being deducted for expenses, such as management fees, costing the group millions and leaving them with roughly 10 percent to divide among the four members. Although he and frontman Tom Araya hired auditors to investigate the situation, Lombardo claimed he was never granted access to any of the information gathered.