DAVE LOMBARDO On Forming SLAYER - "When I Met KERRY KING, I Was 16 Years Old Delivering Pizza"
May 26, 2023, 6 months ago
Dave Lombardo recently released his new album, Rites Of Percussion. Order the release on CD, digital and three different vinyl variants here.
Revolver has issued an extensive feature on Lombardo, dubbed "My Life Story", in which he speaks on his tumultuous childhood fleeing Cuba and growing up an outsider in Southern California, forming Slayer - then leaving Slayer, rejoining and leaving again - and his insatiable quest to never pigeonhole his creative identity. An excerpt follows...
Revolver: When was your first band?
Dave Lombardo: "1978 or '79. I was 14. I was already jamming with guitar players, probably starting in seventh or eighth grade. I had a little $350 drum set that my dad bought me. Then I found other musicians at school, and we created a band called Escape - and changed our name to Sabotage when we got this other singer. Then my dad, being as hardworking as he was, said, 'Hey man, you're 15, bro. You need to get a job.' They didn't want me to go down a negative path. They wanted me to be productive and part of the workforce. I had to quit that band and get a job if I wanted to live at home. So, I did. The benefits of that were that he saw my work ethic - and I asked him to front me the money for the drum set that is pictured on the back of [Slayer's] Show No Mercy."
Revolver: Is it true you were a pizza delivery boy when Slayer formed?
Lombardo: "Yeah. When I met Kerry King, I was 16 years old delivering pizza, and I drove by Kerry's house. Because people knew me as a drummer, friends told me that a guitar player lived [near] my house. He was on the corner of my street four or five blocks up, and then Tom [Araya] lived on the next street, but one block over.
Remember I told you about that Cuban club where rock bands would play? Well, Tom Araya played in one of those rock bands. He's four years older than me, so he was 14 and I was 10. When I first met Tom, I asked him, 'Did you play in this band called Tradewinds?' And he said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'I saw you play.' He said, 'Oh, at that Cuban club?' I said, 'Yeah, I used to go there when I was a kid.'"
Read the full feature at Revolver.
The recording process for Rites Of Percussion had a simple mantra: drums had to be drums. Mixed in early 2022 by Lombardo’s son, David A. Lombardo, the self-produced release features a large concert bass drum, a timpani, a grand piano, and a flock of shakers, maracas, Chinese and symphonic gongs, Native American drums, congas, timbales, bongos, batás, wood blocks, djembes, ibos, darbukas, octobans, cajóns, and cymbals.
Rites Of Percussion tracklist:
"Separation From The Sacred"
"Journey Of The Host"
"Maunder In Liminality"
"Inner Sanctum" video:
Dave Lombardo was born in Havana, Cuba, relocating to Los Angeles when he was a mere two-years-old. He began playing drums as a teenager, and co-founded Slayer (and created the band’s logo) in 1981. Rolling Stone, in their list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time,” dubbed him the “Cuban speed demon, “ Modern Drummer proclaimed him “The King,” and Drummerworld gave him the title of “The Godfather of double bass.” Lombardo’s eye-popping resume includes over 100 studio albums/recordings and includes both recorded and live stints with Grip Inc., Fantômas, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle, The Misfits, DJ Spooky, John Zorn, Testament, and most recently creating the soulful duo Venamoris, with his wife Paula.
(Photo - Ekaterina Gorbacheva)