Former SLAYER Drummer DAVE LOMBARDO Doesn't Understand Why They Were Accused Of Being Nazis - "Nowhere Did It Give Off This Idea That Fascism Was Cool"

November 21, 2023, 3 months ago

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Former SLAYER Drummer DAVE LOMBARDO Doesn't Understand Why They Were Accused Of Being Nazis - "Nowhere Did It Give Off This Idea That Fascism Was Cool"

In a new interview with Metal Hammer, one of thrash metal's architects, Dave Lombardo, recounts a life in music from Slayer to Dead Cross, Testament to Empire State Bastard. An excerpt from the article follows...

Q: What’s the craziest thing you ever saw at a Slayer gig?

Dave Lombardo: “One of the craziest was when we travelled up to San Francisco, the thrash metal epicentre. The excitement was huge; we were playing with Exodus, and during their set people were climbing up the speakers and leaping off.

"There were two guys I remember, one was called Andy ‘Airman’ Anderson and the other’s name escapes me, but they would literally walk on heads during shows. They’d run offstage and just see how far they could go until they’d sink and fall in. I’d never seen anything like that before. One time, a kid tried to jump off the balcony onto the stage, but landed feet-first and went through the stage. So his torso was sticking out, trying to wiggle out.”

Q: Was there any rivalry with other thrash bands in those early days?

Lombardo: “A friendly rivalry. We were competing, but not in a negative way. We wanted to be the best, we wanted to be the heaviest, the fastest. So our rivals were any band that’d open up for us – we’d be like, ‘Let’s blow ’em out the water!’ I can’t think of a single band we had a real negative relationship with.”

Q: When Slayer wrote "Angel Of Death", the band were accused of being Nazis. Could you understand that?

Lombardo: “I couldn’t, at all. People just seemed to be getting it all wrong and it didn’t make sense to me; it’s a song, and nowhere did it give off this idea that fascism was cool. Tom [Araya, frontman] was talking about this guy who performed these horrible surgeries on innocent people – really stupid, horrific things. You shouldn’t need to read the lyrics to understand we weren’t condoning those things.”

Read more at Metal Hammer.

Less than two months after releasing their celebrated debut album Rivers Of Heresy, Empire State Bastard returned with a new single “Tired, Naw?, available now on all streaming platforms, here. An official music video for the song can be found below.

“Tired, Naw?” sees Empire State Bastard updating the track “Tired, Aye?”, which originally appeared on Rivers Of Heresy, as a duet between frontman Simon Neil and drummer Dave Lombardo. On “Tired, Naw?” Mike Vennart joins the party with his no-holds-barred guitar taking the song to new heights. Listen below:

Simon Neil and Mike Vennart first envisioned the idea of Empire State Bastard during downtime on tour with Biffy Clyro, goading each other to find the most visceral and vitriolic music they could uncover. It took years for the idea to be fully put into practice, with Mike crafting instrumentals inspired by Siege, Slayer, Sleep and The Locust before Simon added equally feral vocals a world apart from what he was previously known for. The band was completed by the ultra-consistent bassist Naomi Macleod and all-time drumming great Dave Lombardo.

Up next, Empire State Bastard will kick of their UK & European headline tour in Paris, France tonight, November 2. The run will see them visit France, Netherlands, Germany & several parts of the UK across ten dates. For tickets and more information on Empire State Bastard’s upcoming live dates, head here.

Rivers Of Heresy is available to order / save here.


"Tired, Aye?"
"Sons And Daughters"
"Palms Of Hands"
"The Looming"

"Moi?" visualizer:

"The Looming" video:

"Stutter" visualizer:

"Harvest" video:

(Photo - Alex Solca)

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