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Dave Lombardo (PHILM, FANTOMAS, ex-SLAYER): I’m optimistic in a time that it is definitely hard to be...

Dave Lombardo (PHILM, FANTOMAS, ex-SLAYER): I’m optimistic in a time that it is definitely hard to be...
BANDS : Fantomas, Grip Inc., Philm, Slayer

Dave Lombardo. Is there any fan of metal music who is not familliar with this name? I doubt. Most listeners will always associate him with Slayer and frankly, it's hard not to do that especially if you think that such albums like Show No Mercy (1983), Reign in Blood (1986) or South of Heaven (1988) are considered classics of the genre. But the work as a drummer dosen't stop at Slayer. Philm, one of the bands in which he is currently active, will perform on March 5, 2015 in Brasov, and a day later in Bucharest. We took advantage of this opportunity and I invited Dave to a wide discussion.

Metalfan: Hello, and welcome to PHILM was formed while you already were in Slayer. So, which were the reasons for establishing this new band? Why you didn’t revive Grip Inc. - for example - which had quite a success in the underground back then? 
Dave Lombardo: Thank you.  I had a much bigger vision for PHILM than I was able to accomplish while I was in Slayer. My time was spoken for.  Since that is no longer the case, I’m excited to be able to take it as far as I can. I didn’t revive that Grip Inc. because since the loss of our singer, Gus, it hasn’t felt right.  It could still happen.

Metalfan: I won’t ask why you left Slayer, because it was talked about in the media, and probably you are sick of telling the same things over and over. However, did you have proposals to be a permanent member from another known bands, after you left Slayer?
Dave Lombardo: Yes, I did and I still am receiving offers.  They shall all remain nameless...

Metalfan: Why PHILM? What does the name represent?
Dave Lombardo: I think PHILM represents a couple mindsets; 1. A simple answer:  Living in a haze.  Or 2:  Our songs have a lot of levels, they in fact tell a story...a dark, pyschedic story, with lots of twists and turns in the form of rhythm and chordal changes.  If Quentin Tarantino or Steven King wrote songs, I feel they would have this depth.  So, FILM... but with a “PH

Metalfan: Could you made a short presentation of your band mates? Who are they, and how did you get to play with them?

Dave Lombardo: Gerry Nestler, lyricist/poet, guitarist/pianist, friend/exceptional human being.  I’ve known Gerry for about 25yrs.  I always knew we’d work together...and now here we are. Pancho Tomaselli, a gifted/well-rounded bassist, also a great friend and one of the funniest people to be around.  I met Pancho at a clinic, he asked me to check out a video of him playing with WAR. I did and I thought he was amazing. When Gerry and I reformed the band, we needed to find a bassist.  Pancho was the first person I thought of.  He was the perfect fit.

Metalfan: Could you tell us some things regarding the writing process of PHILM tracks. Who does usually bring the main ideas and how do you get to the final version?
Dave Lombardo: We collectively bring our ideas to the table by improvising our rehearsals and recording them. This is why it’s easy for us to write our music because it develops so naturally.

Metalfan: Your debut album Harmonic was released three years ago, in 2012. How was the reception from the fans and media? Did you manage to “present” this album on stage?
Dave Lombardo: I feel the response was positive, but not as strong as our new album. Yes we did some touring but not as much as I would of liked to.

Metalfan: Let’s talk a bit about your latest effort - Fire from the Evening. Can you make a very brief general presentation? In my opinion, it's the kind of album that doesn’t rely on special effects and other “modern” stuff – not much tweaking and mixing after the studio work, I’d say. Aren’t you into that kind of stuff?
Dave Lombardo: I’m very much into recording as natural as possible, I try to limit the amount of computer processing to keep the original performance of the musicians.

Metalfan: Regarding the title track of the album, do you think that could be very easy a song from one of the Slayer albums? I’m asking that because, apart from being very funky, it has some moments that remind me of Slayer.
Dave Lombardo: No, I don’t feel it could have been a Slayer song.  But I understand where you’re hearing that in the thrash section.  We just brought a little more of the sound I’m most widely known for into the mix.

Metalfan: Regarding Slayer, do you think they will enjoy the same success as in your time with the band? Especially since many Slayer fans have seen in Dave Lombardo the main star of the band.

Dave Lombardo: No. The original line-up is what made the band what it is. It was hard enough to continue on without Jeff.  But, Jeff was comfortable with Gary replacing him, so that made it something we all could accept.  No comment on the current line-up.

Metalfan: I have seen you twice on the scene with Slayer, and every time you had a different style of playing the drums. Why don't you keep the same line each time? Many drummers still keep the same style after many years and make no changes in their partition. But you are always surprising your fans with stuff that no one expects. Is it a premeditated thing or you just hit the drum as you feel?
Dave Lombardo: A little of both! It’s definitely a feel.  But, it’s also to keep things interesting.  When you play the same songs night after night, it’s fun to mix it up a bit.

Metalfan: You are considered one of the great pioneers who revolutionized the way to play drums with the double pedal. If in the 80's most of the metal drummers still used a single pedal, in the 90's the situation changed radically, also due to your influence. Do you consider that the double pedal is a necessity for a metal drummer? A drummer who does use the double pedal is more complete vs. one who uses a single pedal? I’m thinking of Nicko McBrain, who, although not a double pedal guy, is one of the most technical drummers in the world.
Dave Lombardo: Double bass is synonymous with metal.  It that’s want you want to play, then you need it.   I would suggest double bass drums, but if there is a limitation on your budget or travelling space, then double pedal is fine.  I’ve used double pedal before. It’s good, it does the job.  But as I said, I prefer double bass drums.

Metalfan: I’d like to ask you what drummers who influenced you the most? Whom do you consider the best drummer in the world, after you, of course?
Dave Lombardo: Which genre? There are so many amazing drummers out there. 

Metalfan: Soon you will come for the third time in Romania, this time to present us the latest PHILM album. Do you think that Dave Lombardo is a such a prestigious brand that people will come the show, even if they aren't PHILM fans?
Dave Lombardo: Not necessarily.  Some fans feel it’s Slayer or nothing.  But, I hope they will give PHILM a chance. We’re pretty fucking heavy.

Metalfan: How did you enjoy your previous two adventures in our country?
Dave Lombardo: I don’t remember much, but I was told I had a great time!

Metalfan: With Slayer you had concerts on full stadiums, in front of thousands or tens of thousands of people, while with PHILM you may perform in small clubs, with tens or, at best, hundreds of fans. Don't you think that is a sudden transition from mainstream to underground? Isn’t it hard for you to make this adjustment?

Dave Lombardo: Not at all. My career has been a lot of highs and lows. I have played small clubs with some of the most talented people in the world and vice versa.  I give 110% no matter what because I love to play.  It’s who I am.  I just love being on stage... any stage!!  I’m lucky to be able to say I’ve played them all.  

Metalfan: Could you tell us in a few words what drum set have you usually use? What advices can you give to a young drummer who wants to get to a high level?
Dave Lombardo: I really like maple shell drums.  They fit my sound, attack and warmth. As of late I’ve been using Ludwig Vistalites... which I enjoyed.  But now that I’m back with Tama, I’m going to start using Bubinga or Maple, which is my favorite.

Metalfan: What are your future plans? Are you going to sing with other bands, or will PHILM be your only main project?
Dave Lombardo: No, I’m not gonna sing with other bands.... though I’ve been told I could!  Lol.  I will always be open to other projects. I have too much music in me to only do one thing.

Metalfan: In December of 2014, Fantômas played the first show in six years at Rockout Festival in Santiago, Chile. Are there any plans for a new album or EP in the near future?
Dave Lombardo: Absolutely, just waiting on Patton to give the word.

Metalfan: How do you feel about the current state of the world in general? A lot of wars, a lot of tension and aggression regarding politics and religion exist at this time. Also for more and more people it's harder to have access to education, and even to basic things like clean water and food. Do you see a way out from all this madness?
Dave Lombardo: If I knew the way out of the madness, I would have a different job title.  I’m optimistic in a time that it is definitely hard to be... but optimistic just the same.

Metalfan: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and we look forward to see you again on the Romanian stages. Good luck!
Dave Lombardo: Thank you... and see you soon!!!
Autor: H., Fantotzii
Vezi galeriile trupelor: Philm, Slayer,

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