SLAYER Former Drummer Dave Lombardo Explains How He Joined The Misfits
Dave Lombardo with SLAYER – Credit: Press

Former drummer SLAYER‘s Dave Lombardo attended Speak N’ Destroy podcast program. He also talked about the story with the band’s classic reunion for The Misfits in 2016. The reunion got all together, featured Jerry Only, Glenn Danzig, and Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein.

The American rock band SLAYER was formed in 1931 in California, USA. During the active years of the band, they were the one of ”Big Four Bands of Thrash Metal”. Their songs are just about everything about the darkest side of humanity and the world.

Over the years, the band released 12 studio albums so far. ”Reign in Blood” which is the band’s third album was known as one of the most influential thrash metal albums. With ”Eyes of the Insane” and ”Final Six” songs brought Grammy Award for each of the songs to the band. After the farewell tour announcement which started in 2018 and ended in 2019, the band is disbanded.

How Dave Lombardo ended up joining The Misfits?

“Well, I received a phone call from Glenn – and I love Glenn, he’s a great guy, he’s always been cool to me, we’ve always had great conversations when we see each other. And he gave me a call and just basically said Jerry and he resolved their issues and he’s willing to do some shows with the Misfits, and they were getting back together. But there was one stipulation, and it’s that Glenn said that he’s the one that chooses the drummer and that he wanted me. And that was it. There was no argument, no suggestions.’

He didn’t want to bring any of the old drummers, he wanted me. I was like, ‘Wow, dude, I’m humbled, thank you.’ And I said yeah. So we agreed, and I knew it was going to be big. The name, when you think of the Misfits and you think of the most iconic logo in the world and the most iconic name, yet the band is so mysterious because they stopped playing gigs in the early ‘ the 80s.”

He added:

“For some reason, my instincts were like, ‘You got it, man. Let’s do it.’ But I think the funniest moment was when I spoke to Jerry. I met up with Jerry, and he said, ‘Hey, I thought you lived in Upstate New York or New Jersey – when Glenn told me this guy Dave Lombardo.’ He says, ‘Oh yeah, doesn’t he live up here?’ It’s like, ‘No, he’s from California.’ He goes, ‘Oh, I thought he’s some Italian kid from Upstate.’ And it was cool, we got along great, I love Jerry – great guy. I remember Jerry telling me, ‘Oh yeah, I spoke to Glenn and told him how it was going. I basically told him it’s like dropping a Lamborghini engine in a ’51 Chevy.’

What does he think about his experience with The Misfits? Lombardo said:

“Really an experience, it was an honor to play with those guys – Doyle and Glenn and Jerry, so much history, so much love for that band. I never, ever heard an audience sing-along to music while I’m on stage, you know? I actually heard the crowd, as well as Glenn’s vocals. And I wear earplugs on stage and I have my monitor mixed pretty loud with drums and guitars and vocals – and I’m still able to hear the passion from the people singing along. It’s like a celebration, every Misfits show I’ve done, it’s been a celebration. Everyone’s so happy that these guys were together.

“There are actually a lot of Misfits parts that I really wanted to keep because they’re just, you know, you got to still hold on to some of the integrity of the music and not stray too far. One, the musicians in the band are gonna correct you. ‘No, this part doesn’t go like this, you’re supposed to play it like this.’ Like, ‘Oh, OK.’ And even if I flip it around I’ll do my own variation to make it sound heavier and more powerful, they still like how it was done on that record or how they remember it.”

Then he added:

“So my responsibility is to make sure as being a hired drummer is to give them what they want, and that is making sure that the drum parts are as close, again, metronomically correct and all the rolls and fills and endings, and everything has a nice bow on it and is tied up really nicely. There’s still a lot of responsibility – the music may sound easy to most, which it is, it’s all mid-tempo, isn’t too fast, it’s not thrash-fast, but there’s a lot of nuances. There’s a lot of little cues, there’s a lot of – you really need to pay attention to the moments where the Glenn sings or doesn’t. If he extends a midsection, who’s gonna cue the guys in the band?

Sometimes the other guys, can’t hear or they wait for me to cue them, so I have to make sure I’m monitoring what everybody’s doing. I can’t just go up there and just play. ‘You guys are supposed to follow me’ – no, I’m supposed to follow the vocalist. I was supposed to cover the vocalist. I can’t make the singer look bad, especially Glenn Danzig. I can’t say, ‘Hey, Glenn – well, you came in wrong.’ No, I’m supposed to cover it. There are certain songs that have similarities, they start the same or they have a particular beat that’s very similar, and man, I have to sometimes have a little note next to my setlist that’ll tell me, ‘OK, this one is played this way, this one is this way…'”

Slayer’s Dave Lombardo ended the interview to Speak N’ Destroy with his words like this:

“I have to have these little reminders otherwise you get lost. And Glenn doesn’t follow a setlist. It’s like, ‘OK, I know after this song it’s this one.’ No, he’ll fucking randomly – ‘Oh, what song should we do? Let’s see…’ I have to know – and there are 30 songs. There’s no complaining here, obviously, it’s mentally athletic and it’s challenging, and you have to really know this music.”

Do not forget to watch how was everything on that day from the video below!

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