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Dave Lombardo

A turbo engine is connected to his legs and his hands shoot at the pace of a machine gun. He is one of the greatest and most influential drummers in metal, he is known for his fast and aggressive drumming and also as the "Godfather of double-base drum".

(Photo: Milosz Bauza)


Let's Get to know Dave Lombardo a little better:


1. He was born in Havana, Cuba on February 16, 1965, and has 2 older brothers and a sister.


2. When he was two years old, his family immigrated to California, USA.


3. Already at a young age he was drumming around the house, to the sounds of the Latin rhythms of "Santana".


4. His father, who saw how much Dave devoted himself to drumming, bought him a drum set when he was 10 years old.


5. Later he played drums in the school band.


6. The most influential drummers on him were Bill Ward, Mitch Mitchell, John Bonham, Ian Paice, Ginger Baker, and Keith Moon.


7. The first album he purchased was "Alive!" by "Kiss," he learned to play it perfectly, including every note and in the drum solo during the song "100,000 Years."


8. He asked his parents to enroll him to drum lessons, but soon left since he thought they were not challenging enough and felt he was learning much faster on his own.


9. He won a young talent contest in high school, to the applause of the audience during the drum solo he gave.


10. His first band was called "Escape" and later its name was changed to "Sabotage".


11. He began his serious musical career at the age of 16, when he met guitarist Kerry King who lived a few blocks away from him. The two teamed up with guitarist Jeff Hanneman and bassist Tom Araya and formed "Slayer".


12. King and Araya had a cover band and Lombardo remembers that the first songs they played together in the basement of Lombardo's home, were by "Van Helen" and "Judas Priest".


13. Lombardo was the one who designed the iconic and famous logo of "Slayer", which is known to this day.


14. Lombardo is left-handed but his drum set is normally arranged.


15. The band's debut album "Show No Mercy" was released in 1983, when Lombardo was only 18. He was then in high school and played at the band's shows at night, getting up in the morning and going to school. The band embarked on a serious tour as soon as they graduated from high school.


16. Album producer Brian Slagel asked him to play on the album without cymbals, as they made a huge noise in the face of Lombardo's powerful drumming.


17. During the recording of the song "Chemical Warfare", taken from the mini-album "Haunting the Chapel" from 1984, he asked Gene Hoglan (who was at the time his assistant) to hold tight to the drums that moved in the studio due to the intensity of the playing. Holgen, who was also a drummer in the band "Dark Angel", advised Lombardo how to improve his double-bass technique.


18. Lombardo was the one who got producer Rick Rubin to work with "Slayer" on the album "Reign in Blood" released in 1986. Until that time, Rubin did not work with metal bands at all.


19. This is one of the most important albums in metal. It is ranked 6th in the "Rolling Stone" magazine's list of the 100 greatest metal albums of all time, not least thanks to Dave's cruel drumming and especially the insane double bass work as seen here:


20. Dave left the band during the tour that supported the album, due to a financial dispute. He returned to the band following the pleas of producer Rick Rubin, in 1987.


21. After recording the albums "South Of Heaven" from 1988 and "Seasons in the Abyss" from 1990, Lombardo left "Slayer" again in 1992, this time for personal reasons, as he wanted to be present at the birth of his first child.


22. Lombardo's drumming style in "Slayer"'s first five albums was an inspiration and role model for many drummers in metal.


23. After the birth of his son, Lombardo founded the groove metal band "Grip Inc". Starting in 1995 and the "Power of Inner Strength" album, Lombardo will release with this band four studio albums and one EP.


24. In 1997 Lombardo started another side project called "Philm", with which he would release two albums. "Harmonic" from 2012 and "Fire from the Evening Sun" from 2014.


25. In 1998 he will join another project - "Fantômas" by singer Mike Patton. Lombardo will release 5 studio albums with the band, starting with the debut "Fantômas", released in 1999.


26. This is not Dave's only project with singer Mike Patton. Dave was part of the hardcore punk band "Dead Cross", which released its debut album in 2017 and an EP a year later.


27. In addition, in 2020 Dave recorded the album "The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo", along with Mike Patton's band - "Mr. Bungle".


28. In 1999, Dave joined "Testament" and recorded the album "The Gathering".


29. In 2001 his bandmates from "Slayer" asked him to accompany them on several shows. Dave agreed and in January 2002 made his first reunion appearance with the band.


30. In 2004 he replaced "Metallica" drummer Lars Ulrich at the "Download" festival, after Ulrich was hospitalized.


31. In 2006 Dave recorded his tenth album with Slayer - "Christ Illusion". He will go on with the next album released in 2009 called "World Painted Blood".


32. In 2010 Dave was part of the band's performance as part of the "Big 4" tour - "The Big Four: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria".


33. Lombardo left "Slayer" again in 2013.


34. In 2016, Lombardo joined the crossover thrash band "Suicidal Tendencies" and recorded two studio albums and one EP with them.


35. That same year Dave was part of the reunion show of the influential punk-rock band "Misfits".


36. In addition Dave has quite a few collaborations among others with "Sepultura", Lemmy, and more.


37. In 2021 Dave joined the cast of "Annihilator" alongside Jeff Waters.


38. In 2021 he also founded the band "Venamoris" together with his wife Paula (vocals and piano). They released the album "Drown In Emotion" in 2023, which you can listen to here: Spotify


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