After 30 years in the business, there is nothing that Dave Lombardo hasn’t accomplished and he is considered one of the greatest and most influential drummers in the history of metal, especially since he doesn’t only focus on speed and mindless brutality when it comes to his work. Best known for his drumming in Slayer until 2013, he worked for multiple other bands over the years, toured worldwide with crossover veterans Suicidal Tendencies and finished the first album of his brand new punk project Dead Cross. Recently Metal Wani’s Laura Vezer had a chat with Dave Lombardo on all things Dead Cross, Mike Patton & more. Below are some of the excerpts:
I read somewhere that this is the most brutal album you’ve ever done. Why is that? What has this record captured?
Listening to it musically when we were starting to create this music, I started noticing “wow, this is intense.” It had a different feel to it. I think the reason why is the climate of the days, the way the world is today, added a lot to the anger and everything behind this album. It was November 2015 when the Bataclan attacks in Paris happened. Terrorism hit home, in a way. Home for me is the stage, the dressing room is my living room for the night. So, when shit happens in a venue it angers me because that kind of stuff doesn’t belong there. There was a lot of anger with that, a lot of personal things that were going on in my life, were attributing to that as well. A lot of frustration and being disappointed with the way things were around me. This album has a lot of anger for me, I was noticing that when we were recording it. It had a different ferocity to it, this energy, it was relentless. It was beating you up, slapping you around, then the next song picks you up, slaps you around, and knocks you down… it was exactly what I wanted. It seems that Dead Cross for me has been a release, like a channel for me to release some anger.
When Dead Cross first formed, there was another singer, Gabe Serbian. When he departed the band, how did you set about recruiting a new singer, and how did you reunite with Mike Patton?
Well, when everything went down with Gabe, we were like, “what do we do?” There were a couple of other singers that the other guys had suggested, one I don’t think he wanted to do it or could do it because of his schedule, then we had another one who was very much interested and ready to go. But then my assistant said, “why don’t you call your friend?” and I said, “do you mean Patton?” and she said “yeah, you need to contact him, let him know what’s going on and who knows?” I thought “that’s not going to happen. He’s busy with Faith No More, and he’s writing scores for television shows, and he’s just busy. I kept thinking to myself it’s not going to work, he won’t do it. Then after about three of four times suggesting it, I thought okay. So, in a series of texts we were having, he asked me if I’d be interested if I’d be interested in releasing Dead Cross on his record label, and I told him I’d love to but I really don’t know where the album’s going to land, we just don’t know how it’s going to come together. Then I text him, “Gabe left the band, we have all this music, would you be interested in singing?” And it was no more than 15 seconds went by and he text me saying “I would love to do it” And at that moment I was “alright, this is great!” I texted everyone and we were all excited and couldn’t believe it. It was a great suggestion and I’m glad I sent him a text!
He (Patton) didn’t know if he wanted to tour with the band, but it turns out that he loves the music so much that he thought it’d be a good idea for us to do some shows. We’re very grateful for that too. We have to embrace it and enjoy it while it’s here, because who knows, maybe in a few months he’s not going to want to tour, or anything else. It seems like things are on a positive note and we’re going to do some more touring, and at this moment we’re writing more music to add to our set, because the set is only 30 minutes, so we need to add another 10 minutes, so probably another five songs!
This is not your first time working with Patton. How does it feel to be collaborating with him again?
It feels great. I love the guys drive and his artistry; the way he sings and his approach. Not only to the vocals and the music, but also to the artwork, the details. I think that’s an awesome personality to have, to not just care about the vocals, but care about the entire project. I like that, it’s great. Working with him is a pleasure and I’m excited to perform live again. If past experiences say anything, the stage intensity is going to be very high.