Dave Lombardo is the GOAT when it comes to thrash drummers. As the man behind the kit on Slayer’s first four legendary albums (and two pretty decent ones from the 2000s), he’s the guy every other pan-basher looks up to. Factor in his work with the likes of Fantomas, Testament and his hardcore band Dead Cross – also featuring Faith No More’s Mike Patton – and he pretty much cleans up in the drumming stakes.
We recently caught up with Dave to talk about the reactivated Dead Cross, but we couldn't resist asking him about Slayer. Specifically, what his three favourite songs that band ever recorded are. “Damn... just three?” he groans good-naturedly. “Do you have any idea how many songs I have recorded with those guys?”
But legend that he is, he told us what the songs were – and we were kind of surprised by his answers. Here they are…
Captor Of Sin (1984)
“I don’t want to give you the typical Angel of Death, Raining Blood… no, let me go into the deep cuts. Okay, let’s go for one from the Metal Blade years. I’m gonna say Captor of Sin, and the reason why is that is the first time I started to use double bass. I’m trying to get meaning here!”
Ghosts Of War (1988)
“Ghosts of War has a breakdown in the middle of the song, where I play these particular drum rolls over Kerry [King] and Jeff [Hanneman’]s riffing – it’s a certain break, and every time I played that section and that song, it would give me the goosebumps. Ut would just make me feel good. Whatever it is that music does to humans, stimulate your endorphins or whatever, that song uplifted me and gave me the chills when I was playing it.”
Beauty Through Order (2009)
“I have to go with something from World Painted Blood, as that was Hanneman’s last album. Beauty Through Order –. I remember recording that song, as the music had a natural crescendo, a natural de-crescendo too. We didn’t follow the grid and just stay metronomically correct, we went with the emotion of the song. The song started off, for example, 150bpm, but at the end of the song it was 175/180bpm, because it grew with intensity.
“I remember sitting with Hanneman on the World Painted Blood tour, before he got sick, and listening to that song. We would laugh at some of the whammy bar parts that were overdubbed, it sounded like some kind of bird or something flying through the air.”