Mark Dean of Myglobalmind webzine recently conducted an interview with former SLAYER and current PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Myglobalmind: Looking back over your extensive musical career, what have been the particular high and low points?
Dave: Well, it fluctuates; up and down, you know. A low point was probably January of last year whenever [the most recent split] went down, you know, with SLAYER. It was leading up to that, you know, unfortunately. Well, not really leading up to it, because my bags were ready and packed to go [with the band to Australia for the Soundwave festival].
Myglobalmind: It still must be difficult for you on a personal level? As they were your friends, and people that you had grown up with.
Dave: Yeah, it’s strange. It’s unfortunate as well, because I realize now that they weren’t really my friends. They were just business partners. I lived and hung out with them, as if they were friends. “Wow, these guys are watching out for me,” and it didn’t quite turn out that way.
Myglobalmind: How do you feel one year on? Has your attitude to the situation mellowed, or…?
Dave: Yeah, I have, I am more, like, “Oh, well, shit happens.” Move on, you know.
Myglobalmind: Are you generally a modest person about your personal musical talent and ability? How do you deal, for example, with compliments. I read, for example, that Bill Ward [BLACK SABBATH] called you “one of the best drummers in metal”?
Dave: Yeah, I am honored. First of all, I am honored to have Bill Ward as my friend. This is a guy that I looked at these albums and listened to this music, and played along to these albums as a child and a little kid. For me to know Bill, it is surreal, and it feels very odd, but it is awesome.
Myglobalmind: How do you find being a working and touring musician in the Internet age? Is it more difficult to make a living?
Dave: Well, it is.
Myglobalmind: You can’t do this full time? I have talked to other guys who have established careers and still have to take other jobs because life is difficult, and can’t sustain a living solely from music.
Dave: Well, the thing is you have to find other ways and get creative and find other ways to market your music and to recreate yourself. It’s, like, once the Internet and the worldwide web came into the picture, everyone scrambled, and the first was the music industry, because everyone was downloading music, so they started scrambling ways to make a living. So you just have to get creative. Yeah, it is difficult. It’s a little different. The royalties aren’t the same from the physical CDs, but there are other avenues of income that you just need to sign up online and you will start receiving royalties on the songs that you have recorded. I never knew this until recently, about six months ago, and it was, like, “Woah, I got a nice check in the mail.” All I did was just go online and register my name all the music that I did in my life that I have recorded.
Myglobalmind: That you weren’t aware of, that type of royalties thing?
Dave: I was never aware of. Nobody told me, thank you fucking very much.
Myglobalmind: What about your health over the years? Playing drums at the velocity and energy levels that you exhibit regularly on stage, has that had any adverse health effects?
Dave: Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Thank God. I’ve been healthy. The only things that have been wrong was I broke my leg and I had to stop for only about three weeks ’cause I got straight on the drums again. They said, “No, you gotta stay off the leg. No, no.” I worked it up.
Myglobalmind: It’s in the blood, is it?
Dave: Yeah, I just kept going and it was great. I wrote a song and it’s on the new album, the new PHILM album, with a broken leg, so… But other than that, no. I drink a lot of water. I try to stay off the booze, although I like it, but there’s limits. I try to eat right and I try to walk a lot. You could really become… You could grow stagnant. You could get very lazy if you don’t stay active.
Myglobalmind: Playing that type of music obviously is going to have that chance of health issues…
Dave: I started PHILM, you know, when I noticed that [SLAYER], in a way, health-wise, was crumbling, not only with Jeff [Hanneman, guitar], but with Tom [Araya, bass/vocals] and Kerry [King, guitar] doesn’t take care of himself. He should be careful. Well, I’m not going to tell him that…
Myglobalmind: Nobody would tell him that.
Dave: Nobody. And I’m not either.
Myglobalmind: He’s quite an imposing character, shall we say.
Dave: Yeah, of course. He has a lot of insecurities.
Read the entire interview at Myglobalmind.