Rock Overdose's Zisis Petkanas had the chance to talk on the phone with one of the best drummer of the world, DAVE LOMBARDO, member of the band SLAYER and his new project PHILM.
Rockoverdose: Hello Dave, greetings from Greece and welcome to RockOverdose.gr. How are you these days?
Dave: I am really well, very well. I am very excited, working hard and you know, I feel good.
Rockoverdose: Great news, I hope the whole band feels good.
Rockoverdose: What about Jeff? Is he alright?
Dave: Jeff? He is getting better.
Rockoverdose: Would you like to begin with Philm?
Dave: Yes sure, I am really excited about this band.
Rockoverdose: Which trully has a great album.
Dave: You like it!
Rockoverdose: Yes, the last album of Philm combines a lot of musical kinds, right? >From hard rock to progressive, or may and jazz. The combination of those styles was intentional or it was the result of the rehearsals?
Dave: It came after many hours of drumming. It came after many listenings and the enjoyment of different styles. I copy those styles and I am playing them on my own way. So, it appeared during my evolution as a musician.
Rockoverdose: I guess you are very proud of this album.
Dave: Yes I am. I am very happy about it. At last, I released an album in which I am the producer and as a debut album, I am really excited for. And everybody likes it! It is really good, because I like it a lot and I knew inside me that it would be liked in general. Because there is fire and energy in it, it goes slow and fast, it goes everywhere and it is painting a great picture of music and that's why I am so excited.
Rockoverdose: Which bands or styles of music would you say that affected or inspired the music of Philm?
Dave: Gerry has different affects from mine. But the whole band likes hard things and fast, but we also like the gentle music with feeling, just like Pink Floyd, something really ambient. We also like groove music with nice rhythm that makes you want moving. I really like it. So, we are trying to do this, find those rhythms and try them so to be better musicians.
Rockoverdose: It was your evolution as a drummer.
Dave: Yes. And I think it's funny because it keeps me fresh and young.
Rockoverdose: How many times did you record the album?
Dave: We recorded it once, by the first time. We released it, but I have been working on the demos with Gerry many years since '95 - '96 and some time I had to stop working with him, because I had no time. I worked with Slayer, Fantoms, Grip Inc, bands which have been honored.
Rockoverdose: And at last it became reallity, after all these years.
Dave: Yes! It became reallity after all these years. And so many of the songs were written then and some others now. So as a band we had a lot of time to record them, but we have never released them.
Rockoverdose: Perfect! Whic are your plans with Philm? Will be a project of a long time? Are you going to be on tour with the band in order to promote "Harmonic"?
Dave: Yes. We want to be on tour and we want to support "Harmonic". But now, I have to be on tour with Slayer for two months. After that I will some free time and I want to get into as more cities as we can. May we have to travel all the time, but we have to work on the schedule. So I need the cooperation of a very good management and the promoters have to help a lot for its success. But yes we want to support it, we want to be on tour, firstly in the big cities and then tour in the smaller.
Rockoverdose: I wish you the best for this project!
Dave: We almost have 25 songs more.
Rockoverdose: Too many ideas.
Dave: We have ideas, conclude ideas, because we improvise and then we record our improvisation. We are gatherings at nights, improvising and playing and then recording our improvisations. Then my son cuts the songs we don't like and he makes some small musical "movements" which we learn again and then we record them and so we have 25. It's amazing, this band is really lucky that has those musicians.
Rockoverdose: Do you believe that your work with Philm will be liked by the metal listeners who have already known that?
Dave: I think yes. I think that the fans are very open minded, because only one thing that this album has, it's the top of the mountain and then down to the valley and then up on the top again. It has tops and valleys. Fluctuations. And I think that my fans and the fans from Slayer will really appreciate that. And it's heavy and hard, you know. it's sharpened, it has more debth than the other bands.
Rockoverdose: The best of all is that you are very happy and pleased with your project. Shall we move to Slayer?
Rockoverdose: I heard that you are rehearsing again and that nine songs are ready, right?
Dave: Yes I said that. King and I have these songs, we are working on them. But we will release only one EP.
Rockoverdose: Just an EP?
Dave: Yes only EP. We will release two songs.
Rockoverdose: This summer?
Dave: I think so, I'm almost certain. I don't know how the schedule is or it is evolved.
Rockoverdose: Could you give us more details?
Dave: No, I don't know any details. I've got no details. I just know this. Kerry and Tom are rcording it right now, they are doing the vocals.
Rockoverdose: So the new album will come later...
Rockoverdose: Let's move on to other questions. What about if we had Big Five and not Big Four, which would be the fifth band?
Dave: I don't know. Someone said Exodus. And this because we were in Bay Area. We were on tour Slayer and Exodus and Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax were the upcomings bands. But I think it would be Exodus.
Rockoverdose: Amazing band! Someone familiar to me told me to ask you something about the concert in Sofia. Why the rest of Slayer and from other bands didn't follow on stage during the playing of "Am I Evil"?
Dave: I think that they just didn't have the time to learn the songs. They didn't have the time, they don't like to do that. Tom doesn't like it and Jeff didn't want to do it. Nothing like this, so they didn't do it. I like playing with other musicians, cooperating. It's always funny for me. And when there is a chance for that I will be there.
Rockoverdose: Slayer have served us high quality of thrash metal since 1981. After 31 years, with only amzing albums under you, while you have never changed your style, would you release an non - thrash metal album?
Dave: No, never! Slayer would never release an album on a different style.
Rockoverdose: we have seen many bands which changed their style for at least one album.
Dave: Yes, but Slayer would never do this. Yet I like that. It's good for the bands to do that. To change something, to do something different. I think it's a very good idea.
Rockoverdose: You think it's a good idea. And what about the fans, who prefer the band as it is?
Dave: If the fans like it, why not? it's up to them to have to chance embrace it.
Rockoverdose: With the success of New Wave of Thrash Metal, as we like to mention it, the community of thrash gains back its popularity while bands like Overkill, Exodus and Forbidden release some of the best albums in their career. Which are the new thrash metal bands you have noticed? If there are...
Dave: I don't know, I haven't seen or listened anything new in thrash, I'm still searching, nothing has been given to me, neither a new band nor something like that. Nobody gave me listen to those albums! And I haven't listened to them in my daily life.
Rockoverdose: Dave what kind of music do you enjoy when you are at home?
Dave: I'm working my music very much, but I like listening to latin or jazz for example, recently I listened to Dead Kennedys, some Ministry, some folk from Boulgary, something like gypsy music. It's called "Taraf De Haidouks". This I was listening to. I listen to so many different things, I'm in everything.
Rockoverdose: This is the best, to be open minded and listen to everything from music and this helps you being a better drummer.
Dave: Yes. But I think the most recent metal listening I had was the new Slayer and I am the only one who did that, you realized that!
Rockoverdose: We are very curious to find out about its direction. I'm very curious to find out if it's going to be much different from the previous one.
Dave: Mainly no. It will be the same. It's the old good Slayer. I heard it and it's very good, some melodies are really good. I haven't listened yet to the song with the vocals.
Rockoverdose: Are you recording now the vocals of the new album or later?
Dave: No, it will be done soon, in the next days.
Rockoverdose: Nice. Now a question about metal and religion. What's your opinion, should we combine religion with metal music? I'm talking about the lyrics and if it's good to be songs with theme the religion and other relative things.
Dave: You know, I have no problem. Music is the free express of speech. A free express of telling whatever you want, singing for whatever you want to sing. You can write a song about shit and I don't care for it.
Rockoverdose: Thank you very much for this interview! Do you have any message the greek fans?
Dave: The only thing I want to say is can't wait for the time to be in Greece again! I really like Greece! I love Greece!
Rockoverdose: We hope to see you on a greek scene.
Dave: May I bring philm in Greece!
Rockoverdose: Sure, why not? And we love Slayer as well!
Dave: Yes I know. And you are passioned people! Among the best concerts that Slayer had was in Greece with Megadeth, Anthrax and Metallica!
Rockoverdose: What are your memories from that night?
Dave: The memories? The crowd! They were dancing everywhere, headbanging, moshing. It was amazing, much energy much strength! We shared that energy to each other! it was really really great!
Rockoverdose: Thank you very much for your time! I wish you the best and can't wait hearing the new album!
Dave: The EP! The new EP is perfect! The rest songs are great too! All are great!