Among musicians Dave Lombardo is a legend behind the drums. Among metalheads he is an icon from his thunderous throne in Slayer. This weekend, the quiet master of the kit took time from making Saturday morning pancakes to talk with Metalholic Radio about his latest project, Philm.
Philm is the triumvirate of Lombardo, vocalist and guitarist Gerry Nestler (Civil Defiance), and bassist Pancho Tomaselli (War). A trio of highly skilled musicians brought together by a love of 60s and 70s music: An era when music was still pure and undiluted by massive reliance on computer technology to make records.
The trio’s debut album, Harmonic, was recorded with a vintage in vibe, in a house rather than a traditional studio. The music is a stunning blend of psychedelic, progressive rock, metal, jazz, funk, rhythm and blues, and much more.
To make things more interesting, Lombardo pared back his massive drum kit for this project. “I altered it by removing the double bass, the double pedal. It’s all single bass,” offers Lombardo. “So it limits me. I’m working within certain parameters. So it’s pulling out my creativity in a whole different way. So I’m really just trying to evolve–trying to recreate myself. And it’s important I think for musicians to try different things and to challenge themselves, and this is definitely a challenge.”
“I had this vision for this band since ’95,” Dave relates. “I know where I want this to go. One of the main things, and a lot of people don’t understand, is I wanted it to sound different. I wanted it to sound organic. Because so many bands are abusing computers to the point where the human element is withdrawn from the music, for the sake of perfection. A perfection they cannot deliver live. I didn’t want [Harmonic] to sound pristine and clean. I wanted it to sound how we sound in a room. I wanted it to sound raw, like what a band was really meant to sound like.”
Lombardo also talked about the difference in the song writing dynamic between Slayer and Philm. “The dynamic is absolutely different. We improvise when we create music. So we write music collectively. This band will create that way, where as in Slayer, Jeff will bring me a CD and say ‘here, learn this.’ Kerry would have a bunch of riffs and he’d play them for me and he’d tell me, ‘I want four-four here. I want it to go fast here, and just feel it out.’ He’ll tell me the basic understanding of where the song goes.”
Along the way, Dave talks Mayhem Festival and pancakes. You can listen to our full interview with Dave below and read our review of Harmonic here.