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PHILM: Slayer’s Dave Lombardo on Finally Getting His Passion Project Off the Ground

Cammy Kinney

If you’re a fan of Slayer legend Dave Lombardo‘s drum work (and really, who isn’t?), then you need to check out PHILM. Also featuring the talents of vocalist/guitarist Gerry Nestler (also of prog-metallers Civil Defiance) and bassist Pancho Tomaselli (also of funk rock pioneers War), PHILM just released Harmonic, their debut album.

Harmonic finds the power trio pulling everything from early ’70s jazz fusion to early ’90s noise rockers like Jesus Lizard and everything in between. “We started this project in 1996, but I couldn’t continue pursuing it since I was so busy with other stuff I was doing at the time,” Lombardo tells Noisecreep. “Throughout the time we started PHILM and then finally got to start working on it again, I recorded with Grip Inc., Testament, Fantômas, a classical project called Vivaldi: The Meeting, and then obviously, Slayer. I’ve been really busy,” laughs Lombardo, who turned 47 this year.

The drum dynamo then tells Noisecreep how PHILM finally got going again: “In 2009, I found myself in the middle of a divorce and had some time on my hands since Tom (Araya, bassist/vocalist of Slayer) was going in for a back surgery. We had to cancel a bunch of shows and I didn’t know what to do with my time.

“So I called Gerry up and told him we should finally do this PHILM record and he was ready. It’s taken a long time to make this happen. I just can’t believe the album is finally out today.”

Watch PHILM Perform “Vitriolize” Live

One of the most compelling aspects of PHILM’s Harmonic album is Tomaselli’s bass performances: “We originally had another bassist, but we had lost touch with him when we got the project going again in 2009. So I remembered a guy that I had met at one of my drum clinics in Santa Monica who was a bassist for the band War.

“His brother had told him that I was a big fan of that band. So I remember looking him up on the Internet and seeing how amazing he played. He had the right chops and style for what we needed in PHILM. I had to call West L.A. Music in Santa Monica to get his contact info, but I finally got Pancho on the phone and he’s been playing with us ever since.”

PHILM’s debut album, Harmonic, is available now via Ipecac Records. The band will be performing a record release show in their hometown of Los Angeles tonight (May 15) at The Viper Room. Get tickets here!

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