Slayer’s Dave Lombardo: ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ Was Worse Than Hair Bands
Through nearly 30 years making metal mayhem, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo has seen the highs and lows of the genre, from the early ’80s heyday of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden to the birth of the underground that spawned his own band; from Metallica and more of the dark, late ’80s days of hair metal bands such as Poison; the grunge era, during which Nirvana made metal obsolete; and the early ’90s, during which Ozzfest packed stadiums.
As one of the ambassadors of metal, Lombardo has some strong opinions on the scene he’s ruled for three decades. In fact, he once said in an interview that MTV’s ‘Beavis and Butt-Head’ denigrated metal. So when Noisecreep sat down with Lombardo at Hollywood’s Amoeba Records for a video chat, we had to ask what was worse for metal: the animated MTV heroes or songs like ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn?’
“‘Beavis and Butt-Head,’ because hair metal and regular metal split,” he says. “So I think it was definitely ‘Beavis and Butt-Head.’”
The band is now seeing the mainstream affection that was once solely the property of the underground, thanks to their longevity. “They look up to you and what you’ve done. So yeah, there is a sense of respect because of how they talk to you,” he says. “You know, ‘Mr. Lombardo,’ [or] they even say ‘dude’ or ‘amazing’ and they shake your hand, so you see the respect.”
Lombardo himself recalls being a fan early on and seeing shows that changed his life. “I saw the Judas Priest ‘Point of Entry’ tour and that was an inspiration there,” he says. Because of that, he can still identify with the kids who come up to him. “It just takes me back to when I was a kid,” he says. “I didn’t meet the bands like the kids sometimes come up to me and I sign their autographs for, because I didn’t go to the shows as often and know about how to try and get bands’ autograph. But it feels really good to see that, ’cause you kinda see yourself growing up. It’s definitely inspiring.”