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Slayer’s Dave Lombardo on Growing Up in a Latino Home, the First Time He Saw Tom Araya Perform

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“I know some people would be surprised by this, but I didn’t just grow up on rock and metal music,” Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo tells Noisecreep from his home in the Los Angeles area. We’re discussing his various projects when the thrash king starts reminiscing about his younger years. “I remember being a kid and playing Ike & Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, and Parliament – all kinds of styles of music. It didn’t matter to me what genre they were. If I liked a song, that was enough for me. When I was around 12-years-old, my older brother had a record by the band War and I remember sitting there and listening to it over and over again,” says the influential metal drummer who also currently plays in PHILM, which coincidentally features War bassist Francisco “Pancho” Tomaselli in its lineup.

Born in Havana, Cuba, Lombardo emigrated to Southern California with his parents when he was a toddler. “Living in a Cuban household, my parents would go to these Latino social clubs when I was a kid. I remember being there and seeing the men playing dominoes, drinking coffee and talking about the old country. It was a really family-oriented kind of thing. But what I remember the most were these dances they would have at the clubs.

“My mom would try and get me to go out and dance to the big live bands that would perform these parties at the social club. But I would be backstage, sitting on a piano stool and staring at the musicians in the band. That’s where my fascination with being a musician started. My mom would get so mad and say, ‘Come on, Dave! There are some pretty girls out there that want to dance.’ But I was more interested in watching the band performing,” laughs Lombardo, 47.

Watch Slayer’s Performance of “Hate Worldwide” from Sessions
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It was at one of these social club parties that Lombardo would first come in contact with a future band mate and fellow metal legend: “I don’t think I’ve told this story before in an interview, but the first time I ever saw Tom Araya was when a band he played in performed at one of those Latino clubs. I was 10-years-old and Tom Araya was 15. I think they might have been called Tradewinds and they played cover songs.

“Years later, when I met Tom for the first time, I asked him, ‘Do you remember playing a social club on Slauson Ave?’ He was blown away by that. He couldn’t believe that I had been at one of those performances.”

Watch Drum Cam Footage of Lombardo Performing “Angel of Death”

PHILM just released Harmonic, their debut album. Slayer is currently recording a 2-song EP that will be released later this year. Catch Slayer on the Mayhem Festival along with Slipknot, Anthrax, The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria, Whitechapel and High on Fire.

Mayhem Festival tour dates:

Jun 30 San Manuel Amphitheater San Bernardino, CA
Jul 01 Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA
Jul 03 White River Amphitheatre Auburn, WA
Jul 04 TBD Boise, ID
Jul 06 Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion Phoenix, AZ
Jul 07 Hard Rock Pavilion Albuquerque, NM
Jul 08 Comfort Dental Amphitheatre Englewood, CO
Jul 10 Gexa Energy Pavilion Dallas, TX
Jul 11 The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Spring, TX
Jul 13 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre At the Florida State Fairgrounds Tampa, FL
Jul 14 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood Atlanta, GA
Jul 15 Klipsch Music Center Noblesville, IN
Jul 18 TBD Oklahoma City, OK
Jul 20 Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Maryland Heights, MO
Jul 21 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre Tinley Park, IL
Jul 22 DTE Energy Music Theatre Clarkston, MI
Jul 24 Riverbend Music Center Cincinnati, OH
Jul 25 Blossom Music Center Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Jul 27 Susquehanna Bank Center Camden, NJ
Jul 28 First Niagara Pavilion Burgettstown, PA
Jul 29 Jiffy Lube Live Bristow, VA
Jul 31 Saratoga Performing Arts Center Saratoga Springs, NY
Aug 01 Darien Lake Performing Arts Center Darien Center, NY
Aug 03 Comcast Center Mansfield, MA
Aug 04 Toyota Pavilion At Montage Mountain Moosic, PA
Aug 05 Comcast Theatre Hartford, CT

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