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DAVE LOMBARDO Teases Upcoming Mystery Projects: "The Most Progressive Metal I've Ever Done"

dave lombardo
Photo by Mathieu Bredeau

Metal fans know that Dave Lombardo has worn a hat or two in his day. The former Slayer stickman has held down the fort for bands across the heavy spectrum ranging but not limited to Misfits, Suicidal Tendencies, Testament, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle and Fantômas, and he's not stopping there.

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During our extensive sit-down with the icon, Lombardo dove into his recent work with experimental industrial metal band Satanic Planet, as well as upcoming collaborations that range from what he calls "the most progressive metal I've ever done," to "very Priest-like metal."

"One, the most obscure, bizarre projects I was brought into was Satanic Planet. That music, you know, when I first heard it and heard who was involved, I was intrigued. It was just going to be one song and it didn't require any drumming. Well, it could have, but I approached it from a whole different angle since I was working a lot in my home studio and working with keyboard sounds and computers and software, different creative software. I was offered one song off of their body of work, and they liked it so much they wanted another one. And I said sure, I'll do another one. They said hey, would you like to do the whole record? I said hell yeah, I got some time," Lombardo shared.

"What I did was I honed in not only my recording software skills, but I was able to work a lot in the computer with samples, industrial sounds, just anything that had to do with more in the box, as they say in the studio. I didn't work with an acoustic drum set. I worked with sounds that were offered by different software companies, etc. So I was able to hone in my more industrial side, which was a style of music that I loved in the 90s. After I left Slayer in 92 I discovered industrial music. I always say that when I heard Ministry and Nine Inch Nails and all of this, Front Line Assembly, KMFDM, all these bands, I felt like I was under a rock that hadn't been lifted in years. And I found a new aggressive style of music that kind of filled that little void I had in my heart for heavy music. I needed something else. And that in turn inspired me to create Grip Inc. and a more driving sound than anything I've done before."

Lombardo went on to tease a number of mystery projects, ranging from progressive metal to more traditional.

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"I was hit up by, and I can't say too much about it now, but a UK-based band and it's not Gunship. I worked Gunship recently and you've heard of that. It's more of a synthwave style of music, which I really enjoyed. But they were a UK-based band, very, very, very popular, probably huge in the UK. And the singer and the guitar player have created a body of work that they said they wrote with me in mind. So they took a shot in the dark and hit me up and I agreed and man, it's in odd time signatures. It's in five, it's in seven, it's in nine. It's the most progressive metal I've ever done or progressive thrash or progressive hardcore. I don't know what it is. I can't wait for everyone to hear that because people are going to be shocked," he teased.

"And then I worked with another guitar player that offered me work. And it's very traditional metal, very Priest-like metal. So I said, well I loved Priest back in the day, you know, I wouldn't mind dabbling in this style of music like I did before. And that was a lot of fun. So the pandemic has definitely opened up new doors, new opportunities, and I really was able to connect with like I said, software and working pro tools and doing things. I even set up drum-sets in my living room and set up a bunch of mics. I had two drum sets. One in one room and then I had a little four piece drum kit in the living room, which I still do. That one was for a more ambient style of drumming, you know, very soft and brushes and different things like that.

"So, you know what? For some the pandemic has been hell, which I can see. But luckily for me I've stayed focused and have embraced the time off because honestly, I've been on tour consistently for, well, you do the math, since I was 17, 18 years old and I'm 56. A long freaking time. With the year and a half off it's been nice, but I'm really anxious to get back out on stage and feel the energy of the crowd and work up a good sweat."

What do you think Lombardo will tackle next? Any bucket list sub-genres of metal for him to finally scratch off?! Let us know in the comments!

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