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Baker's Dozen

King Of The Beats: Slayer's Dave Lombardo Picks His Favourite Albums
Toby Cook , May 21st, 2012 09:05

Ahead of Slayer's Reign In Blood ATP IBYM show and the release of PHILM's debut album Harmonic, Dave Lombardo tells Toby Cook about his 13 favourite albums

“He’s not even the best drummer in the Beatles!” John Lennon famously replied when asked if Ringo Starr was the best drummer in the world. As to how much this remark was meant in jest we’ll probably never know, but it nonetheless perfectly illustrates an old and unfortunate – not to mention largely inaccurate – cliché: that drummers are perennially the poor relation of every other member of the band. Even when you look back at some of the greatest drummers in rock the qualities on which their fame is largely based is usually less than flattering and often just insulting. Dave Grohl: Metronomic timing. Keith Moon: Being insane. John Bonham: Hitting things really, really hard and John ‘Stumpy’ Pepys: Being very, very dead (and if you don’t know who that is you need to stop reading this right now).

But of course that’s all bollocks, isn’t it. No Grohl, no Nirvana. No Moon, no Who. No Bonham? Well, tell us that the face of rock and metal would be anything like the same if Zeppelin had someone like Ginger Baker behind the kit with his 47 minute jazz drum solos. And if at this point you’re thinking that there’s one we’ve missed, you’re right – no Dave Lombardo, no SLAYER!

There can indeed be few drummers quite like the Cuban born Lombardo. Regularly referred to as ‘the godfather of double bass’, that Lombardo’s various musical ventures have included everything from drumming for Mike Patton’s often bonkers Fantômas and regularly working with the likes of avant saxophonist John Zorn, to collaborating with Italian classical musician Lorenzo Arruga on a seven track LP of drum improvisations based on the various works of Vivaldi and most recently igniting the decidedly more low-fi project PHILM is staggering. Yet it’s for his work with Slayer that he’s rightly best known. Although there are few drummers with the chops of Paul Bostaph, Lomabrdo was noticeably missed when he split with the group for nearly a decade and there can be no greater measure of his influence on not just Slayer but metal in general that his recorded return – 2006’s Christ Illusion – was arguably their most brutal and cohesive effort since the seminal Reign In Blood.

His choices, he tells us down the phone “are in no particular order or genre” and are “just albums that have touched me in some way over the years” but they help to tell his story nonetheless.

Click on the picture below for Dave Lombardo’s 13 favourite albums.

PHILM’S debut LP Harmonic is out now via Ipecac, whilst Slayer will be performing Reign In Blood in its entirety at ATP’s I’ll Be Your Mirror Festival at London’s Alexandra Palace this Friday!