DAVE LOMBARDO talks ‘Rites Of Percussion’, Misfits, Testament and Mike Patton

Dave Lombardo, widely acknowledged as one of the most influential, innovative, and prolific drummers in modern music, is set to make his solo debut with the upcoming release of “Rites of Percussion” this week on May 5, via Ipecac Recordings/Liberator Music.

Featuring 13 tracks, the album is a testament to Lombardo’s remarkable 40-year career, which has seen him co-found Slayer, earn two GRAMMY Awards, and explore a diverse range of musical styles. Among his notable collaborations are his work with the acrobatic Mike Patton-led Fantômas, critically acclaimed composer John Zorn, experimental hip-hop artist DJ Spooky, and punk rock legends The Misfits. Lombardo’s Cuban heritage and passion for percussive rhythms are on full display throughout “Rites of Percussion,” which had already generated buzz with the release of its lead single, “Journey of the Host.

During an episode of The Everblack Podcast, Dave Lombardo discussed the launch of his debut solo album ‘Rites Of Percussion‘, playing with legendary bands like Misfits and Testament, his remarkable musical bond with Mike Patton, and much more.

Watch/listen to the interview here

[Mike] Patton originally gave me the idea as far back as 1998,” explains Lombardo. “He introduced me to Tito Puente’s Top Percussion album. I was already familiar with Tito and was a bit shocked that Patton was so musically diverse, and that he surrounded himself with musicians of the same mindset. That inspired me. I have had ideas that I’ve recorded on cassette over the years, but Patton kept insisting that I had to do a ‘drum album.’ So, the idea behind the album is years in the making. I just had to find the right time—for me—to do it.” 

When the pandemic hit, I thought, ‘Well, I can’t tour now,’“ he says. I immediately started working on the record. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. I had my studio, all my drums. Nothing was in storage for once! My home became a place where I could be free and creative. On the one hand, the touring part of my livelihood had been taken away, but on the other, I finally had the time to educate myself on different software and recording techniques. It was a very educational and gratifying experience.”  

The mantra for the recording process of the film score-like album was to keep the drums as drums. The self-produced release, mixed by Dave Lombardo’s son, David A. Lombardo, in early 2022, features an extensive collection of percussion instruments, including a large concert bass drum, a timpani, a grand piano, shakers, maracas, Chinese and symphonic gongs, Native American drums, congas, timbales, bongos, batás, wood blocks, djembes, ibos, darbukas, octobans, cajóns, and cymbals.

Dave Lombardo, who was born in Havana, Cuba, moved to Los Angeles at the age of two. As a teenager, he began playing drums and co-founded Slayer, creating the band’s logo in 1981. He has been dubbed the “Cuban speed demon” by Rolling Stone in their list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time,” “The King” by Modern Drummer, and “The Godfather of double bass” by Drummerworld. Lombardo has an impressive resume, including over 100 studio albums/recordings and both recorded and live performances with various bands and musicians such as Grip Inc., Fantômas, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle, The Misfits, DJ Spooky, John Zorn, Testament, and most recently, the soulful duo Venamoris with his wife Paula.

Dave Lombardo ‘Rites Of Percussion’ Out May 5 through Ipecac/Liberator.