Like many musicians who’ve been rocking with the same group for many years, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo has another creative outlet to fill the downtime when his main band goes on break. The stickman, who constantly wants to be working, spoke with Loudwire backstage before Slayer’s gig at the recent Mayhem tour kickoff about what he describes as his more alternative project Philm and how balancing the two bands works.

Tell us about Philm. How does it compare with your Slayer work?

Well, yeah, it’s a new band, it’s a power trio and we released an album May 15 and it’s … very few people don’t like it, but a lot of people really do like it and I’m really happy. It’s different, it’s a little more alternative. It’s not metal. I don’t follow what I lead. I try to do other things and try to lead in those and not always do things in the same vein. It’s kind of the artistic side of me that always wants to progress and create and be creative.

You mention that it’s a little more alternative and people would assume it would come from your metal roots, but where do the influences lie here?

It’s extreme, what it is it’s more like extreme rock. It doesn’t go into the double bass because I play a single bass drum set, stripped down to four pieces, and there isn’t a second guitar player so it doesn’t make it metal. It’s just different. I know people picture me playing fast in Slayer but I think fans know by now with all the projects that I’ve done, that I’m kind of different.

With Philm, obviously it’s cool to have something on the side when Slayer’s on a break. How enthusiastic does that make you then when you leave that and come back to Slayer?

What it does is kind of creative-wise, it makes me bring in what I’ve learned with Philm, I’ll bring it into the Slayer camp and I’ll just adapt certain drumbeats or certain styles to the Slayer form and vice versa. After this, I’ll go back to the Philm world and I’m different, I hit harder. When I go to Philm after two months with Slayer, I’m going to be hitting very hard. Where it’s different when I go from Philm to Slayer, it’s more of a style – more jazz-influence. So it’s interesting.

With Philm, obviously Slayer’s taking up the summer, but after are you looking at maybe some dates?

Yeah, right away. I’m ready to go out to work it as soon as Slayer’s done. We’re gonna start booking some local shows and taking little trips up California, doing San Francisco Aug. 25, we’re doing ‘Slaughter by the Water,’ which is going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait for that.

Love those festival names.

Yeah, yeah [in deep announcer voice] ‘Mayhem!,’ ‘Slaughter by the Water!’ [smiles].


Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Dave Lombardo interview, in which he talks about all things Slayer.