Dave Lom­bardo Sui­ci­dal Ten­den­cies

The thrash mas­ter shows his punkier side

Rhythm - - BEAT! -

Still Cyco Punk Af­ter All These Years is a reimag­in­ing of Mike Muir’s de­but solo al­bum, how did that come about?

“Well, I be­lieve Mike has a bit of a re­newed en­ergy, and him and I work­ing to­gether has kind of charged him a bit. He’s very happy. Ac­tu­ally, on the last tour he said to me, ‘Dave, I wouldn’t be out here if it wasn’t for you.’ I was re­ally hon­oured to hear that, and happy that he’s ex­cited to be out there and kick­ing ass, be­cause he’s an amaz­ing per­former and song­writer. Get­ting to hang out with him and tour and per­form these clas­sic songs... it’s a very sur­real time in my life that I’m in.”

How fa­mil­iar with the orig­i­nal ver­sion of the al­bum were you, had you heard it be­fore?

“No, I didn’t. I didn’t even know that he had a solo al­bum at that time, I was on a very dif­fer­ent path mu­si­cally. I took it as new songs and just gave it my own style, a lit­tle bit of a dif­fer­ent light. I didn’t have that much time to learn the songs, but what was awe­some was that we recorded it with­out us­ing a click track. For World Gone Mad we used a click, but this time Mike said, ‘No, just go! Give it that en­ergy.’ So it sets it up a litle dif­fer­ently from the last al­bum.”

Was it nice to just get straight in there with the songs?

“Ev­ery­thing was re­ally well thought out and I made sure I got all the parts cor­rect, but yeah, we cap­tured some very spe­cial mo­ments. Some of the drum rolls sound typ­i­cally Dave Lom­bardo – the freight train that’s out of con­trol and you think it’s go­ing to de­rail but then it ac­tu­ally lands, on the one. I al­ways warn my band­mates, any band I play in, I al­ways say: ‘Guys, if you hear me go­ing off the rails and won­der what’s Lom­bardo do­ing? Don’t worry, I’ll be there on the one!’”

Did you en­joy ex­plor­ing the more punk side of your play­ing?

“Oh yes, ab­so­lutely. My ap­proach is pretty much the same as all my records. Ev­ery­thing I do gets the same amount of at­ten­tion and love, and I’m proud of all the mu­sic that I do. But this par­tic­u­lar al­bum, I think Mike saw that I could go off the metronome and not need the click. When you record with a click it re­strains you, there’s less of the nat­u­ral crescendo that gives the mu­sic life. When you put it through any kind of beat de­tec­tive or any­thing like that, you just lose the soul. He was able to hear that and al­low me to just do my thing.”

Did your gear change this time around?

“No, it was my stan­dard Tama setup: 24" bass drums, 18" floor tom, 13" and 14" toms. One of my favourite snares is a hand-ham­mered bronze snare from Tama, I don’t think they make those any­more, but I’ve been us­ing that on the last three al­bums I’ve made. I used my Reign ride cym­bal too, just my typ­i­cal setup. I stick to my sound, I tune my drums my way. We just took our time, made sure ev­ery­thing sounded right, they pressed record and let me loose!”

The snare sounds killer…

“Yes, well, you know I’ve been re­ally fo­cussing on that, to make sure it pops but still sounds great. I crank it up to a note that sounds con­sis­tent with the rest of the drum set. I don’t use any damp­en­ing. When­ever we’re play­ing live and my tech puts a lit­tle bit of damp­en­ing on the snare I’m like, ‘Get that off!’ just let the drums breathe. With that, you have to make sure that you tune out any kind of ring­ing, which is time con­sum­ing, but well worth it when you get a drum set that breathes and has life.”

You’ve had a cou­ple of stand-in gui­tarists on tour too…

“Yeah, we did! We had [for­mer Dillinger Es­cape Plan gui­tarist] Ben Wein­man on the Cana­dian tour, and then we had Tim Ste­wart in Europe, he plays for Lady Gaga, then Ben is go­ing to be with us on the US tour. Both Ben and Tim have been com­pletely amaz­ing, and I’m look­ing for­ward to work­ing with those guys again.”

Out now Stil­lCy­coPunk AfterAl­lTh­ese Years Sui­ci­dal Ten­den­cies

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