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Dave Lombardo: The 10 Albums That Changed My Life

Former Slayer/Fantomas drummer Dave Lombardo delves into his record collection and pulls out Kiss, Judas Priest, The Prodigy and Beethoven

As the man behind the kit on Slayer’s classic albums, Dave Lombardo is one of the most renowned drummers in metal (sorry Lars…). But there’s way more to him than precision-tooled kick-drum assaults, as his work with the likes of Fantômas, Philm and avant garde jazz legend John Zorn prove. It makes sense that his record collection spans industrial metal, classical music, 70s glam metal and Amy Winehouse. Take it away, Dave…


The first album I bought was…

Kiss – Alive! (1975)

“This album cover was amazing. The colours were really cool and it was a double album, so you’d turn it over and there’s this huge crowd – which I found out later wasn’t really a Kiss crowd! It was a great sounding record, and amazing for a 13-year-old kid.”

The first album I had sex to is…

Pigface – Fook (1992)

“This is gonna throw you for a loop. I think I had sex once to a Pigface album. I was wasted out of my mind at the time. There was no romanticism there, for sure. It was just on in the background. It is a very odd record to have playing during sex, I admit.”

The album I break the speed limit to…

The Prodigy – Invaders Must Die (2009)

“Sometimes, if there’s a song that’s kinda industrial, with a very machine-like sound, it does it for me. I really like The Prodigy; that’s a solid record. I listen to all styles of music. They have that metal edge: their sound has a cutting edge to it. Play this in the car and I’ll floor it.”

The album that should not be…

Kiss – Dynasty (1979)

“This has I Was Made For Lovin’ You on it, doesn’t it? That really was a terrible song, I thought. This album was a real disappointment. I lost interest in Kiss after Love Gun and Alive II – that was it for me.”

The best album artwork is...

Slayer – Reign In Blood (1986)

“For the time that Reign In Blood came out, its artwork is up there with the best. It’s a guy who looks like Prince Charles – at the front, holding the devil’s chair. Hell Awaits is a great cover too, but it has a little more of a fantasy element to it. This one is more nightmarish.”

The album I wish I’d made is…

The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Are You Experienced? (1967)

“I’ve never given this much thought, because I’m really happy with the albums that I’ve made over my career – but I’m gonna say Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced?. The drums on that album make it amazing – Mitch Mitchell’s one of my favourite drummers of all time.”

A kid asks me what metal is. I’d hand him a copy of...

Judas Priest – British Steel (1980)

“As true heavy metal, Judas Priest’s British Steel still stands up really well after all these years. This is pure heavy metal. It has the sound, the riffs, the harmonies, the vocals – the bite that Rob Halford sings with. The whole heavy, here-I-am-and-you’re-going-to-listen-to-this vibe is what that album is all about.”

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No one will believe I own a copy of…

Amy Winehouse – Back To Black (2006)

“I like that Amy Winehouse album. There’s plenty of stuff on my iPod you’ll like. A disco compilation… Hank Williams… the B-52s! Elton John’s Greatest Hits. EMF – Schubert Dip. Frank Sinatra. Elvis. INXS! Ha ha ha! This record collection goes back before the advent of CDs. I’ve got Nelly’s Nellyville too…”

The album I’d want played at my funeral is…

Beethoven – Complete Symphonies

“I’ve never thought about this one. There are various classical pieces that really free my spirit. I love Liszt and Chopin, but I’ll say Beethoven – the music is so dark. He has a little twist in his music, unlike Mozart which is very happy music. Beethoven’s music breathes a bit of darkness and sadness, and I like it when musicians dabble in those kinds of tones.”

The album I’d want to be remembered for is…

Fantômas – The Director’s Cut (2001)

Reign In Blood would be a good choice, but then that holds me into the metal genre. I love The Gathering by Testament too – that album is amazing. But I’ll say The Director’s Cut, because that album shows the variety of different ways I play. I have amazing memories of making it. All the records I made with them were a blast.”


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