Published Oct 09, 2009As Slayer fans know, it's been almost a decade since original drummer Dave Lombardo returned to the fold after departing in 1992 due to internal conflict. Replaced for the same amount of time by former Forbidden skinsman Paul Bostaph, Lombardo came back in 2002 and, well, replaced his replacement.
Over that time, many column inches and much Internet space has been dedicated to discussing his absence from both sides of the fence. There hasn't, however, been much insight offered into the specifics from Lombardo himself.
Speaking with Exclaim! recently, the drummer finally shed some light on the situation while chatting about the history of Slayer and the anticipation around their 11th studio effort World Painted Blood - his second full-length with Slayer since reclaiming the drum stool. He revealed that despite everything seeming to be fine, his re-establishment wasn't exactly a sure thing.
"[At the time] it was uncertain if I was to stay or not," Lombardo admits. "I didn't know how they were gonna be; they didn't know how I was gonna be. It was testing the waters for four or five tours."
At the same time, Lombardo notes that back then, the offer - sent when Bostaph was overtaken by a wrist injury - came at just the right time. Appearing busy with his own band Grip Inc. and experimental project Fantõmas with Mike Patton and Melvins' Buzz Osborne, he was actually staring at a rather bleak 2002.
"I was gonna have some time off... the first six months of 2002 were a little uncertain," he says. "I believe I got a little lucky when management called me and asked I wanted to help the band out or whatever; play in the band again. I gave it a shot. It was a trial period that I did but it all worked out. So far, so good."
So far, so good indeed. Even the band was surprised at how Lombardo brought with him a massive resurgence in popularity. Slayer's 2006 effort Christ Illusion (Sony/BMG) was advertised mainly on the fact that it was the first album recorded by the original line-up in over a decade.
Still, World Painted Blood, due out November 3, is experiencing even hotter anticipation as fans expect it will display an even more refined Slayer - that they will have worked out any potential kinks years apart may have caused. Lombardo grins about this return to form, taunting salivating fans in the process.
"I'm really happy. Our return feels extraordinary. It feels really good to be back... and as for World Painted Blood, well, it's the most amazing record since Reign in Blood."
Judge for yourself: