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Eight Berlin drummers. Eight questions. One Dave Lombardo.

Dave Lombardo‘s a drumming legend. One of the most recognisable drumming heroes in the world, his onslaught on Slayer’s classic records inspired many of Berlin’s drummers to first pick up the sticks as teenagers. Not only has he changed the face of metal, he’s also made a name for himself as a punk drummer with Misfits and Suicidal Tendencies, not to mention his way out there work with experimental nutters Fantômas and serial saxophone-abuser John Zorn.

He’s an absolute force of nature. Lombardo’s drumming never feels dead and he’s got feeling and a certain kind of swing which is a rare thing for a rock drummer” Stefan Widdess of Dead Sentries and Bikini Jesus

Dave is currently touring with his hardcore punk band, Dead Cross, but had enough time for an interview with Berlin Loves You. We contacted eight Berlin drummers to each ask their idol one question.

1. Do you ever play with brushes? Come on, give us some brushwork!

Andy Zammit – Gemma Ray

Hi Andy, I’ve used brushes on several of the Fantômas records and in some of my performances with John Zorn. I believe that by not being formally trained, I have developed my own style.

2. Do you use a special foot technique for playing the double bass drum, single, double strokes/swiple or have you developed your own Lombardo technique? And do you do some special exercises to build up speed?

Fred Von Sunesen – Candice Gordon, The Third Sound

I’ve not really developed my own technique – I simply put my foot on the pedal, initiate inertia and…. boom. My personal regimen is pretty simple: before shows, I only like to stretch. That’s it. I’m always playing, so I’m always warmed up and ready to go.

If absolutely necessary, after a long period of time without playing the drums, I will do a basic warm-up. I recommend starting with single stroke rolls beginning at a slow tempo. Increase your tempo as you get comfortable. Do the same with your feet. Make sure to break a sweat.

3. If you could put together your dream band, who would be in it and what would it sound like?

Stefan Widdess – Bikini Jesus, Dead Sentries

I believe right now I have my dream band – it’s called Dead Cross. It consists of long-time Southern California punks, Michael Crain and Justin Pearson. And of course, the legendary Mike Patton (Faith No More) on vocals.

dave lombardo berlin-loves-you

Dave playing with Mike Patton in hardcore punk band Dead Cross

4. Do you have a special ritual before going on stage?

Fabian Reichert – Chases, Battlements

I always start with an espresso or a couple sips of an energy drink. Not too much. I do some stretches then hit the stage. I don’t use sticks to warm up because I’ve already played the night before and I’m already conditioned.

5. You’re a hard-hitting drummer. I was wondering if you ever suffer from Tennis/Golf Elbows or tendonitis? And, if so, how do you handle it?

Uri Rennert – Balagan, Häxxan

Hi Uri, I’ve been very lucky and have not suffered from any of the illnesses you’ve mentioned. I believe staying hydrated and avoiding large amounts of alcohol has helped with that.

“I simply put my foot on the pedal, initiate inertia and…. boom”

6. When you drum on your own, is there a particular song in your head that you always play along to?

Felix Kirsch – Park

Hi Felix! Typically, the music I play along to when I’m jamming is the music from the band that I’m working with (Dead Cross, Suicidal Tendencies or Misfits).

I really don’t have downtime that allows me to just “jam” alone and lose myself in the music anymore. I’m always learning a new song for our set or writing new music for albums etc. It’s a good problem to have!

7. Do you think you could transfer your approach to drumming and your state of mind when drumming to another instrument? Can you play any other instruments?

Simon Wender – Berlin Diskret

Hi Simon! Absolutely, I love to express my style on other instruments.
I play many percussion instruments as well as guitar, bass, piano.

8. Do you like cats?

Endai – Mondo Fumatore

I love cats and I also love dogs!!!

Thank you for the questions, everyone!


Well, that’s it. Berlin asked the important questions.

Thanks a lot for the interview, Dave Lombardo.

Check out Dead Cross on Bandcamp.

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Tom is a Welsh musician who writes about music. If you're looking for him, check the nearest Lidl or Eck Kneipe - he's more than certainly in one of the two. [email protected]

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