Drummer Dave Lombardo, co-founder of Slayer, will release his debut solo album, “Rites of Percussion,” on May 5, 2023, via Ipecac Recordings.
The 13-track collection, previewed with the release of the single “Journey of the Host,” is the result of a 40-year career that saw Lombardo rise to prominence with Slayer, earn two Grammy Awards and expand his repertoire across genres. The Havana-born Lombardo’s resume includes outings with the Mike Patton-led Fantômas, the critically revered John Zorn, experimental hip-hop artist DJ Spooky and the resurrected punk icons The Misfits.
“[Mike] Patton originally gave me the idea as far back as 1998,” Lombardo said. “He introduced me to Tito Puente’s ‘Top Percussion’ album. I was already familiar with Tito and was a bit shocked that Patton was so musically diverse and that he surrounded himself with musicians of the same mindset. That inspired me. I have had ideas that I’ve recorded on cassette over the years, but Patton kept insisting that I had to do a ‘drum album.’ So the idea behind the album is years in the making. I just had to find the right time—for me—to do it.
“When the pandemic hit, I thought, ‘Well, I can’t tour now.’ I immediately started working on the record. It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had. I had my studio, all my drums. Nothing was in storage for once! My home became a place where I could be free and creative. On the one hand, the touring part of my livelihood had been taken away, but on the other, I finally had the time to educate myself on different software and recording techniques. It was a very educational and gratifying experience.”
The recording process of the film score-like album had a simple mantra: drums had to be drums. Mixed in early 2022 by Lombardo’s son, David A. Lombardo, the self-produced release features a large concert bass drum, a timpani, a grand piano, and a flock of shakers, maracas, Chinese and symphonic gongs, Native American drums, congas, timbales, bongos, batás, wood blocks, djembes, ibos, darbukas, octobans, cajóns and cymbals.
“Rites of Percussion” track list:
1. Initiatory Madness
2. Separation from the Sacred
3. Inner Sanctum
4. Journey of the Host
5. Maunder in Liminality
8. Blood Let
Album pre-orders, which include CD, digital and three vinyl variants (standard cigar smoke, indie retail exclusive blood sacrifice and Ipecac exclusive purple haze), are available now at https://davelombardo.lnk.to/ROP.
Lombardo was born in Havana, Cuba, relocating to Los Angeles when he was 2 years old. He began playing drums as a teenager, and co-founded Slayer (and created the band’s logo) in 1981. Rolling Stone, in its list of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time,” dubbed him the “Cuban speed demon, “ Modern Drummer proclaimed him “The King,” and Drummerworld gave him the title of “The Godfather of double bass.” Lombardo’s resume includes over 100 studio albums/recordings and includes both recorded and live stints with Grip Inc., Fantômas, Suicidal Tendencies, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle, The Misfits, DJ Spooky, John Zorn, Testament and most recently creating the soulful duo Venamoris, with his wife Paula.
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