PHILM’s Dave Lombardo Talks ‘Fire From the Evening Sun’ Album, Producing + More
PHILM drummer Dave Lombardo was the guest on Full Metal Jackie's weekend radio show. The former Slayer stickman spoke about his current band, how it varies from what fans might expect and about the creative process of putting together the new 'Fire From the Evening Sun' disc. Check out the chat below.
We're here to talk about the new PHILM album 'Fire From the Evening Sun.' Dave, what misconceptions do people have about PHILM based on what you did with Slayer?
Probably that PHILM is like a jazz band or something a little more mellow than what they would expect from me, at least from this moment. So, it’s quite opposite. You know there’s a lot of the elements in this album, unlike what people might think.
What does the urgency of the music on this new record reveal about the process of making it?
I mean this album was in the process. Actually we were writing this album in 2012. And then with some bumps in the road we couldn’t release it quite when we wanted to so, you know of course our first album was released in 2012. We’re on a good working pattern here where we write music and we release it shortly after. There’s no time to waste and it’s not really urgency, it’s just being creative and staying productive. That’s always how I’ve been. It’s not something uncommon for me.
You produced the album, and the last PHILM album, too. How is the satisfaction you get from producing different from that of writing or playing music?
Well I take part in the writing and I obviously enjoy that a lot. Producing, I hone in on what I really feel that I need the band needs to sound like. And the guys agree. I make sure that the album is complete at the end of the recording session. And make sure that it’s delivered to the record company. That it’s in good shape and complete. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun to take on that role and see these projects released. It’s exciting.
What prompted the decision to forgo the improvisational aspect of the first PHILM album in favor of a more structured, creative approach?
I heard the reviews and read the reviews and took in consideration what journalists and fans were feeling and saying and I felt it was time us to make an album like this. We showed them what we could do in the avant grade world and the improvisational style of writing but that was something for that album. And on this one, we just wanted to make it more concise and complete with some solid structures and songs that would appeal more to let’s say a metal fan base rather than to a more avant garde or jazz style. Which makes total sense because that’s where my fans are so I need to give them what they want.
The new album just came out and you're already working on music for the next PHILM album. What's the most unusual thing about being on that kind of creative role?
I think it’s how fluid the creative process is. We are all in a room together and we press record. And we start playing and whatever it is that happens at that moment is captured. And what we do is listen back to those recordings. They can be like 20 minutes to a half an hour improvisation session. Then what we do is listen for the -- I call them little gems. That you cut out of the session. And then we take that music and then we’ll structure a complete song around that improvisation. So that’s unique and it’s unusual because I’ve worked in the past with musicians that give you a set idea on what they want. And it leaves no room for creativity. It’s just from one person. It’s not like a fusion or collective effort.
What can we expect going into the end of the year and into 2015 with PHILM, Dave?
Well, completing the third PHILM album. I would love to have that at least all tracked and finished with vocals with all the leads that we need. Have that done by the end of the year. I’m performing in Europe. I am doing several drum workshops and drum clinics out there. I’m home for a second and then I start performing with Fantomas -- Mike Patton, Trevor Dunn and Buzz Osborne in South America. We’re doing shows in Santiago, Chile and after that -- that’s going to take up about a week. Then I start with PHILM and we play Mexico City. Then January, we have South America with PHILM and also we're doing a cruise in Brazil as well. It's going to be busy. We have Europe in March. Things are happening. It's exciting. It's a lot of fun, it's amazing.
Thank so much for being on the show.
Thanks to Dave Lombardo for the interview. PHILM's 'Fire From the Evening Sun' is available at Amazon and iTunes. Full Metal Jackie’s weekend show can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.