As previously reported, three of the “Four Horsemen” – Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer – are headed for Orlando on October 2 as part of the second leg of the “American Carnage” tour.
Currently, the band is overseas on festival dates, but will resume the first leg of the tour – with Megadeth and Testament – on August 11 in New York. After finishing that run at the beginning of September, leg two starts and history heads to Orlando.
Before he left for Europe, we got a chance to talk to Slayer’s drummer Dave Lombardo (during a press junket in Canada) about the current leg of the tour, what’s to come on the second leg, the re-issue of three classic Slayer live DVDs, and the future of Slayer.
Michael Melchor: Going back towards the beginning of the year, the tour you’re currently on with Megadeth and Testament was to have happened earlier, but everything had to be rescheduled when Tom Araya had to have back surgery. When all of that was going on, how was it trying to handle any thought that he may be out for a while? How was the band’s mindset reacting to the fact that he had to be operated on and may be out for a while?
Dave Lombardo: Well, we were–at least, I was positive that he was going to recover and that he was going to be okay. We had to postpone the tour three times, and that was a bummer. The way I survived, I went ahead and started working on putting together a new band. Just something to keep me busy in LA while were waiting for Tom to recover. So I stayed as busy as I could and tried to get my mind off of things and move on until he recovered and we could go on tour again.
MM: Right. I take it the guys from Megadeth and Testament were okay with it, given the circumstances and all.
DL: Well, they had to accept it. Stuff happens.
MM: Yeah, not much could be done, there. Of course, though, he did recover – which I’m very glad he did – and the tour went on. How is the response to that bill now that you’re all three back on the road?
DL: Amazing. The tour’s going great. We all get along; we all have a great time. We see each other at different times of the day, we stop by each others’ dressing rooms to hang out. It’s really a positive thing. And the tour–the crowds are having a great time. They’re loving it.
MM: Cool. It almost sounds like more of a party than a show – a bunch of friends just getting together and playing.
DL: Yeah. I hung out last night with the guys from Testament – Paul Bostaph, Chuck Billy, Alex Skolnick. It was pretty cool; we had a good time.
MM: Very good. The first leg of that tour is going on now; come September, the second leg starts with Anthrax in place of Testament. How did it come about that Anthrax joined the tour? Did the “Big Four” broadcast from Sonisphere play a part in that or was it already in the works beforehand?
DL: I think it was planned all at once, all together. I really don’t know the sequence of the planning; that’s out of my world. I’m just ready to go whenever they say, “Okay let’s go on tour,” and I’m there ready to go. I’m always looking forward to another tour; they might give us a window where they say, “Let’s go to South America or Australia or Japan in, like, November or December,” but it’s only common sense that’s gonna be the next place we’re gonna go.
MM: Right, gotcha. Now, for the “American Carnage” tour, I saw a statement from Tom promising, “No ballads, no acoustic numbers” – which, this is layer, after all…but I also notice that the band is also doing Seasons In The Abyss in its entirety. What led to the decision to play that one? Is it an anniversary-type run, or did the success of doing Reign In Blood the same way prompt this as well?
DL: Could be. It may have been a request by the promoters. Something down the pipeline prompted that; exactly what it was I don’t know. I think it was a request by the promoters or someone down with the business part of the band thought that would have been a good idea.
MM: So are you looking forward to playing that, then?
DL: We’ve already been doing it. it’s been pretty good.
MM: Cool, gotcha. I brought up the run of Reign In Blood earlier because I still have the Still Reigning DVD. The “Wall Of Blood” effect on that is tremendous and that’s just a great show in and of itself. Speaking of that, there’s a set of live DVDs coming out soon; some of them, like that one and War at The Warfield being re-issued, while Live Intrusion is hitting DVD for the first time. How much is the band looking forward to having those back on the shelves? They’ve been missing for a while, it seems, so it’s good that the fans can get their hands on them again.
DL: It’s gonna be good. It’s really a treat for the fans; all that does for us is generate income. If they haven’t been out there, they haven’t been generating income. That’s one good thing on out part. On the fans’ part, you guys get to see these videos re-mastered and re-issued.
MM: Yeah, I have the one – now I can complete the collection once the other two come out. [Laughs]
MM: Now, taking in to account what happened with Tom – even though the band’s obviously overcome that, has there been any talk about how much longer the band will carry on, or is it just a matter of, “we’re having too much fun doing what we’re doing to worry about all that right now”?
DL: Yeah, that’s basically it. We’re having a blast. We just have to do what we’ve been wanting to do since Tom has healed.
Orlando Rock Music Examiner
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