Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo is back with a brand new release from his band Philm. Titled “Fire from the Evening Sun” the album is a blending of music styles ranging from full on thrash to progressive rock and everything in between. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Dave recently about the bands sophomore release and their plans to take their unique sound on the road.
Adam Lawton: Can you give us some background on how this album came together?
Dave Lombardo: We are a very productive group. We tend to do a lot of improvisations when we are together and we record those. From there we do what I call “trim the fat”. We take out all the pieces that don’t really work and only focus on the high points. From there we create the traditional elements of the song such as the verses and choruses. When we are done we like to the songs sit for a bit before Jerry goes in and works on the vocals. The material on the new album is songs that we have been working on since we recorded our first album “Harmonic”. A lot of these songs were written during the mix down of the first. How we go about our song writing is pretty interesting. There is not just one person who brings in material and they dictate how the song is to go. We are very collective.
AL: Can you tell us about the different style you guys took on “Fire from the Evening Sun” as compared to “Harmonic”?
DL: There are some production differences between the two. I also feel this album has a more straight forward and in your face approach related to the sound. With “Harmonic” that was a more laid back and experimental album. On the first record I let guys come in and play whatever that wanted. With the new record I feel like I had a little more say in making sure the songs were concise and aggressive. There are a lot of different approaches you can take when making an album. The next album we might decide to throw everyone a curve ball and do something completely different from the previous two albums.
AL: Do you prefer creating music out of improvisation as compared to more traditional approaches?
DL: It’s more fulfilling. When you do things this way it’s more organic and less thought. When you improvise you are creating on the fly. You have to come up with something really quick as there is really no time to think. You play what you feel. That’s how all of this music was created. These songs came from three people improvising with one another. I think doing things this way gives the songs a certain level of excitement.
AL: Being involved as an artist and a producer on both of the bands release do you ever find it hard balancing the two roles?
DL: It’s not difficult but I will take that producer hat off within the process but at the same time I have to be able to make decisions on issues as they come up. Having worked with so many amazing producers and song writers I am able to do what I do by consciously and subconsciously using their approach. The guys in the band know how I work and I will tell them before we start what I am feeling. Most of the time we are all on the same page and do what is best for the material.
AL: You brought in outside help to mix the album this time. Can you tell us about that decision?
DL: When you are a producer you have to step out and let others take control for a second to ensure things are not one sided. I brought in Robert Carranza to mix this album because I felt that the mix wasn’t where it should be. Robert did a great job and shortly after Tyler Bates offered to master it. It was actually Tyler’s idea to bring in Robert to do the mixing. I appreciated his input and was thankful for the advice.
AL: Tell us a little bit about the two singles the band has released thus far?
DL: We have released “Fire from the Evening Son” and “Train”. “Fire from the Evening Son” is a song we chose because it has a very thrash metal feel. I believe that’s what fans want from me. They want something aggressive in my drumming and my band. I think that’s what this song is about. The song has a great drive and shows our versatility. Both songs I think have that signature sound I am known for.
AL: When you take this material out on the road will there be elements of improvisation or will you be sticking to what is heard on the album?
DL: We are going to be doing what is heard on the album. We can certainly get up on stage and show people how improvisation is done but I don’t think they are ready for that yet. All the songs we are playing live are complete songs from the albums. We have 6 songs done for the next album. They don’t have words just yet so sometimes we will go out and do some of the new material for an encore. We play around on those and try some different things.
AL: Can you tell us what the tour plans are for you guys?
DL: I would like to start performing here in the States as soon we can. I would love to tour the world with this we just have to find a booking agent who is this with us whole heartedly. We have done four shows in Europe as well as some shows in Colombia and Ecuador. We also have some things planned for November as well.
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