Metal on the Internet is an incredibly fickle thing. Is a super cheesy band going to be lauded as the next big thing, or made fun of into oblivion? Is the next hyped band going to survive long enough to become popular or simply fade away? Whatever the case may have been, ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo doesn’t think early Slayer would’ve been very popular with the online masses at the time.
In an interview with The Pit’s MoshTalks Cover Stories, Lombardo said he believes had the Internet existed back when Slayer first started putting out music, the band would’ve been ridiculed.
“If the Internet existed back when Slayer released their very first album, we would have been destroyed. ‘Oh, what is this?’. So, today, these days, you have to go with the approach of how we did it back then — we didn’t care. We thought it was heavy; we thought it was brutal and evil. It was dark. It had a certain feel to it. And it made all of us happy; it had our stamp of approval.
“What we were listening to at the time created a bar. It’s, like, ‘Okay, we’ve gotta come up with something like this or better. And we always wanted to do something better and different. I think, really, musicians and bands, listen to yourselves. Don’t listen to anyone.”
Lombardo also talked about longevity as an artist and essentially not catering to what you think fans might want to hear.
“And another thing is bands that feel, ‘Oh, no. Our fans won’t go for that, because our fans only like us to do this style.’ Well, then there’s no growth. You’re gonna grow stagnant. It’s just not gonna evolve if you don’t venture out and try new things.
“I feel like part of longevity is being as creative as you can be. Like, for example, when Slayer released Reign In Blood, we did the exact opposite on South Of Heaven. It was a little bit slower — although there were some fast songs, but we touched on slower rhythms. We shifted things. And the sound was a little bit different as well. And then Seasons came out, and it was different. You have to do that, man. Otherwise… I don’t know. Maybe it works for some bands, but for me personally, it feels good when you try different styles, different approaches to music.”
If there’s anyone to talk about doing whatever the hell you want, it’s Lombardo. Dude has been all over the place for years and has pretty much always crushed it.