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Slayer

“The only thing I can think of is my natural hyperactivity, but also the love of punk music,” Dave Lombardo offers by way of explanation. He is often credited with having created an almost impossibly fast and relentless percussion style (featuring double kick drums) known as speed-metal drumming.

“I love songs that have this driving force behind them, that have intensity,” he says by phone. Lombardo is the drummer for Slayer, a California thrash-metal band with a history that dates back to 1981. Slayer branded itself with images from their own comic book world of satanic Nazis and serial killers. As their popularity grew, the band became a thorn in the side of the Religious Right. Protests were made about vile cover art and graphic lyrics, but by the end of the day Slayer’s act had made them rich. Four of their albums have been certified gold, and they won two out of their four Grammy nominations.

Why? Behind the cartoon image of Slayer is an exceptional degree of instrumental dexterity. Thrash metal is all about speed guitar-and-bass playing, a singer who can yell, and a maniacal drummer. “It’s not something I went to school for,” says Lombardo of his decision to play drums. “It’s in my blood. I believe it started at birth.” But for a pounding thrash-metal drummer, some of his influences are not in keeping with the speed-metal tradition. A native Cuban, Lombardo took inspiration from the Afro-Cuban percussionists he grew up with. Another source of enlightenment came from a straight-ahead jazz drummer, the late Art Blakey.

“I read in an interview of his that he had mentioned that he heard violins in the cymbals.” It was a figure of speech, Lombardo explains, meant to describe how cymbals could build tension like violins in, say, a horror-movie soundtrack. Scary, yes, but in that overstated way of the WWE.

Megadeth and Testament also perform.

SLAYER: Cricket Amphitheatre, Sunday, August 29, 7 p.m. 619-671-3600. $22.25–$75.

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“The only thing I can think of is my natural hyperactivity, but also the love of punk music,” Dave Lombardo offers by way of explanation. He is often credited with having created an almost impossibly fast and relentless percussion style (featuring double kick drums) known as speed-metal drumming.

“I love songs that have this driving force behind them, that have intensity,” he says by phone. Lombardo is the drummer for Slayer, a California thrash-metal band with a history that dates back to 1981. Slayer branded itself with images from their own comic book world of satanic Nazis and serial killers. As their popularity grew, the band became a thorn in the side of the Religious Right. Protests were made about vile cover art and graphic lyrics, but by the end of the day Slayer’s act had made them rich. Four of their albums have been certified gold, and they won two out of their four Grammy nominations.

Why? Behind the cartoon image of Slayer is an exceptional degree of instrumental dexterity. Thrash metal is all about speed guitar-and-bass playing, a singer who can yell, and a maniacal drummer. “It’s not something I went to school for,” says Lombardo of his decision to play drums. “It’s in my blood. I believe it started at birth.” But for a pounding thrash-metal drummer, some of his influences are not in keeping with the speed-metal tradition. A native Cuban, Lombardo took inspiration from the Afro-Cuban percussionists he grew up with. Another source of enlightenment came from a straight-ahead jazz drummer, the late Art Blakey.

“I read in an interview of his that he had mentioned that he heard violins in the cymbals.” It was a figure of speech, Lombardo explains, meant to describe how cymbals could build tension like violins in, say, a horror-movie soundtrack. Scary, yes, but in that overstated way of the WWE.

Megadeth and Testament also perform.

SLAYER: Cricket Amphitheatre, Sunday, August 29, 7 p.m. 619-671-3600. $22.25–$75.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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