Dave Lombardo has said that he will not be participating in TESTAMENT’s remaining shows for 2023 and his future with the band remains uncertain
Lombardo returned to TESTAMENT last year, after having played drums for the legendary thrash band’s 1999 release “The Gathering“, replacing vacated drummer Gene Hoglan. The former SLAYER drummer currently also plays with MISFITS, MR. BUNGLE, EMPIRE STATE BASTARD and SATANIC PLANET. He previously played with SUICIDAL TENDENCIES from 2016 until 2020. He also has a new solo release.
In a brand new interview with BLABBERMOUTH.NET, Lombardo was asked about his plans for 2023. “Let’s start with SUICIDAL,” he said. “I haven’t been able to play with SUICIDAL [TENDENCIES] because he [frontman Mike Muir] is not on tour as often or as much as I’d like. When I joined them in 2016, man, it was on. But then the pandemic [happened], and I believe he has [health] issues. I think he’s had a couple of surgeries on his back. It’s limited the amount of shows he does a year. I haven’t played with them in a while.”
He continued: “I’m focusing on the MISFITS, MR. BUNGLE, EMPIRE STATE BASTARD, and in 2022, when I was on tour with TESTAMENT, I had stuff lined up that was starting to build for 2023. With TESTAMENT, we were having several scheduling conflicts. I couldn’t back out of them. I won’t be joining them on their upcoming tours for 2023. My focus is on BUNGLE, who I’ve recorded an album with back in 2019 and we did a live album.
“EMPIRE STATE BASTARD, I recorded an album for them in 2020. That’s going to finally see the light of day later this year. We’ve already released a single. I’m not doing the [upcoming] shows with SATANIC PLANET… I won’t be performing with them. Instead of doing live shows [with SATANIC PLANET], I really like to just be more on the production and songwriting side. It’s very industrial, very dark. It’s got a very evil vibe, but great guys nonetheless. Some of the most kindest people I’ve met in my life, which contrasts with the music.”
Lombardo was asked if he would be continuing with TESTAMENT for the foreseeable future, including performing on the band’s next studio album, to which he responded:. “I don’t know, because everything is starting to snowball with MR. BUNGLE and EMPIRE STATE BASTARD and the MISFITS,” he said. “I’ve been with the MISFITS since 2016. TESTAMENT is a well-oiled machine. They’re always touring and releasing albums. To try to find that space or that time to release something… I don’t know.”
Asked to clarify if this meant his status with TESTAMENT was “uncertain,” Lombardo replied, “Yes. It’s wait-and-see. I can’t guarantee anything because of my commitments. I did fulfill my contractual commitment for 2022, which was quite extensive. We did one of the longest tours I have done. It was like seven weeks in Europe, which was great.
“I really needed to get out there and build my chops after the pandemic. That was a lifesaver. We’ll see. The relationship is good. The doors are open. The communication is there. I told them that I was seeing some clashes coming up. This was in the first week of January when I reached out to Eric [Peterson, guitar] and told him. This has been brewing for a while. Actually, I saw it in November/December of last year. I started seeing, ‘Oh no. This is going to happen. This is not going to happen.’ It’s very tricky.”
TESTAMENT bassist Steve DiGiorgio recently posted some pics to his Instagram which show the band rehearsing for its upcoming South American tour with drummer Chris Dovas (SEVEN SPIRES), who previously filled in for Lombardo on the first six dates of TESTAMENT’s summer/fall 2022 leg of “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” due to his commitment to MISFITS.
TESTAMENT‘s “Klash Of The Titans” tour of Latin America with KREATOR kicks off on April 19 in Lima, Peru and run through May 9 in San Salvador, El Salvador.