When we last spoke to Dave Lombardo in 2012 (Rock-A-Rolla issue 38), the ex-Slayer/Fantômas/ Grip Inc./etc. legend enthused: “I have so much frigging energy I don’t know what the hell I’m gonna do with it!” As it turns out, he apparently fed plenty of it into the second album from his current full-time, rather excellent, band PHILM – a post-hardcore/experimental trio also featuring vocalist/guitarist Gerry Nestler and bassist Pancho Tomaselli – which lives up to Lombardo’s promise of a “heavy, in your face” follow-up to 2012’s superb Ipecac debut, Harmonic. The drum maestro fills us in ahead of the album’s release and forthcoming live shows, including a long-awaited date at The Underworld, London.
Can you talk us through PHILM’s second LP, Fire From The Evening Sun? How long was the album in the works?
“We wrote this album shortly after recording our first album, Harmonic. The album probably took 9 months to put together, which I felt came along quick. What I like the most about this album is the manner in which we developed the songs. We performed the songs live and made changes to the structure if it didn’t sit right.”
It’s in many ways different to its predecessor. What did you set out to do on this album?
“We definitely wanted to release a record that had less improvisations and a heavier tone, darker, but with our signature ability to venture in other musical modes.”
It’s also noticeably more aggressive in places…
“The aggression in the music has developed naturally due to my obvious affiliation with thrash, that style of music will never cease to appear in my works. On a side note, I don’t think we should dismiss our first record. Harmonic has several songs that are very aggressive as well.”
“That style of music – thrash – will never cease to appear in my works”
You’ve moved to a new label, Germany’s UDR, which released Motörhead’s last album amongst other big rock/metal names and aptly describes itself as ‘The Home Of Legends’. Do you feel you’re in good company?
“Yes I do feel I’m in good company, I’ve known the artist relations representative for quite some time now. It was a no-brainer.”
You will shortly hit the UK for a long-awaited debut show on these shores with PHILM. What can fans expect?
“The UK gave birth to some of my most favorite bands: Cream, The Experience (Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding), Black Sabbath and Zeppelin. I think they will enjoy it very much. It’s real. No fluff.”
It has also been announced recently that you’ll be splitting your time with Amen and experimental project House Of Hayduk (the latter also featuring Faith No More’s Bill Gould and, previously, This Heat’s Charles Hayward).
“Actually, that is not all true, I simply helped the singer [Casey Chaos] of Amen with his new album. He’s a good friend. On House Of Hayduk, I was invited to record drums with composer/producer Mads Heldtberg.”
Finally, how much of a road map do you have for PHILM in the long run?
“PHILM is my main focus. However, as you can see I always have time to work on something different.”
Fire From The Evening Sun is out 15th September on UDR
Catch PHILM at The Underworld, London on September 7th, 2014 (presented by Nightshift Promotions & The Underworld). For tickets and info, see www.theunderworldcamden.co.uk