The Misfits have confirmed that the drummer for their upcoming reunion appearances at two installments of Riot Fest next month will be former Slayer member Dave Lombardo. The rest of the lineup will feature Glenn Danzig for his first appearance with the group since 1983, along with bassist Jerry Only and guitarist Doyle.
The first Riot Fest appearance will take place on the weekend of September 2nd. The second will be the weekend of September 16th in Chicago.
"The Misfits created the horror punk attitude and had a massive influence on modern rock, punk and metal," Lombardo tells Rolling Stone. "It was an easy decision for me to join them for these monumental shows. I was honored to be asked, and am very excited to be playing with the band.”
"I first met Dave back in 1988 when Danzig did four shows with Slayer in the U.S., before the first Danzig album was released," Danzig says. "Dave is one of the best drummers around, and I can't wait for everyone to see him pounding Misfits songs live for these special shows.”
Only calls Lombardo a "master at what he does," adding, "With the immensity of the two shows we’re planning together, the biggest decision we had was who is going to keep time and power this monster machine on drums? When Dave Lombardo’s name was thrown into the ring, Glenn and I were immediately on the same page from the very start; a good sign of things to come. I think the darker side of punk we created with the Misfits spawned the growth and evolution of punk into thrash, and sired bands like Metallica and Slayer, just as we inspired countless others in the punk revolution.”
Lombardo was the founding drummer in Slayer and has played with them off and on since their formation. His most recent stint with the group ended in 2013 when he made allegations about the way the group's financial bookkeeping was handled.
The musician – one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Drummers of All Time – has also played with numerous other groups and projects, many of which focus on hard rock and metal. Among others, these include experimental collective Fantômas, thrashers Testament and, most recently, punk-metal crossover group Suicidal Tendencies, with whom he has been recently touring. His band Dead Cross, a punkish noise-rock crew, will be playing at Ozzfest Meets Knotfest, a weekend festival that will also feature Slayer.
Misfits announced their reunion concerts this past May, billing themselves as the "Original Misfits." In the decades since their last concert together, which took place on October 29th, 1983 in Detroit, Danzig and Only had engaged in bitter legal battles, making the reunion all the more surprising. Only and Doyle reactivated Misfits in the mid-Nineties, and Doyle split with the group in 2002, joining Danzig on tour in 2006.
In an interview with Rolling Stone that month, Only said that he and Danzig were "never not friends." "We were just adversaries," he said. "Larry Bird might not have liked Michael Jordan on the court, but when they go out to a bar, they're cool." He also said that he wanted Danzig to pick the set list for the reunion shows.
Danzig spoke with Rolling Stone as well that month and said he was open to seeing where it would be heading. "We'll see how it goes," he said. "It may lead to some other work, but who knows how it's going to turn out? ... I mean, I don't think it's going to be a disaster; I think it's going to be incredible."
At the time, both Danzig and Only kept mum about who the drummer would be, giving only hints and saying that they would begin rehearsals with him this past June.
Still, even then, Danzig was excited about the prospect of Lombardo coming aboard. "It will blow your mind when I tell you who it is," Danzig said at the time. "It's pretty crazy. He's one of my favorite drummers."