Lombardo was born in Cuba and emigrated to California as a toddler, and the Latin music his parents brought over with them formed the backbone of a voracious musical education. He grew up listening to everything from Afro-Cuban jazz and jump blues to psychedelic funk and UK hard rock. When he joined Slayer in 1982, there was already a lot more to his technique than Judas Priest and Iron Maiden worship. When Lombardo stepped away from Slayer for the first time in the ’90s, the true extent of his musical curiosity finally became clear. He collaborated with free jazz icons Bill Laswell and John Zorn, and he balanced more conventionally metal projects like Grip Inc. with Mike Patton-led curiosities like Fantômas and Mr. Bungle. To this day, he’s always busy with a dozen bands at a time, and he turns into an overexcited teenager when you bring up any one of them.