Dave Lombardo no longer in Slayer?!
Drumming great replaced after a dispute over pay
Some shocking news surfaced late Wednesday night, as Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo revealed via Facebook that after a dispute over pay he was informed by lawyers that he will not be performing with the band on their upcoming Australian tour, which kicks off this coming Saturday in Brisbane. According to reports, Jon Dette, who played with Slayer briefly in 1996 and is currently filling in for Charlie Benante in Anthrax, will be Lombardo's replacement. Here’s the full message:
I want to personally apologize to all of our fans in Australia who have bought tickets for the tour expecting to see me in my usual place on the drums.
So that you all know the truth, as of the end of the business day on February 14th, I was notified that I would not be drumming for the tour in Australia. I’m saddened, and to be honest I am shocked by the situation.
Last year, I discovered 90% of Slayer’s tour income was being deducted as expenses including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars and leaving 10% or less to split amongst the four of us. In my opinion, this is not the way a band’s business should operate. I tried rectifying it by letting my band mates know, and Tom and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary back up documents.
I spent the Christmas and New Year holidays realizing I had toured all over the world in 2012, but yet, had not been paid (except a small advance) or provided a proper accounting for a full year's sweat and blood. On top of this, I was told that I would not be paid until I signed a long form contract which gave me no written assurance of how much or on what basis management would deduct commissions, nor did it provide me access to the financial budgets or records for review. It also forbade me to do interviews or make statements having to do with the band, in effect a gagging order.
Last Monday, I sat down with Kerry and Tom to rehearse for Australia and to propose a new business model that I felt was the best way forward for Slayer to confidently protect itself so we could do what we do best . . . play for the fans. Kerry made it clear he wasn’t interested in making changes and said if I wanted to argue the point, he would find another drummer. On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1 pm as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. Rather, at 6:24 pm I received an email from the lawyers saying I was being replaced for the Australian dates.
I remain hopeful that we can resolve our issues. But once again, I sincerely apologize to all of our fans in Australia who spent their money expecting to see the 3 of us original Slayer members.
I look forward to seeing you in the future.
Obviously there’s no word on whether Lombardo will come to an agreement with Slayer in time for their summer European tour, but it sure doesn’t look promising. Nothing against Dette, but Dave Lombardo is the best drummer in heavy metal bar none, and Slayer always suffers without him, be it studio recordings or live performances. Ask any Slayer fan who endured the ten years Lombardo was out of the band from 1992 to 2002: Lombardo’s drumming is as important to the band’s sound as Jeff Hanneman’s and Kerry King’s riffs, and Tom Araya’s vocals. Right now the people who should be the most disappointed are the folks in Australia who shelled out good money to see what is now just a Slayer cover band (Exodus's Gary Holt continues to sit in for the rehabilitating Hanneman), which is a real shame.
Do the right thing, Kerry. Welcome Dave back.
I'm sure there will be a lawsuit over this. You can't fook with people's money and I'd bet they owe him 10's of thousands of dollars.
People are sooo stupid these days thinking they can rip someone off and have nothing happen. Morons.
Dave needs to lawyer up and get a look at the books from the last ten years to see what back pay he is owed.
Dave has been successful outside of Slayer before. If he is gone permanently, he will have no trouble finding a new gig. As Adrien says in the article, Dave is the best drummer in metal (though I would argue that Gene Hoglan would at least give him a run for his money for that title). Over the past few years, I have had the feeling that Slayer is on its last legs as a band. There have been too many interviews with Kerry that imply the end is near for them. Having Slayer be just the Tom and Kerry show seems wrong somehow. Hopefully this is just temporary, but as this situation is about money management, I expect he's gone for good this time. Its going to take a lot for him to want to go back after this I think.