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Lombardogate Continues: Kerry King and Nicko McBrain Speak Out

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I was really hoping that when Kerry King and/or Tom Araya gave an interview on the Slayer’s current Dave Lombardo drama, they’d get a little more specific with regards to the drummer’s very serious accusations of financial misdeeds being perpetrated within the band’s camp. Alas, no such luck. Lambgoat reports that when King spoke to Soundwave TV last week, he didn’t actually go into much detail regarding the cause of the split. Instead, he rather cleverly focused on how his decision (and, to his credit, he takes full responsibility) to do the band’s Australian tour with fill-in drummer Jon Dette saved them from having to disappoint Aussie fans:

“This just happened a week ago… ten days ago, so I mean, I don’t know… It’s unfortunate that Dave couldn’t be with us; I planned on him being here up until the Monday before I left. And then I saw trouble in paradise, and since I am the mastermind on making decisions like this, I was, like, ‘Alright, I’ve got a backup plan. Just in case.’ Cause I would have hated to have just Australia blown out. Can you imagine how shitty that would have been? So I did what I thought was best, and we pulled it off.”

So in other words, “The fans almost got fucked, and I saved the day.”

King was then asked whether or not he saw the dispute coming, to which he replied:

“Tom did. Tom’s been on the fence about Dave for awhile and I was pretty much the one that said, ‘Nah, I’m not comfortable moving on [without Dave].’ And then it got thrust in our face and I took action immediately and I got a very lucky culmination of things that happened.”

What’s interesting about this last bit is that Lombardo previously claimed that he and Araya had hired auditors together in order to sort out this whole mess… which would suggest that Araya was not “on the fence” about him. So this is increasingly turning into a “he said, he said” situation, and my guess is, we’re never going to know exactly what went on behind-the-scenes. But right now there’s a real feeling in the metal community that King is at fault here, and the reason for this simple: he hasn’t presented his side of the story. Until he can plausibly posit that Lombardo is full of crap, Lombardo is going to continue to look like the good guy in this whole crazy situation.

To wit: even Nicko McBrain had a few things to say about Lombardo’s sacking… and that of Black Sabbath’s Bill Ward, to boot. The below comes from a recent interview with the Iron Maiden drummer:

Would you like to weigh-in on the situations going on with Dave Lombardo and Bill Ward?

I don’t so much about the Dave story… I was actually with Dave a couple of weeks ago in LA and he didn’t say anything. I don’t know much about the story, I take it there’s trouble in the Slayer camp?

Apparently he came to Kerry King regarding some financial discrepancies and they fired him.

Oh, that’s not good! Yeah, you know, most of the issues that pro musicians have sooner or later in time boils down to the royalty check or performance royalties.

I’m sad to hear that that has happened, but, you know, when you find out and look at something and say “could you explain this to me, why we’re not getting what we should according to these numbers” and if somebody turns around and says “Fucking shut your face or you’re fired,” that therefore it tells you there’s an alarm bell going off. Without knowing all of the ins and outs of it, you can’t pre-judge it.

But yeah, the Bill Ward story, I understood that Sharon Osbourne got her fangs into that one. It’s beyond me — I mean, Bill Ward was the original freaking band member, you know? It just doesn’t make sense to me. If I was entitled to more, I don’t really want to know; I’m happy!

You have to ask yourself this: How did Dave Lombardo get the information that led to this problem, is what I’d like to know. Who gave him the financials, if he wasn’t on top of it with an accountant already?

I’m sad because Dave is so much a part of that band; he’s so identifiable. There’s great drummers out there, but Dave Lombardo is a master with it, and Dave is… to me, he is Slayer with Kerry and the guys! I think Kerry really may have overreacted and might be regretting it. I hope that that’s the case and they can sit down and sort it out.

I think we pretty much all agree with ya there, Nicko. Fingers crossed…

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