Everyone's Replaceable

Dave Lombardo: Out of Slayer Again

  • Axl Rosenberg

Dave Lombardo: Out of Slayer Again

Good morning, class! Welcome back to “There is No God 101.” Today’s lesson comes from Dave Lombardo, who is pretty much universally acknowledged as the best thing to happen to drumming since cymbals. Mr. Lombardo posted the following message on his Facebook page late last night:

Statement From Dave Lombardo Regarding Slayer Australian Tour 2013

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 [Araya] 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 [King] 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.

Dave Lombardo

Lombardo has reportedly been replaced by Jon Dette, who previously played with both Slayer and Testament in the 90s, but never recorded with either band.

So this obviously fucking sucks. Sure, Lombardo has split with Slayer before and the band managed to continue, but I don’t think the non-Lombardo years are anyone’s favorite era for the band (and I say that as someone who really likes the non-Lombardo albums — but none of them are Slayer’s finest hour). Also, as Lombardo says, the group has only been performing with three original members as of late, since Jeff Hanneman remains sidelined due to a near-fatal spider bite. So Australian fans will now only be seeing fifty percent of Slayer’s original line-up — which is, to the best of my knowledge, the fewest amount of founding members they’ve performed with during their professional career.

And the fact that it’s all over money? No one should be surprised, but it’s still a major cock-slap in the face. Right now, of course, it looks King and Araya are the assholes, but I’d like to reserve judgment until they release a statement giving their side of the story. I know that’s an unusually calm stance for me to take. I’m sure I’ll fly back off the handle as soon as I’m convinced of one party’s guilt.

Of course, it’s possible that Lombardo and the band will work out their differences and he’ll return to the fold. Let’s just hope he doesn’t call Bill Ward for advice.

Thanks for the fifteen gajillion e-mails alerting us to this tragedy.

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