Heavy metal band Slayer performs at the Long Beach Arena in 2006. (Christine Cotter / Los Angeles Times / July 22, 2006)
One of the most iconic heave metal bands of all time has hit a quite rocky situation before starting their upcoming Australian tour. Co-founder and drummer, Dave Lombardo, has been fired from the band; temporarily or long term, that is still undecided. To make a long story short, Lombardo questioned the group’s expenses and accounting practices about the tour; shortly after this, he received a letter from the group’s attorneys that he was not going to be needed on the Australia tour and that a replacement, Jon Dette (who played drums for Slayer from 92-2002), will be filling his seat this go around.
Dave also states that the band has forbid him to talk to the press about this and coerced him into signing a long-term contract where the accounting details would be kept hidden from his review. ”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,” Dave wrote on his Facebook posting on February 21st. You can read more from Dave on his Facebook page here.
The band officially responded to Dave’s accusations and released the following statement:
“Slayer confirms that Jon Dette (Testament) will drum for the band on its Australian tour that starts this Saturday, February 23 in Brisbane. As regards [to] Dave Lombardo’s Facebook post, Slayer does not agree with Mr. Lombardo’s substance or the timeline of the events, except to acknowledge that Mr. Lombardo came to the band less than a week before their scheduled departure for Australia to present an entirely new set of terms for his engagement that were contrary to those that had been previously agreed upon. The band was unable to reach an agreement on these new demands in the short amount of time available prior to leaving for Australia. There is more to the account than what Mr. Lombardo has offered, but out of respect to him, Slayer will not be commenting further. Slayer is grateful to its Australian fans for their understanding of this unfortunate last-minute change, and very much looks forward to seeing them at these shows.”
As we previous stated, no one truly knows if this will be a permanent change to the epic metal group or just a hardcore brawl between band members (in the court room), but one thing we do know is that Slayer will not be the same without Dave behind the beat. Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.