Pioneering thrash-metal band Slayer has chosen to boot longtime drummer Dave Lombardo in advance of its tour of Australia.
Lombardo posted a lengthy statement on Facebook indicating that Slayer’s lead/rhythm guitarist Kerry King decided to fire Lombardo because of a pay dispute.
Lombardo will be replaced -- at least temporarily -- by Jon Dette, who has filled in for the veteran drummer several times, NME reported.
Lombardo noted his dispute with the band arose over contract payments, saying that the band’s accounting was keeping millions of dollars out of the hands of the performers.
“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,” Lombardo wrote. “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.”
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Lombardo added: “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.”
This week, Lombardo said, he was told that he would no longer be playing on the Austrailian tour.
“On Thursday,” Lombardo said, “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 three of us original Slayer members."
Slayer has not made an official statement about Lombardo’s departure.
Lombardo was an original member of Slayer, along with King, lead vocalist/bass guitarist Tom Araya, and rhythm/lead guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 1981. He has played on 10 on the band’s albums, including the extremely influential landmark “Reign in Blood” in 1986. He briefly left the band over a contract dispute following the release of the album, but returned in early 1987.
In 1992, Lombardo left Slayer when his wife became pregnant with his first child. He then played in other bands, including Grip Inc. and Fantomas, until 2002, when he rejoined Slayer. Drummers Paul Bostaph, Tony Scaglione, and Dette have replaced Lombardo at various times throughout the band’s existence.
Slayer has reportedly written 11 songs for a follow-up to its 2009 record “World Painted Blood.” It is unknown who will be drumming on the album.