Published Feb 21, 2013Thrash vets Slayer are down a titan, as longtime drum pummeller Dave Lombardo was apparently let go from the group last week — at least temporarily. According to the musician, he was informed on Valentine's Day that he was being replaced on the band's upcoming trip to Australia.
Last night (February 20), Lombardo broke the news of his troubles in the group. He posted a lengthy statement on his Facebook page that lambastes the suits behind the band, claiming that almost all of the money the group make on their countless global trips go to management, with the band retaining the leftovers.
"Last year, I discovered 90 percent 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 percent 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."
Lombardo claimed that he hadn't been paid anything but a small advance for the group's 2012 dates and was allegedly told by management that he wouldn't get paid until he signed a long-term contract, "which gave me no written assurance of how much or on what basis management would deduct commissions."
The drummer noted that he and bassist-vocalist Tom Araya had hired auditors to look into the situation, but they were "denied access to detailed information and the necessary back up documents." Furthermore, apparently not everyone in the act was on board with figuring out why they had been getting allegedly shortchanged.
"I sat down with Kerry [King, guitar] 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."
After being the only person to show up to a band practice last Thursday (February 14), Lombardo received an email from lawyers explaining he would not be drumming with Slayer on the Australian tour.
This isn't the first time the drummer has exited the group, having temporarily departed on his own terms after 1986's Reign in Blood, but he came back to the fold for 1988's South of Heaven. He left again in 1992, but returned in the early 2000s.
Slayer have yet to comment on the situation, but former fill-in drummer Jon Dette is said to be tackling this month's trip to Australia. The band also have a number of global gigs lined up throughout the spring and summer. You can see the schedule here.
Lombardo remains hopeful he and his bandmates resolve their interpersonal and financial problems.