Now this one I never saw coming, but happen it did and as result we get another one of our “Heavy Metal Holy Sh*t!” postings. I only really try to do these when something super dramatic happens in the Metal scene and the apparent dismissal of founding drummer Dave Lombardo from Slayer is certainly a reason to get one out there plus every single other website is tossing their views into the mix so why not let our readers know what we think of the whole thing (that is what the blog part of PiercingMetal is for after all). Please read on. To keep this easier to digest, I’ve copied Dave’s official statement from his Facebook Page.
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 three of us original Slayer members. I look forward to seeing you in the future.”
Whew. That is a lot to digest but it really doesn’t make sense that 90% of the income is going towards expenses. Of course I didn’t need to work in the accounting firm all those years to know that something is not too right about that little financial issue.
Now it was totally expected for Slayer to offer up their own statement which they did the following day and was the other reason I didn’t even rush to post this news. It’s better to have the full story to discuss among ourselves than to just rehash news items over and over endlessly. Here is what the band had to say….
“Slayer confirms that Jon Dette (Testament; picture below) 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.”
Well there you have it my fiends. What do you think of the whole mess? Is Dave out of the band for good this time or will they mend financial fences and come to terms like Black Sabbath did with Bill Ward (oh wait, nevermind). I will admit that this bothers me because without any offense to Dette or anyone else who had played drums in Slayer over the years, it is not the same without Lombardo back there and we are already a member down with Jeff Hanneman still recovering from the deadly spider bite from a couple of years ago. I welcome your views in the comments on this especially since I would love to hear what you think.
Official Website: http:www.slayer.net