In a turn of events that bears an eerily resemblance to the ongoing dispute between Black Sabbath and original drummer Bill Ward, it has been recently announced that esteemed, long-term musician Dave Lombardo was replaced by his bandmates in Slayer for their previous Australian shows.
Lombardo had publicly stated that he received the news of his dismissal prior to the band’s February tour in Australia this year, adding that financial matters were mainly to blame:
“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 bandmates know, and Tom [Araya, bass/vocals] and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary backup documents.
…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. On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1 p.m. as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. Rather, at 6:24 p.m. I received an email from the lawyers saying I was being replaced for the Australian dates.”
Slayer meanwhile, had issued out their own statement on the matter, least of which:
“…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.”
Following guitarist Jeff Hannemann’s departure from Slayer due to having contracted a rare, flesh-eating virus in 2011 while on tour down under, Lombardo’s dismissal means that out of the original line-up, only lead guitarist (and band leader) Kerry King and frontman Tom Araya are still around.
Although it hasn’t been officially declared whether this means that Lombardo has actually been fired from Slayer by King, fans remain curious as to how this will affect the thrash legends’ upcoming shows in 2013, including an appearance at Bloodstock Open Air festival in the UK.