Founding Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo ditched by band; claims that the band were being robbed of 90% touring revenue

Metal giants Slayer have ditched founding member Dave Lombardo for the group’s upcoming tour.

Despite the acrimonious nature of Lombardo’s departure, the drummer hasn’t ruled out a return to the group. According to a statement on his Facebook page, Lombardo was ditched on Valentine’s Day (the horror!), after a dispute over the band’s tour earnings. Although for non-metal fans, this might not be huge news – though we like to think albums as good as Reign in Blood do the trick for fans of any genre – Lombardo brings some interesting issues about how much bands are actually earning on tour to light, and we doubt Slayer are the only ones in this sort of 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 3 of us original Slayer members.”

Lombardo has been in and out of the seminal metal group over the years: after founding the group with King at the start of the 1980s, he eventually left in 1992, following the classic trifecta of Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss. After stints in Mike Patton’s Fantomas project, Grip Inc. and more, he returned to Slayer in the early ’00s [via The Quietus].

Stream 1990’s ‘War Ensemble’ below.



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