Slayer Drummer Kicked Off Aussie Tour

When Slayer launches its Australian tour this weekend, you won’t find Dave Lombardo on stage. The drummer announced yesterday on his Facebook page that after confronting the band about where its money was going, he was eventually notified that he had been replaced on the upcoming excursion.

Lombardo is Slayer’s original drummer, having joined the band in 1981. points out that he left the band in 1992 to spend time with his pregnant wife. By 2002 Lombardo was once again part of the lineup.

As of the time of this post, we only know Lombardo’s side of the story. Neither Slayer’s website, Facebook page or Twitter page have been updated with a response to Lombardo’s news. Pollstar contacted Slayer’s manager this morning and was told that the band planned on releasing a statement soon.

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That being said, here’s what Lombardo is saying.

“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,” Lombardo wrote on Facebook Feb. 20. “I’m saddened, and to be honest I am shocked by the situation.”

According to Lombardo, he discovered that only 10 percent (or less) of Slayer’s tour income was going to the band members. The rest of the money “was being deducted as expenses including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars.”

Lombardo gave his bandmates the heads up and he and lead vocalist/bassist Tom Araya hired auditors. The drummer noted that he “was denied access to detailed information and the necessary back up documents.”  

According to Lombardo, his problems didn’t end there.

“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.”

Lombardo proposed a new business model to Araya and guitarist Kerry King during a Feb. 11 rehearsal for the Australian tour. King reportedly said that he didn’t want to make changes and if Lombardo “wanted to argue the point, he would find another drummer.” King didn’t show up for rehearsal on Feb. 14 and hours later, Lombardo received an email from lawyers saying the drummer had been replaced on the Australian tour.

“I remain hopeful that we can resolve our issues,” Lombardo wrote. “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. I look forward to seeing you in the future.”

The Australian tour is made up of appearances at Soundwave Festival and Sidewaves. Scheduled Feb. 23 through March 4, stops include Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

In response to a fan’s question on Twitter asking if Slayer was pulling out of Soundwave, festival promoter AJ Maddah wrote, “No. Dette is already here and knows Slayer songs well.”

Dette is drummer Jon Dette, who previously toured with Slayer.

After Australia, Slayer has European dates scheduled June through August.

{Update: Slayer has released a statement in response to Dave Lombardo’s announcement.}