Founding member of thrash metal band says he is 'shocked and saddened'

A founding member of Slayer, drummer Dave Lombardo, has been removed from the band’s Australian tour over a contract dispute.

Posting on Facebook, Lombardo says he is “saddened” and “shocked” by the decision to remove him from the forthcoming Australian tour, which starts tomorrow (February 23) and is followed by dates around the world.

In the lengthy post, Lombardo says that the reasons are financial, and follow lengthy discussions with the band. “Last year, I discovered 90 per cent 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 per cent or less to split amongst the four of us. In my opinion, this is not the way a band’s business should operate,” he writes, going on to detail his investigations into the matter and his attempts to reach a new agreement with his bandmates.

He concludes: “On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1pm as scheduled, but Kerry [King, guitarist] 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 apologise to all of our fans in Australia who spent their money expecting to see the three of us original Slayer members.” Read the full post here.

Lombardo’s replacement will be drummer Jon Dette, who has played with the band on numerous occasions, as Lombardo took time out from the band between 1992 and 2002. Slayer have not yet confirmed if Lombardo’s absence is to be permanent. King recently announced the band had written 11 songs for a new album.