Breaking: Slayer drummer out of Soundwave

Soundwave’s drummer “curse” has struck again – but this time it’s a big one.

Slayer’s Dave Lombardo is officially out of the Soundwave tour, with his future as a member of the thrash metal icons looking very much in doubt. Writing on his Facebook page, Lombardo expressed his “shock” at the news, saying he was contacted by lawyers representing the band last week who informed him he would not be involved in Slayer’s Australian tour. A battle over band payments is reportedly at the heart of the dispute.

“I remain hopeful that we can resolve our issues,” Lombardo said. “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.”

Born in Cuba, Lombardo is a founding member of Slayer, performing with the band on seven albums, including their groundbreaking 1986 release Reign in Blood. He left the band in 1998 to work with Mike Patton in Fantomas, returning to record their 2006 release Christ Illusion. Lombardo is one of only three original members currently touring with Slayer. The others are vocalist/bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King.

The other Soundwave 2013 drummers to have been hit by the “curse” are Blink 182’s Travis Barker, The Vandals’ Josh Freese, Six Feet Under’s Kevin Talley, and Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante. Six Feet Under have been forced to cancel their Soundwave tour but the other drummers have been replaced. Brooks Wackerman of Bad Religion will fill in for Barker with Blink 182; Alkaline Trio’s Derek Gran has stepped on to fill Freese’s seat with The Vandals and former Slayer drummer Jon Dette will play with Anthrax.

A replacement for Lombardo has not been announced, although Dette seems an obvious choice.

Related: “The “ins” and “outs of Soundwave 2013

Statement From Dave Lombardo Regarding Slayer Australian Tour 2013

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 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 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.

I look forward to seeing you in the future.