During an appearance on the latest episode of "The Ex-Man" podcast hosted by Doc Coyle (BAD WOLVES), original SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo was asked if he felt any sadness or if he had any regrets about the fact that he didn't take part in the band's final tour. He responded (hear audio below): "When I was [still] in the band, I knew Tom [Araya, bass/voclals] wanted to retire. I knew he wanted to stop. Actually, Kerry [King, guitar] and I were gonna start a new band after Tom's retirement. And we were actually scouting guitar players. And SLAYER was playing Hellfest [in France], and we said, 'Hey, let's go see EXODUS.' And so Kerry and I walked over to the stage where EXODUS was playing, and we stood on the side of the stage, stage left, and were watching Gary [Holt]. Jeff [Hanneman] was still in [SLAYER at that point], Jeff was still playing, Jeff was fine. And I told [Kerry], I go, 'There's our guy right there,'" referring to Holt. "'That's the guitar player we need.' And it just turns out that, as life went on, we needed to replace Jeff [and Gary stepped in].
"We didn't tell Gary — I don't think we had told Gary that Kerry and I were going to start a new band, but he was the first choice when that moment came [to replace Jeff in SLAYER]," Dave explained. "And I agreed, everybody agreed. And Jeff agreed as well, because he knew — he knew.
"As far as I'm concerned, I played the first show with the original SLAYER, and I played the last show with the original SLAYER, and I'm happy with that," Lombardo added. "It was a brilliant band. We made some history. And I wish them well. But there's nothing, man.
"I'm happy in my world, man. The best way is just to keep moving forward. I look at the future."
Lombardo also talked about the fact that he was left out of the songwriting credits on most of the SLAYER albums he appeared on, despite the fact that his drum patterns enhanced the music greatly.
"Fans really don't understand this one aspect of songwriting," he said. "If you're a drummer, and this is something I didn't learn until way later in my career — if you're a drummer, and you walk into a room and you start writing music, and you start working with a guitar player, and you start working on parts, putting parts together… you basically wrote part of that song. Well, every SLAYER album I've been a part of, I've been in the room with Kerry from the beginning of that song. He may have written two riffs or three riffs and the drum beat is [hums generic fast beat], and then it goes into a double-bass [part]. All right, that's all he knows, but everything in between, he's not telling me to do. So technically, under songwriting copyright law, if you walk into a room with somebody, you walk in with a musician and you guys work on a body of music, you're basically co-writing.
"From day one, [the other members of SLAYER] put into my mind that because I didn't have a stringed instrument, I wasn't a songwriter… When I got into SLAYER and we started writing music, I was 17 years old, 16 years old. I was a kid. I didn't know anything about copyright law. There's a lot of Internet Rambos [who say], 'Oh, he didn't write anything.' You know what? I was there from the beginning on all those songs.
"There are some songs on the two albums I did [before my final departure], 'Christ Illusion' and 'World Painted Blood', I [am getting] publishing across the board on those records. It's good, and that was the one thing I asked when I came back to the band. It ain't much, but hey…"
The 55-year-old musician, who splits most of his time between crossover pioneers SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, horror-punk icons MISFITS and hardcore supergroup DEAD CROSS, was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the group's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other bandmembers. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001.
Shortly after his dismissal, Lombardo said that he discovered that 90 percent of SLAYER's tour income was being deducted as expenses, including fees to management, costing the band millions and leaving them with about 10 percent to split four ways. While he and Araya hired auditors to figure out what had happened, Lombardo said he was never allowed to see any of the information obtained.
A few years ago, King said that "when Dave was in [SLAYER] this last time, I figured I'd be on the stage with him until one of us fell off the stage, dead. Things change. He got some bad advice and listened to some bad advice, gave us an ultimatum ten days before we went to Australia [to do the Soundwave festival tour]. And I said, 'I can't have this over my head.' And I feel bad for Dave to this day; I really feel bad for him because he shot himself in the foot. Maybe he thought he had the upper hand, but you ain't gonna get me."
SLAYER played its last-ever show on November 30, 2019 at The Forum in Los Angeles.