SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo has released the following statement:
"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 bandmates know, and Tom [Araya, bass/vocals] and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary backup 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 longform 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, guitar] 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 p.m. as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. Rather, at 6:24 p.m. 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 three of us original SLAYER members. I look forward to seeing you in the future."
Shortly into the tour for SLAYER's 1986 album "Reign In Blood", Lombardo left the group, citing financial concerns. Tony Scaglione of WHIPLASH was recruited to replace Lombardo; however, this lineup was short-lived, as Lombardo returned in 1987. In 1992, Lombardo left the group again due to friction with the other band members, particularly King. Paul Bostaph of FORBIDDEN took over as the band's drummer for 1994's "Divine Intervention" and 1996's "Undisputed Attitude", the latter being an LP of cover tunes. Following the recording of "Undisputed Attitude", Jon Dette replaced Bostaph, who left to concentrate on other projects. Dette was fired a year later and Bostaph returned to the fold. In 2001, Bostaph left SLAYER for good and was replaced by a returning Lombardo. Although this reunion was initally announced as temporary, Lombardo has remained with the band ever since.
SLAYER has spent the past two years touring without guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who is still recovering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, which he is believed to have gotten from a spider bite. Hanneman is being temporarily replaced on the road by EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt.