Feature: My Opinion – Slayer Needs To Fix It or Just End It

If you haven’t already seen the following statement from Slayer’s Dave Lombardo, there is some ridiculous crap going on with their camp and their business model. He lays it all out in his official statement below:

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.

Sincerely, Dave Lombardo

If this is all true, I should hope to hear something from the opposing side with reasoning, etc, without turning it into a media circus like Black Sabbath/Bill Ward did.

Readers and followers of The Synaptic know I am an unapologetic supporter and fan of what I believe to be the greatest entity in metal ever. Sure Slayer fans have dealt with some hills and valleys, most of the 90’s recording and touring sans Lombardo, then back up in the 00’s with his return and the original band back as a whole. And then dealing with Gary Holt screwing things up left and right on the past couple of Slayer tours while Jeff Hanneman heals from his horrific spider bite incident. (Please get better soon, Jeff, PLEASE!) All of this in good faith that the real Slayer returns. And we were dealing with it. But now we’re going to be forced to accept only 50% of Slayer with a couple of fill-ins for the foreseeable future? No thanks. I would rather the band dissolve now; leave me with my memories of better times than continue on as a shell of itself. Many believe it’s been a shell for many years, but I don’t.

As of now I will not go see a half mast Slayer. Kerry King and Tom Araya, I beg you to squash whatever garbage there is and not subject your faithful, loyal fans to a subpar product. And you know you have one of the most die-hard fan bases on Earth. Be as good to us as we’ve been to you. Get all four back, on the same page and healthy and return to glory. I plead with you to do so.

Stop jerking us around.

UPDATE: Rebuttal from Slayer on 2/21/13:

Slayer confirms that Jon Dette will drum for the band on its Australian tour that starts this Saturday, February 23 in Brisbane. As regards Dave Lombardo’s Facebook post, Slayer does not agree with Mr. Lombardo’s substance or the timeline of the events, except to acknowledge that Mr. Lombardo came to the band less than a week before their scheduled departure for Australia to present an entirely new set of terms for his engagement that were contrary to those that had been previously agreed upon.

“The band was unable to reach an agreement on these new demands in the short amount of time available prior to leaving for Australia. There is more to the account than what Mr. Lombardo has offered, but out of respect to him, Slayer will not be commenting further. Slayer is grateful to its Australian fans for their understanding of this unfortunate last-minute change, and very much looks forward to seeing them at these shows.

Again, let’s just all play nice and get through this. And get Jeff healthy again. I do not want only 50% of Slayer, 75% has been bad enough. I will not accept it and will not see it. From one lowly blogger (on occasion) to the greatest metal band ever, I put the ball in your court.

~ by thesynaptic on February 21, 2013.

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