After the performance at this year's Soundwave festival in Australia last Saturday, Slayer frontman Tom Araya took some time to talk about the "drummer situation" the band's got into after Dave Lombardo's recent replacement for the current Australian tour.
The singer did not address the drama that's been going on or the question of Lombardo's future in the band, but focused on the replacement drummer Jon Dette instead. Araya went on to express his excitement for reuniting with Dette, adding that his drumming skills have gone nowhere but up since the last time they played together in Slayer.
"He actually played in the band for, like, three years. It's gonna be good. He's matured and I'm sure he's gotten much better on the drums. It'll be exciting, and I think that's just gonna pump everything up even more. I can tell you this: Jon's gonna have a lot of energy. He's known to play very fast, and he's gotten better at that."
Dette, who is currently handling the drummer duties of both Slayer and Anthrax couldn't hide the excitement either, but has confessed that it will also prove as the ultimate test.
"I got a call from Kerry and he said, 'Hey, what are you doing next week when you're in Australia when you're not playing for Anthrax?' And I said, 'Drinking.' [laughs] He said, 'Well, you might wanna hold off the drinks, if you can, 'cause we might need you to fill in, if you can.' And I said, 'Of course.' I mean, first, I was kind of taken aback, I was a little paused. But they basically called me and asked if I could do the Australia dates for them. So I will, actually, be playing drums for Anthrax and Slayer at the Soundwave festival in Australia, and then also we have a one-off show - Slayer and Anthrax in Sydney, which, that will definitely put me to the test. 'Cause it's gonna be an hour on stage with Anthrax, and then I've got 20 minutes to take a break, and then it's an hour and 40 with Slayer. So I've got my work cut out for me that night. But I'll man up, I'll make it happen, and it'll be a good show."
The drummer went on to say that he feels "extremely fortunate and privileged" for playing in Slayer from 1995 to 1997, adding that becoming a "part of the Slayer history again is awesome". Taking into consideration that Dette has also played in Testament back in 1994, you could say that he really is privileged as playing with three of the thrash titans is no mean feat.
On the other side, Dave Lombardo is currently sitting out the band's tour, while guitarist Jeff Hanneman is still recovering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease which he has contracted from a spider bite in 2011. According to the latest reports, it is still uncertain when or whether he'll be coming back to Slayer. Therefore, things aren't looking very good for Lombardo and Hanneman.
You can check out the group's performance from Sydney in the video below.
So what are your thoughts about the whole situation and the way things are developing here? And what do you think of the new drummer live? Let us know in the comments section below.