Slayer Frontman Doubted Dave Lombardo 'For A While'

Guitarist Kerry King admits on Tom Araya being "on the fence" about the drummer prior to his firing.

Ultimate Guitar

Ever since Dave Lombardo's firing from the current Slayer Australian tour, guitarist Kerry King started getting a lot of heat from the fans regarding the whole situation. But it seems King wasn't the only one going for such a decision.

In the latest backstage interview at the Soundwave festival in Sydney, Australia last Sunday, the guitarist took some time to address the drummer issues, calling the situation "unfortunate". King has also revealed that frontman Tom Araya clearly had his doubts over Lombardo for quite some time now.

"It's unfortunate that Dave couldn't be with us. I planned on him being here up until the Monday before I left. And then I saw trouble in paradise, and since I am the mastermind on making decisions like this, I was, like, 'Alright, I've got a backup plan. Just in case.' 'Cause I would have hated to have just Australia blown out. Can you imagine how shitty that would have been? So I did what I thought was best, and we pulled it off."

"Tom's been on the fence about Dave for a while and I was pretty much the one that said, 'Nah, I'm not comfortable moving on [without Lombardo].' And then it got thrust in our face and I took action immediately and I got a very lucky culmination of things that happened."

As far as the replacement drummer Jon Dette goes, King had nothing but words of praise, describing his playing as "amazing".

"It's amazing that yesterday was the fifth time we played - period. It was just devastating, it was awesome. He's doing really good, because if we didn't say anything and nobody was paying attention, you wouldn't know. So that means he's doing a great job... It's amazing. He was completely out of playing for awhile, he told me. And then to just be at the level of playing that he is, it's really awesome."

Frontman Tom Araya didn't talk much about Lombardo's firing yet, apart from stating that he is "excited for working with the new drummer".

The current situation also seems to have pushed back the new album recording, with the guitarist stating he doesn't know who is going to either produce or play the new songs.

"I've got 11 songs done. I don't know who's gonna do 'em - I don't know who's gonna produce it, I don't know who's gonna play it. I think Metallica's got [producer Greg Fidelman] monopolized. He had February open and I was hoping to get some work done in February and then February just got too busy for us. I don't know. If he gets another window, I would like to do it between Australia and Europe in June. That would be great - just be done with it, and it could get mixed while I am out on tour and be out in September or October. That's the perfect world, so we'll see."

So what are your opinions about the whole situation now that we've heard a part of Kerry King's side of the story? Let us know in the comments section below.

80 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Did King just throw Araya under the bus? Bald-headed ****. No Hanneman+ No Lombardo = No Slayer
    Wow, never heard one guy in a band say "I did this...I'm doing that..." so many times. Kerry sounds like a narcissistic d-bag more and more every time I read an interview.
    I've doubted Tom and Kerry for more than a while .....
    They should take advantage of the fact that their names sound like "Tom and Jerry" and make their own version of the cartoon. Lombardo would be the old lady who is always getting her house thrashed by the cat-rat chases, except he is too much of a good guy to kick the cat out like the lady did.
    Lombardo should join any other band and do what he can do best: drum like hell. Oh, and have some lawyers over their asses about the open payment.
    If I ever planned on seeing Slayer live, it would be for Dave. Now that hes gone, looks like they won't be taking my money.
    not a big fan of slayer, but man I feel bad for any of them having to deal with King on a regular basis, I bet that guy can just suck the fun out of a room
    Seriously, King? Araya? Good luck being Slayer or even writing a decent song without Hanneman and Lombardo. Self absorbed pricks.
    "and it could get mixed while I am out on tour" Says it all right there, doesn't it? Just stop, King. You've already ****ed up Exodus by having Holt go on tour - Exodus has Hunolt filling in for Gary, no.
    Exodus could pluck Kirk Hammett. No one would notice he's missing from Metallica shows, and while it might not actually improve Holt-less Exodus, it would make things more stupidly hilarious.
    'since I am the mastermind on making decisions like this, I was, like, 'Alright, I've got a backup plan. Just in case.' That, to me, says everything. King, unfortunately, is clearly running the show. What a bunch of horsesh*t.
    I just saw Slayer in Perth today and I have to say Jon Dette is a very different drummer to Lombardo. Dave's drumming is much more fluid and he also has much better fills. But Jon's pretty decent seeing that he had very short notice to practice.
    Seriously, King? Good luck writing a decent song without Lombardo, you self absorbed prick.
    I'm just as bummed about this as most people are, but Lombardo didn't write any of Slayer's music. He wrote drum parts, but had no writing credits whatsoever.
    Rob Man
    Slayer is done. No matter how long they try to deny it, hiring different guns to sit-in, or members who might not even come back, it is not the same. King can play all of the "open e's" he wants accompined by power chords here-and-there, but it wont be the same. Prick.
    How could none of you see that there's a silver lining to this whole thing?! Metallica may not be working with Rick Rubin this time around! Awesome! He's so f-ing overrated.
    I feel like while King was saying "since I am the mastermind on making decisions like this" he was sniffing a glass of his own fart and doing a hair flip
    Worst part about this - Fidelman working on new Metallica album. Also **** Kerry King
    Worst part about this - "new Metallica album" Enough already - for those of us who were there in the 80s, all of these guys are just sh*tting on their legacies. (Well, except for Exodus. And honestly, they aren';t even Exodus anymore - they should have changed their name. Stick with the books of the bible, call themselves "Revelation" or something.)
    Well some of us weren't in the 80s and don't mind when a band they enjoy put out a new album. Not a fanboi by any means, but Death Magnetic got a few spins from me at least. Very immature when people want musicians to stop trying altogether if they personally don't like the music.
    Well said, I was around in the 80s and I enjoy Death Magnetic and look forward to what they will come up with
    What the **** was actually wrong with DM? You all asked for heavy fast riffs with solos and that's what you got. You're just bitching because it's Metallica and no other reason.
    The only thing I didn't like about DM, which is a serious problem... because is Metallica, I mean metallica shouldn't have a problem like the one Im going to point out... is the production... DM's sound quality sounded inferior to even ST.Anger without that snare drumm stuff. About the solos..... eh... its Kirk Hammet, the only good solos he has are at the first 2 albums, and that's because he was a Kid back then, and one or another solo in Master and AJFA... but that's it, Kirk's ability was stuck in Ride the Lightning, his solos stopped being impresive long ago...