Slayer Only Paid Dave Lombardo $745 Per Show

Drummer reveals alarming figures in new interview.

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Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo has revealed that he was only being paid $745 per show on Slayer's 2011 tour dates.

AsĀ Classic Rock reports, the drummer revealed the low pay stats in an interview with LambGoat. While the band's concerts were bringing in $49,000 per night, Tom Araya and Kerry King were only taking home $1,266 for each appearance.

Lombardo notes that, when he brought the discrepancy up with his former band mates, they were bought out by their management:

"I knew something was up and I tried my best to work it out with the guys. I had Tom in a hotel room with me, talking to my attorney, telling him everything their management company had been doing to them for the past thirty years.

"Tom got bought out. Management flipped him a couple of hundred grand - who knows how much? - and Kerry as well, to keep quiet. They turned their backs on me.

"'Out of $4. 4m the band gets $400,000. Where's the four million? Lawyers, accountant and the manager.'

"I just said: 'Guys, look at this - it came from your accountant.' I made $67, 000. Kerry and Tom, that was about $114, 000. Let's say about ninety shows per year; you break that up per show. It's disgusting."

62 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sheesh! Slayer made $4.4 million in 2011 and only wound up w/ $400,000 to split between the four of them!? Who the hell is managing them, Gene Simmons!?
    Slayer is a corporate brand now. Look at all the awful merchandise they release non-stop.
    I played a few shows last year in Montreal and just small bar shows. Our band would get 2-400 a show(for everyone). We're not even close to being where Slayer is lol. 745$ a show is not a lot.
    I wish I got paid $745 per show.
    True, $745 is a lot for us wannabe rockers, but as RnFnR95 pointed out, being in one of the most celebrated heavy metal bands of all time, who have sold millions of albums, should be paid more than that, especially since the show clearly nets them significantly more than that.
    Agreed. I'm genuinely surprised how little they earn per show. I'm sure that even BMTH earn about a grand a show each, and they're god awful.
    Sorry let me edit this because MetalSucks website has a better input on this. Tom Araya and Kerry King are making 120k in 60 shows while Dave made $67k? Why? PLUS THEY STILL OWE HIM ALMOST $200,000?! C'mon Kerry Ulrich.
    $200,000 a year still ain't too bad. I'd rather do that than work at Kroger's stocking Big K sodas every night.
    hes also touring all over the wotld with professional equipment and roadies and techs to pay.that is disgusting
    if you were a a founding member of one of the biggest metal bands in history you wouldn't
    im pretty sure he also gets paid for performing on album. and he gets paid all the time. not like he performed on an album got paid and thats it
    That looks quite low for all of them to be honest. I think theres this mystique around musicians that they all earn tons of cash. I'm liking these stories recently where we can see into the financial side of things, puts the business into perspective.
    On $745 per show, you could easily live off one show a week (Judging by UK standards, I have no experience/knowledge of living costs in the US). That sounds like a good deal for doing what you love. However I appreciate that in this instance the real issue is the suits taking a disproportionate amount of the earnings from the artist, which is ballbags.
    I think it's more the point that they only got paid about 3% of what Slayer were bringing in, while they write en perform everything...
    While I could personally live on that (it's more than I make now), you also have to consider fees for instruments, for travel, etc. I doubt management paid for that, considering.
    Well, where I am, I can live pretty comfortably off of $30 a week for food, plus rent and utilities, so it's not totally awful if you're single.It's clearly way less than they should be making, and that's definitely more the point of discussion... but personally, I'd be thrilled to pull in $745 a week playing music.
    But Tom and Kerry signed away their rights for an upfront lump sum that probably will keep them and their families for a good few years to come . Their $1000 dollars per show is a top up for them . No lump sum for Dave though , well screwed over . Tom and Kerry musn't have much faith in their own tours to take a lower amount up front . I reckon if they were in Brewsters Millions they would take the $1million straight away .
    Someone should forward Dave one of those ads that keep getting posted here about making $485 per hour online, just like their sister in-law or whatever!
    Didn't Tim Lambesis (or however you spell it) of As I Lay Dying say that he made about $225k in a year..? I'm not really a slayer fan but I'd expect each member to get alot more than the vocalist of a metalcore band...
    Wow, that is a pitiful amount of money to be making..... when you consider who slayer are and how long they've been around that is an awfully small amount of money to be making.... I am shocked.
    "Waaahh waaah, so what if they're underpaid, they make more than I do! How unfair!"-Everyone Really though, it takes ridiculous effort, time, and money to not only start a touring band, but to make it that size. No sense in being jealous of their success just because you aren't able to put in the work they did.
    I like how you assume that anybody who isn't as famous as Slayer clearly just doesn't put any effort into their music at all. That seems like anything but a reasonable conclusion. Yes, people here are talking about whether what he makes is a livable wage, not whether it's a fair wage given what the band brings in, but to say that someone is just lazy and doesn't want to put the work in just because they aren't successful is stupid. If being a rich and successful touring rock band were simply a matter of working really hard at your music, goddamn everyone would be doing it.
    Actually very few people sideline their families, jobs, education, potential future prospects and making money all in the name of a band. I'm not saying if you sacrifice all that you make it, but very few people are willing to put their necks on the line and go for it, and many who try at least get somewhere.
    Honestly, I would play friggin xylophone for Slayer at $745/show. I am in Slayer, bitch!
    I would do it for a rate of a free meal and a couple beers. But then again, I was never a key member of Slayer.
    How sad it is to make a lousy $745 for maximum 2 hours of work.
    leatherbarrel do realize that there's more than the 2 hours of performance that go into a show, right?
    Yeah, a musician doesn't get paid for 99$ of the work they do. A performance of that caliber is a culmination of years of practice, composing/ writing, and design. The two hours they get paid for is meant to cover that. It's like saying that an album was 45 minutes of work, because the length of the album was 45 minutes.
    That's close to what I make every 2 weeks and that's at a 9 to 5 job where I actually have to do work. I'd love to be making $67K a year just playing music. Those numbers also don't include any merch or licensing funds either. So I'm sure they're making a little bit more from that. So definitely living comfortably, maybe not rich but they're doing well for themselves at those prices. However, I will agree that it's sad that out of 4.4 million, only a fraction goes to the band who do the actual shows and writing. Which is the actual point Lombardo is trying to make here.
    I think people need to consider that Tom and Kerry were only being paid $1,200 themselves - so whilst they should've been paid equally, it's not as if Tom and Kerry were raking it in while Dave is left buying value food.
    That's about three times what I take home a week. I am barely getting by. Oh poor me!
    Something also tells me you didn't put years of work into forming one of the founding thrash metal bands.
    Just so you know, I have my own band. I write screenplays as well as work a blue collar job in order to support my family so go **** yourself.
    Remember you also get to go home at the end of every day. They are on the road months at a time.
    you should talk. like anyone here really cares about your jobs. welcome to life. it sucks.
    Rakin' in the fat stacks. As much as I'd be the first to cry "blah blah economic equality in a band this is bullshit", the fact that I make barely more than that much money a month kind of makes this a complete joke to me. God, if I were making that kind of money, all bets would be off, I'd be out there making music just cause I'd be able to afford to do it without consequence!
    Keep in mind, their Job requires them to constantly travel away from their families, there's also the initial investment of time to master the instruments and money to purchase them. There's also the all the hours the put into it behind the scenes. Considering the status of a band like that, it is a pretty small amount of money.
    I dunno, it depends on how many shows they perform per week or whatever their pay period is. I am not the biggest Slayer fan, so I don't really pay any attention to how much they play, but if it's as often as a lot of other big-ticket bands, I would imagine that despite all that, they're not crying broke.
    These guys have also been doing it for what 25 odd years, You stay at your job for that long and see what your making or maybe get an education and a real job ya clown
    I'm sorry, but, do you know me or my current situation? Do you think that everyone living below some people's concept of a poverty line are actually challenged in some way? Maybe I'm living in a really bad situation that came out of another really bad situation and have been working as hard as I can to get myself out of it. And a degree in astrophysics is beyond ****ing useless in this city, not like I can afford to move. Ya clown.
    Perhaps the fact that your business sense equates to that is the reason you will never earn that kind of money. Artistic merit is great and all, but with that kind of attitude, you would never make a career in a band for financial reasons.
    Artistic merit and business sense are not the same thing, and it's possible to relentlessly pursue one without losing the other.
    I laugh at those complaining. After you pay your own taxes, contribute to your own retirement plan, pay your own medical plan, etc, that is a disgustlingly small amount of money.
    a basic business structure the band slayer is a business. each members, staff, manager, would take home a wage, for each show, for living expenses, eg mortgage or loans of some form. the rest of the profits would go in to the bands business account. the band members may just pay them self a dividend/profit from the bands account each year? each member may make 200k per year, but the band overall may make 4.4 million. business tax rates are a fraction to what an individual person tax rates will be
    I get the comments here saying that it's a lot of money, hell, the average month salary is way below that where I come from, but people... Let's be real. Money that goes in budgets of band members is something like getting directly payed by people in the first row of a show. It's just too low of a payment. And we should consider that these guys pretty much need to live of that money for years sometimes and it melts away, besides, only one band that I know of actually owns their music and it's not Slayer, so industry gets money, not the band.
    $745 for 90 minutes work.....not bad....that's $500 a hour. I would take that to bang on some drums and play rock star for a hour and a half a night.
    Whoever is handling their money and screwing Dave so hard is an absolute bellend.