Slayer: Araya doubted Lombardo ‘for a while’
Two men down: Slayer are touring without Lombardo and Hanneman (pic Mark Seliger)
Slayer guitarist Kerry King says frontman Tom Araya has had doubts over drummer Dave Lombardo for a while – but King wanted to keep him.
It was only when “trouble in paradise” flared hours ahead of their Australian tour that the axeman made the call to have him replaced.
Jon Dette is currently behind the kit for the thrash giants Down Under – and they’re not sure whether Lombardo will return.
Asked whether he saw the dispute coming, King tells Soundwave TV: “Tom did. 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.’
“Then it got thrust in our face, and I took action immediately.
“It’s unfortunate that Dave couldn’t be with us. I planned on him being here up until the Monday before I left – then I saw trouble in paradise. Since I’m the mastermind on making decisions like this, I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve got a backup plan.’ I did what I thought was best and we pulled it off.”
Dette, who’s also standing in for Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante during the Australian festival tour, was a member of Slayer between 1996 and 1997.
King says: “I’m like, ‘How are we going to get a visa for whoever goes with us?’ I went, ‘Jon’s with Anthrax, Jon knows our stuff. If he couldn’t do it I don’t think I could have taught it to anybody in time.
“We rehearsed three times and the first show was Brisbane. He’s doing really good. He was completely out of playing for a while, he told me. To just be at the level of playing he is, it’s really awesome.”
King has put together 11 tracks for Slayer’s next album – but he doesn’t know how or when they’ll start work in the studio. And when they do, he doesn’t know if fellow guitarist Jeff Hanneman will have returned from recovering after his near-fatal spider bite in 2011. He’s been temporarily replaced by Exodus man Gary Holt.
“I would like to do it between Australia and Europe in June,” says King. “It could get mixed while I’m out on tour and be out in September or October.
“I’ve been working on the new material a lot – I worked on it a lot with Dave. So I haven’t decided.”
Anthrax called Dette up after drummer Charlie Benante became unable to appear in Australia due to ongoing “personal issues.” It’s not known if those issues are related to an incident last year when he and his wife were arrested and charged with domestic battery in front of a child.