SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo is sitting out the band’s current Australian tour due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group, while guitarist Jeff Hanneman is still recovering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease which he is believed to have gotten from a spider bite. Filling in for them are Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX) and Gary Holt (EXODUS), respectively.
In a new posting on his Facebook page, Lombardo writes: “I have always known that my fans were awesome! But never has it been more clear to me than in the past two weeks how passionate, supportive and sincere you really are. Thank you for all your kind responses and I hope to see you all very soon.”
In an interview with Soundwave TV, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King stated about Lombardo‘s current status with SLAYER: “This just happened a week ago… ten days ago… so I mean, I don’t know… 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.”
Asked if he saw the dispute with Dave coming, Kerry said: “Tom [Araya, SLAYER bassist/vocalist] did. Tom‘s been on the fence about Dave for awhile and I was pretty much the one that said, ‘Nah, I’m not comfortable moving on [without Dave].’ And then it got thrust in our face and I took action immediately and I got a very lucky culmination of things that happened.”
Prior to joining SLAYER, Dette appeared on TESTAMENT‘s “Live At The Fillmore” album, which came out in 1995.
Dette is currently also playing with ANTHRAX as a temporary replacement for the band’s longtime drummer Charlie Benante, who “is dealing with personal issues right now and can’t leave” the U.S., according to ANTHRAX guitarist Scott Ian.