Tama conducted an interview with drummer Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, SLAYER, ANTHRAX, ANIMETAL USA) in California a week prior to his departure for the Soundwave festival in Australia where he is currently performing with both ANTHRAX and SLAYER. You can now watch the chat below.
On how he came be playing with SLAYER again on the Soundwave festival run:
Dette: “I got a call from Kerry [King, SLAYER guitarist]. 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.”
On his history with SLAYER:
Dette: “The SLAYER thing, again, it’s been… My God, it’s been 16, 17 years now. I joined SLAYER — officially joined SLAYER — in Decemebr of 1995, and I replaced Paul Bostaph. He had just completed the ‘Undisputed Attitude’ record. So I was with them until early 1997, and then Paul came back into the band and then I actually went back into TESTAMENT. I joined TESTAMENT in ’94, replacing John Tempesta just after the ‘Low’ record. So it was a cool little period of time. Again, I was just extremely fortunate and privileged to be part of their history. And now, to be part of the SLAYER history again is awesome. And again, I’m just really looking forward to seeing what the future brings.”
SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo is sitting out the band’s current 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 returning member Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX) and Gary Holt (EXODUS), respectively.
In an interview with Soundwave TV conducted on Saturday, SLAYER frontman Tom Araya stated about performing with Dette again: “He actually played in the band [in the late 1990s] 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.”
Prior to joining SLAYER, Dette appeared on TESTAMENT‘s “Live At The Fillmore” album, which came out in 1995.
Performance footage (Sydney, Australia on February 24):