California thrash metal veterans SLAYER performed with only two original members on stage as part of this year’s Soundwave festival, which took place in five Australian cities between February 23 and March 4.
SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo sat out the band’s recent 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 were returning member Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, ANTHRAX) and Gary Holt (EXODUS), respectively.
Fan-filmed video footage of SLAYER‘s March 4 performance at Claremont Showgrounds in Claremont, Australia as part of this year’s Soundwave festival can be seen below.
SLAYER‘s setlist for the Perth show was as follows:
02. War Ensemble
03. Die By The Sword
04. Chemical Warfare
05. Mandatory Suicide
06. Altar Of Sacrifice
07. Jesus Saves
08. Seasons In The Abyss
09. Dead Skin Mask
10. Angel of Death
11. South of Heaven
12. Raining Blood
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.
Regarding how he came be playing with SLAYER again on the Soundwave festival run, Dette told Tama: “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.”
Speaking about his history with SLAYER, Dette said: “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.”
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.