Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo has revealed details of his latest split from the metal legends, explaining that he only made $67,000 touring with the band in 2011, while accountants and managers took most of the profits.
Lombardo released a statement on Facebook in February 2013 about his departure, saying that he “discovered 90% of Slayer’s tour income was being deducted as expenses, including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars and leaving 10% or less to split amongst the four of us.”
He’s now spoken further about the situation at a drum workshop in Belfast on 5th March, telling the audience that he’d tried to keep the band together but couldn’t go on any longer:
“I did it for too many years, and I held my breath. Red flags kept going on in my books. It’s, like, ‘Really? I’m supposed to make more money? Why am I on the same salary? I’m making the exact same thing I’ve been making the past two years. And this is back in 2004. So I knew something was up.”
Lombardo said he tried his best to work it out with the band:
“I brought Tom [Araya, bass/vocals] into the picture. I had Tom in a hotel room with me talking to my attorney, and my attorney was telling him everything their management company had been doing to them for the past 30 freakin’ years. And we had an accountant, a forensic accountant, ready to go in there and look at the stuff.
“Tom got bought out. Management flipped him over a couple of hundred grand — who knows how much? — and Kerry [King, guitar] as well, to keep quiet and go against Lombardo. So they turned their backs on me. And on the last day, when I’m at rehearsal with them — and I saved it all the way until the end — I said, ‘Guys, we need a new business plan. You guys have been on the same business plan after 30 years. Now I’m an income participant. In other words, I ‘m a percentage holder.’ So if you’re a percentage holder, you have the right, and you’re contracted, as a percentage holder, you have the right to see where all the expenses are going. Because here you are getting paid off of net, and then out of 4.4 million dollars, the band gets 400 thousand dollars. Where’s the four million? And that’s just 2011.”
Lombardo stated that the behaviour had been going on for 30 years:
“I just said, ‘Guys, look at this. This came from your accountant.’ And it showed all the money. It wasn’t showing where the money was going, it was just showing ‘gross,’ ‘expenses,’ ‘net.’ And out of that net, I made, on tour, in 2011, $67,000. Kerry and Tom, that was about $114,000 they made on tour.”
King tells a different story, telling the The Steve Austin Show podcast last November that Lombardo “shot himself in the foot”:
“He got some bad advice and listened to some bad advice, gave us an ultimatum ten days before we went to Australia. And I said, ‘I can’t have this over my head.’ And I feel bad for Dave to this day; I really feel bad for him because he shot himself in the foot. Maybe he thought he had the upper hand, but you ain’t gonna get me.”
Lombardo’s history with Slayer has been nothing if not colourful – he first split with the thrash metal act in 1986 due to issues with the finances, but returned in 1987. He then left again in 1992, citing differences with Kerry King, and returned in 2001.
WATCH: Dave Lombardo Explains What Happened With Slayer