Dave’s Not Here, Part 1

Sean Harris

I’m currently sitting in my comfortable chair, recalling something I went through in high school. I think anyone who claims to be a part of the metal kith experienced this at some point in time.

It’s called the Slayer phase. I had it. You had it. We all have. You’re a stinking liar if you deny it. You remember those days? A simpler time where all you ever listened to was Reign In Blood, Seasons In The Abyss, Hell Awaits, Show No Mercy and South Of Heaven and you thought it was the heaviest matter in the universe.

Well, now Gojira currently holds that title, among others.

Slayer assuredly isn’t the heaviest band out there, but upon first listen to “Angel Of Death,” they make a strong case. They are the definition of what a metal band should be. They never played into the mainstream bullshit and released a “radio-friendly” album. They stuck to their guns on lyrical content pertaining to war, religion and death. They never compromised their sound and therefore, never compromised a seriously devoted fan base.

Unfortunately, they are now in a compromising position.

Now, I — like you — feel like rock stars are almost super human. But recently, I have realized that they are just like any of us. They laugh, cry, bleed and sweat like us. They grocery shop, go to family dinners and defecate like we do.

We have to understand that although my recent interviewees, Joseph Duplantier and Zakk Wylde, are in the public eye and considered well-known, they share most of the same issues normal humans do. Most importantly they have bills to pay and families to feed.

As much as it pains me to say it, no matter how much someone says they tour for the love of the music and fans, money will always be the main factor. How else can they live without being paid?

Some love it more than others, I’m sure, but it’s just not feasible to commit to world tours without getting some coin for it. Needs have to be met and money fulfills that. Money doesn’t bleed, sweat or cry. Bills don’t just go away and babe’s mouths don’t feed themselves.

Musicians work hard for it and no one works harder for it than these metalheads who have perfected their craft over the years and — night in, night out…for the most part — don’t disappoint. It’s that human aspect that creeps in again and sometimes fucks shit up.

Now, I am as big of a Slayer fan as the next person BUT there is no one in that band I respect more than Dave Lombardo.

I’ve read all the forums and no keyboard warrior would ever tell Kerry King to fuck himself, face to face. One thing I do know is that the statement “No Dave, No Slayer,” is 100-percent the unabashed truth.

Think back to when Dave left Slayer in the ‘90s. Paul Bostaph took the reigns and for a short time, Jon Dette as well. Now those boys are without a doubt talented, but the agreement in the Slayer horde was that it just wasn’t the same. Did anyone ever say Diabolus In Musica was on par with Reign? Everyone, for that decade when Dave was gone, said the same thing.

“When is he coming back?”

He did eventually come back and life was complete again. Slayer were an original unit again, exactly the way they should always have been. The metal sandwich was never complete without Dave because he was the bread and butter.

Now, they don’t even have the meat.

As I said earlier, money makes the world go around and Lombardo has the needs that any human being does. Do you think it’s fair that he would tour a year straight and not be compensated financially? To me that’s insane.

There isn’t a hell of a lot of info out there pertaining to this shitty situation but what we do know is that the Slayer camp has come out and said they relieved Dave of his drumming duties on the Australia shows. He tried to change an important financial aspect of the band too close to a huge tour.

I can respect them for saying that it was too short notice but to sack the most talented guy in the group? That’s a little much.

It’s amazing what money does to you.

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