Lawyers told him his services wouldn’t be required after he calculated that just 10% of the thrash giants’ tour income went to its members, and discussed the matter with Kerry King and Tom Araya.
It follows his departure in 1986 when he cited “financial concerns” as the reason for his move. He returned the following year, then left again in 1992, coming back once again in 2001.
Australian promoter AJ Maddah has reported Slayer will perform Down Under with Jon Dette, who was a member of the band in 1996 and last year stood in for Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante.
Lombardo says: “I want to personally apologise to all of our fans in Australia who have bought tickets for the tour expecting to see me in my usual place on the drums.
“So that you all know the truth, as of the end of the business day on February 14th, I was notified that I would not be drumming for the tour in Australia. I’m saddened, and to be honest I am shocked by the situation.
“Last year, I 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.
“In my opinion, this is not the way a band’s business should operate. I tried rectifying it by letting my bandmates know. Tom and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary backup documents.”
He says that over Christmas he realised he’d only received “a small advance” for all touring activities during 2012, and hadn’t been given proper accounts for the period. He was then told he wouldn’t be paid until he signed a detailed contract forbidding him access to financial information – and barring him from speaking in interviews or on behalf of the band.
He continues: “Last Monday I sat down with Kerry and Tom to rehearse for Australia and to propose a new business model that I felt was the best way forward. Kerry made it clear he wasn’t interested in making changes, and said if I wanted to argue the point he would find another drummer.
“On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1pm as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. At 6.24pm I received an email from the lawyers saying I was being replaced for the Australian dates.”
The news comes just days after King said he didn’t want to establish a revolving-door policy in finding stand-ins for guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who remains sidelined after a near-fatal spider bite in 2011.
Lombardo adds: “I remain hopeful that we can resolve our issues. But once again, I sincerely apologise to all of our fans in Australia who spent their money expecting to see the three of us original Slayer members. I look forward to seeing you in the future.”