Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo says the current lineup is "missing the magic" of the original outfit.
He was dramatically fired in February 2013, ending his third stint with the thrash icons with little likelihood of a return. Guitarist Jeff Hanneman died the following May, leaving only frontman Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King remaining from the founding four, alongside Exodus’ Gary Holt and returning sticksman Paul Bostaph.
And Lombardo insists the latest incarnation lacks the vibrancy of the band that started out in 1981. He tells Let There Be Talk: “Slayer’s new drummer, a lot of fans like him. But there’s that magic. It’s chemistry. It’s like when you meet a girl and you two get along really well. It’s something special.
“Same thing with a band. You get these four guys – they may hate each other, but on stage, there’s magic. And that’s what’s missing, I personally believe.”
Lombardo last year revealed he’d been dismissed after questioning the band’s business practices. He’d worked out he was paid an average of $800 per show, while Araya and King got just over $1200 – even though they were drawing around $50,000 a night.
Now he says: “I just wanted things to be fair for not just myself, but for the band. Because I was noticing that the band was getting shafted. And it was bad.
“When you do the math, it didn’t make sense. You don’t need a fucking college degree to do some simple mathematics. And when my attorney and I, we did the math, and we demanded the documents that were necessary to back up what my deal was about, red flags were popping up everywhere.”
King last week vowed that Slayer’s first album without Hanneman would live up to expectations – despite admitting many fans believed they were doomed to failure.