BlogMarch 12, 2014 8:29 AM ET

Dave Lombardo made $67,000 touring with Slayer in 2011

Former Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo recently completed a brief tour of Europe during which he conducted a series of drum clinics. During a question and answer session a week ago in North Ireland, Lombardo explained his frustration with the band and his compensation leading up to his departure from the group. Here's what he had to say:

"I did my best to try to keep it together, but I couldn't go on, man," Dave said (see video below). "I had to step out, because you can't be shackled like that; nobody can take advantage of another person like that anymore. 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. And I tried my best to work it out with the guys. I brought Tom 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 know, 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. [It goes to] lawyers, accountant and the manager.

"For the past 30 years, they were doing that to the guys. And they took my information... I'll never forget the day, 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 thousand dollars. Kerry and Tom, that was about 114 thousand dollars they made on tour. So if you did about 60 shows, divide that up between 60 shows… Anybody have a calculator? No, not 60... Let's say about 90 shows per year: 30 in the spring, 30 in the summer and 30 shows in the winter, in the fall. So you break that up per show... Really? It's disgusting. I'm not gonna... I bust my ass up there playing drums. I mean, I am just sweating, I'm beat. And for the guy in the Hollywood Hills, for his facials, his manicures... No, I'm not gonna play for that. No.

"So, guys, I did everything I could. All I can say, right now my schedule is open. I can do whatever I want whenever I want. I can go over to Europe, do some clinics, hang out with you guys."


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anonymous 3/12/2014 6:28:13 AM

fck this gay

anonymous 3/12/2014 7:12:23 AM


anonymous 3/12/2014 7:47:37 AM

Like $1,000 a night is a terrible fcking thing. Lombardo flip

anonymous 3/12/2014 8:00:08 AM

if they play 3 hours sets, 90 times a year...that's a rate of $248 an hour to do something he "loves". fck him. not to mention the other perks of being in band (riders, comps, groupies)

anonymous 3/12/2014 8:01:53 AM

It's not about "only" making x amount of money per gig, it's about the fact that some suits somewhere who aren't necessary to the equation are getting way more than the band members. It's a matter of principles. He's actually the only living member of Slayer I can still respect, can't believe those other dudes are continuing on without Hanneman.

anonymous 3/12/2014 8:18:45 AM

"if they play 3 hours sets, 90 times a year. 248 per hour" That would be the case if he played the 3 hour set, then went home like we all do after work. He plays the set, then goes back into the bus to drive 10 hours to the next show everyday for 30 days, sometimes there are international plane trips too. But, I'd be happy with 67,000 a year and anyone in a metal band should...but they're fcking Slayer. He should be rich as fck!!

anonymous 3/12/2014 9:35:58 AM

I get your point, but he's not driving, at least. You better believe they pay a driver.

anonymous 3/12/2014 9:59:49 AM

so you left Fantômas to get ripped off? cool.

anonymous 3/12/2014 10:00:48 AM

Boo-hoo, a grand a night for 2 hours or less of work. You're welcome to get a real job like the rest of us you fcking pssy.

Drifter 3/12/2014 10:25:59 AM

Everyone commenting that he should be happy with $67K a year before taxes sounds like they have no grip on reality. Yeah, that's a good amount compared to what most anyone that's trying to make a living off of playing in a metal band can expect. It also happens to be less than I make 3 years out of school, working in a technical field that I don't have an advanced degree for.

Drifter 3/12/2014 10:27:58 AM

At the very least, if he truly has documentation that the band is taking home 1% of gross earnings or less, it should be simple for him to be offered whatever type of one-time payoff he claims the other members accepted. It's glaringly obvious that he's been making terrible decisions from a business standpoint for decades now, but to be happy with ostensibly making under $100K to be in what is easily one of the top ten most well known metal bands still in existence would be foolish.

anonymous 3/12/2014 10:33:29 AM

Being poorly compensated for work is not ok, dude makes 67k while the rest of the people in the band make double that/people that do nothing make triple? On that note I would do terrible things to Kerry Kings daughter

anonymous 3/12/2014 11:39:10 AM

Everybody talkin shit is fcking stupid! And have obvi never toured. Touring and being away from family is brutal. And for a band and each member not being compensated while all the vultures in the wings, lawyers, managers, label, all stealing the money while doing fcking nothing is sickening! Imagine being at a job for 20 years and still making the same amount of money after pulling in millions for your company.

anonymous 3/12/2014 11:49:17 AM

I dont give a rats a** how "awesome 67k is to play drums for a living." If my "job" that I was a member of, was netting 4.4MM and my cut was 67K... I'd find a new job as well.

anonymous 3/12/2014 12:12:30 PM

Two words... Rick Sales. Google it.

anonymous 3/12/2014 1:21:24 PM

Anyone who is saying he's a "pssy" or "gay" must still be in highschool or college and have their expenses paid for by mommy and daddy. Being in slayer and not even breaking 6 figures is the most baffling thing i've ever heard.

anonymous 3/12/2014 2:12:10 PM

On a Tuesday in any med or large city Slayer likely paid about $12,000 to $16,000, about $3,000 or $4,000 more on a weekend in a big city. Most summers they play on bigger stages playing festivals or decent metal bills, those shows they make a few thousand more per night. For Dave to be paid that is shitty. Some jerk is taking advantage of him.

rick____tocchet 3/12/2014 2:34:05 PM

what a total jerk. fck this guy and fck Slayer. how is this shitty band still relevant?

anonymous 3/12/2014 2:49:04 PM

Frankie from Emmure is shocked that me make more than Dave Lambardo per show

anonymous 3/12/2014 6:05:21 PM

The band is being taken advantage of in a big way. Slayer earned $4.4M in one year. After taking off 35% for management and booking, they should still have made $2.86M or $715k each. After paying for tour staff and transportation, the band should still be making a lot more than just $67k, even after income taxes. Nobody on here can say they'd just be happy making 67k when there's millions coming down the pipeline.

anonymous 3/13/2014 12:58:43 PM

Yes that's a lot of money compared to the majority of people. However, he's in one of the biggest metal bands of all time. He should be getting a similar amount to Kerry King and Tom Araya. I fully respect him for walking away. Those guys were completely ripping him off.

anonymous 3/14/2014 6:52:32 AM 2014/03/13/divorce-papers- show-dave-lombardo-made-20 0000-2011-slayer/

anonymous 3/14/2014 11:50:03 PM

Those of you who call DL "gay".....hope you'd like to make 4 400 000 dollars, pay everyone else for a luxury lifestyle and get a salary of 67 000 dollars. Go home to live with mama, take out the trash as a good 30-year old and zip it. Outrageous!

anonymous 3/15/2014 10:48:01 AM

How dare he ask to be treated fairly and get what he's worked for and earned. Guess he should be a spineless little bitch like a lot of you would apparently be.

anonymous 3/16/2014 1:35:03 AM

you fcking morons are missing the point. WHERE DID THE OTHER 3.6 MILLION DOLLARS GO?

anonymous 3/17/2014 12:52:01 AM

He's been back with the band for several years before he got booted.if he is telling the truth he's stupid for being fcked for so long.30 years he's the only member temp.or permanent to ever complain about money

anonymous 3/17/2014 1:08:44 PM

id be fcking pissed too..

anonymous 3/25/2014 8:38:16 AM

The fans paid $4 million and the band only got $400K? He has a right to be pissed and be asking questions. I'm sure a lot of that is legitimate expenses like renting the spaces they perform in, but still... 90% of the take going to no-one-will-say-where? Time to get out and stop subsidizing suits who can't play the drums.

anonymous 5/19/2014 4:07:09 AM

3% of the 4.4 million going to the performers - founding members of the most influential thrash band, that's unacceptable. Where did the other 4 million go?

anonymous 5/19/2014 4:08:48 AM

400,000 of the 4.4 million going to the performers - founding members of the most influential thrash band, that's unacceptable. Where did the other 4 million go?