Fill-In Drummer Jon Dette on Current Slayer Gig: ‘We’ll See What the Future Brings’
Jon Dette is back in a familiar place, playing drums for Slayer, a gig that he held for a brief period in the 1990s. The drummer was called in at the last minute to play the band’s Australian tour after a contract dispute with Dave Lombardo led to Slayer seeking a replacement.
Speaking about his return to the band, Dette told Australia’s Heavy Mag, “It’s like riding a bike as far as playing the songs. It feels like we’ve been playing for years and … it’s just great hanging out with the guys again and we’re having a great time out here.”
Though things have been going great, he’s cautious when it comes to his return being more than a temporary fill-in spot. He explained, “It’s baby steps right now. I think it would be too early for me to make a comment like that at this time, but all I can tell you is that we’re having a great time. It feels great on stage and everybody that’s actually at the shows and seen the shows, not just the fans, but even the crew on the side of the stage all have smiles on their faces so I must be doing something right and I guess we’ll see what the future brings.”
As for the potential backlash that comes with taking over for such a key member of the band, Dette explains, “Lombardo has been such an integral part of Slayer and it’s only natural for fans to feel upset right now. I mean I’m a Slayer fan first and, of course, I … paused a little bit when I heard the news, but … you’re never going to please everyone and the only thing that I can do … is give it the integrity that the music deserves then I feel that I’ve done my job and that’s all I can do. If the fans accept it then they accept it, if they don’t, they don’t, but that’s out of my control really.”
Dette has been pulling double duty in Australia, also filling in for Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante, who was unable to make the shows due to trouble securing a work visa for their performances. Dette had previously filled in for Benante last fall.