The band Slayer was based and formed in Huntington Park, California in 1981. One of the most popular band members was a drummer of the Slayer, Dave Lombardo but other musicians have had a great influence on the music industry as well. 

The band was founded by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, drummer Dave Lombardo, and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya. 

With their fast and aggressive music, Slayer was one of the “big four” thrash metal bands, alongside Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth.

The band’s songs, lyrics, and albums overall covered issues of politics, organized crime, murders, genocide, mythology, Satanism, hate crimes, terrorism, religion, Nazism, fascism, racism, xenophobia, and all other sensitive topics you can think of!

No wonder why their music has influenced many bands, with their lyrics often cited. The Reign in Blood from 1986 is Slayer’s third album and, at the same time, the heaviest and most influential thrash metal album of all time.

In almost 40 years on the scene, the Slayers have changed three very influential drummers. Starting with Dave Lombardo, of course, then Paul Bostaph and at the end, Jon Dette, all of them have played a significant role in the band’s development. 

And now let’s dive a bit deeper into their careers and developments.

Dave Lombardo

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David Lombardo is a Cuban-American drummer, most notable for being a co-founding member of thrash metal band Slayer.

Currently, he plays drums with Suicidal Tendencies, Fantômas, Mr. Bungle, Dead Cross, and the Misfits. On nine Slayer albums, Lombardo played drums, including Chriillusionion from 2006 and Reign in Blood back in 1986. 

He has been in the music industry for over 40 years, collaborating on 35 commercial recordings that covered a variety of genres. Besides Slayer, he has performed with a number of other bands, including Philm, Testament, Fantômas, Suicidal Tendencies, Grip Inc.

There is an amazing story behind the drummer and the Slayer guitar player, Kerry King. Those two met thanks to a common friend, and they immediately realized they shared the same musical interests which ended up forming a band.

A bit later, King introduced Lombardo to another guitarist named Jeff Hanneman. They practiced several times before they realized what was missing: a vocalist and a bass player. Not long enough, Tom Araya was introduced to band members by King, who had previously played with him. 

Officially formed in 1981, Slayer began to create their groundbreaking sound. They recorded their debut album Show No Mercy shortly thereafter.

For their third album Reign in Blood, in 1986, Lombardo collaborated with Rick Rubin, the well-known producer. Shortly after, he decided to leave the band during their tour, in order to promote Reign in Blood.

The reason behind this is that he was not making any money, and he was not satisfied with the overall profits. The Slayers replaced Lombardo with Tony Scaglione of Whiplash, but that replacement did not last long. In 1987, Dave returned to his band.

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Lombardo decided to leave the band again in 1992 because he wanted to be there when his first child was born. Ten years later, in 2001, he got a phone call from the band asking if he would be interested in performing a few shows.

In 2009, Slayer recorded another album with Lombardo called World Painted Blood. A few years later, just before Australia’s Soundwave festival, to be precise, in February 2013, Lombardo left the band once again.

When the last concert by Slayer was held, on November 30, 2019, Lombardo said he wasn’t planning on attending due to his own musical endeavors.

Dave Lombardo has a reputation for being an aggressive heavy metal drummer because his drumming style has been described as “astonishingly innovative”. No wonder why Drummerworld proclaimed him as “The Godfather of Double Bass”.

Metal drummers have been heavily influenced by Dave, and he has inspired a lot of modern metal drummers, so there is no doubt that Dave was the most important drummer of Slayer in the overall band’s career. 

Paul Bostaph

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Paul Steven Bostaph is an American heavy metal drummer, who is best known as the drummer of Slayer from 1992 to 2001, and then again from 2013 to 2019.

When Dave Lombardo left the band in 1992, Slayer was seeking a new drummer. Thanks to Kerry King, the Slayer guitarist, Bostaph was recommended for an audition.

Slayer members listened to Bostaph’s previous work, but they could not see how he fit into the Slayer momentum. During Slayer’s audition, Bostaph played nine songs, making just one mistake, which required him to practice continuously to improve.

Slayer recorded four albums with Bostaph. However, in 1996 he decided to leave the band in order to concentrate on his solo career, — Truth About Seafood. This resulted in the replacing the drummer of Slayer with Jon Dette

However, this did not last long, and Bostaph returned in 1997. He played over the years and in 2001 they released an album called God hates Us All. Not long after, Bostaph left the band once again. On the DVD, War at the WarField recorded on December 7, 2001, you will find his third and last performance with the band.

Unfortunately this time he was forced to do so due to the chronic elbow injury he has sustained, making it impossible for him to play.

In Bostaph’s place stood the original drummer of Slayer, Dave Lombardo, who remained in that position until 2013.

Jon Dette

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The American thrash metal performer Jon Dette is most well known as a drummer in Slayer and Testament. 

Throughout the years, Jon has served as a fill-in for Heathen, Iced Earth, and Anthrax, and also played with Impellitteri and Evildead on a number of occasions.

The year was 1994, and Dette was given the chance to audition for the Testament. He successfully performed a tour with this band from 1994 to 1996.

Not just long enough, in 1996, Dette decided to audition for Slayer, soon after Paul Bostaph’s departure from the band. This was one of the biggest dreams he had had since he was 17.

Initially, they offered the gig to Gene Hoglan, who had just returned from touring with Death, because he had been a long-time friend, but because of Dette’s persistence and energy, they let him play.

Dette played with Slayer until 1997, at which point he was fired after a falling out with the band members. A consequence of this was the return of a former drummer of Slayer — Bostaph had returned to the band once again.