New SLAYER, ANTHRAX Touring Drummer JON DETTE: BENANTE And LOMBARDO Are My Biggest Influences
February 24, 2013
Eric Blair of “The Blairing Out With Eric Blair Show” conducted an interview with drummer Jon Dette (TESTAMENT, SLAYER, ANTHRAX,ANIMETAL USA) at this year’s NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, a massive music-products convention that took place January 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below.
On how he came to play with ANTHRAX:
Dette: “Actually, Jason Bittner from SHADOWS FALL, who was filling in for Charlie [Benante, ANTHRAX drummer] on this last ANTHRAX run last year, couldn’t do one of the tours that was coming up and called me and asked me if I would be available to do it. And I said, ‘Of course. It would be great.’ And the next day Charlie called me — which, Charlie is one my biggest influences ever, next to [Dave] Lombardo [of SLAYER], so it was kind of a surreal moment for me to get a call like that, saying, ‘Hey, can you help me out?’ Which, of course, I said, ‘Absolutely.’ I just went and did a Europe tour with ANTHRAX and MOTÖRHEAD, and now I’m getting ready to actually head off to India and Australia with them in February and March.”
On how it feels to be playing with ANTHRAX:
Dette: “It’s amazing, man. The first day that I started playing drums — a lot of people may or may not know this — the first album I ever got from the day I got my drum set was ‘Fistful Of Metal’ [by ANTHRAX], and literally, the first song I ever tried playing on drums was ‘Metal Thrashing Mad’. Actually, I [was] hanging out with Charlie and I told him that this morning, and he was, like, ‘Really?’ And I’m, like, ‘Yeah, really.’ [laughs]ANTHRAX, METALLICA and SLAYER, they were such a foundation of my style growing up, and I’ve been privileged now to actually play for two of those bands. It’s a very natural thing for me to play, but at the same time, seeing the back of their heads on stage, and Joey [Belladonna] is looking at me and he’s singing, and I’m just, like, ‘This is great.’ I guess you can say that I play with a lot of passion when I’m with those bands, ’cause it’s just absolutely passion and just an amazing experience.”
On how he got the call to be in SLAYER:
Dette: “Well, I was playing drums for TESTAMENT at the time, and my attorney was also SLAYER‘s attorney, and I got a call from, actually, a crew member in the SLAYER camp that said, ‘[Paul] Bostaph just left and you should try out.’ So, I asked my attorney and, long story short, he put us in touch together and I went down and auditioned. Again, SLAYERis one of those bands I’ve been playing forever, and so it was so natural, and I think we really felt that when we were in a room together. We rehearsed for two days and it just felt right, and they asked me to join the band at the end of our rehearsal the second night.”
On what he took away from the experience of playing with SLAYER:
Dette: “Well, so many things. I mean, one, it’s like my first experience playing with one of my true idol bands. Again, to temporarily replace Dave Lombardo, basically, even though I was replacing Paul, who, Paul‘s an amazing drummer in his own right. So many business things that I got to learn — just the music business in general, good and bad. But, again, just to have the opportunity to play for one of my all-time favorite bands and see the back of their heads every night… People would ask, ‘Was there anything bad about playing for SLAYER?’ And I would say, ‘Yeah, every time I go to a SLAYER show, I have to look at the back of their heads now. I can’t enjoy the show anymore.’ ‘Cause I would always be atSLAYER shows rocking out. I’d like to think I did it justice at the time I was with the band and it was just an amazing experience.”
“Heavy Rain”, the new video from U.D.O., the German metal band led by former ACCEPT frontman Udo Dirkschneider, can be seen below. The song comes off U.D.O.’s new album, “Steelhammer”, which was released on May 24 via AFM Records. The CD was produced by Dirkschneider andFitty Wienhold.
Guitarist Igor Gianola recently left U.D.O. and was replaced by Finnish axeman Kasperi Heikkinen.
U.D.O. last year announced the addition of guitarist Andrey Smirnov to the group’s ranks. He replaced Stefan Kaufmann, who left the group for health reasons.
Stefan will continue to work with U.D.O. behind the scenes and produce other bands at his Roxx studio.
In the April/May 2014 issue of Revolver magazine, the surviving members of PANTERA — vocalist Philip Anselmo, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott and bassist Rex Brown — speak about the making of the band’s classic 1994 album, “Far Beyond Driven”, which is being re-released next week as a 20th-anniversary, two-disc edition. The new version will include a newly remastered version of the original recordings along with a new live performance from the 1994 Monsters Of Rock festival.
Speaking about PANTERA’s touring activities that followed the release of “Far Beyond Driven”, Vinnie Paul said: “When we went on the road, that’s when the wheels started coming off and people didn’t know what other people were doing. Phil had his own bus. Things started turning into what they turned into in the end.
“Phil started isolating himself from the rest of us. It got to the point where we wouldn’t see each other until about 20 or 30 minutes before showtime. You never knew if he was going to be in a shitty mood or a good mood. You just hoped it was good enough to get through the show. That’s truly where some of the shows started lacking. They weren’t as good as they used to be, and he would start his rants and go on for 20 minutes while we stood around and looked at him, like, ‘What the fuck are you saying to these people, dude? They want to hear us play some songs. Let’s play some music.'”
Said Anselmo: “The touring was really a mixed bag for me. The [chronic back] pain was intense, but the thrill was still there much of the time, and when I was onstage, that part of it I enjoyed very much. But during this time, I was drinking an entire bottle of Wild Turkey every night before a show to numb the pain I was experiencing.
“I felt trapped, man. I felt lost even trying to explain to the guys in my band, who were so used to seeing Superman up onstage, that I was not Superman anymore. I felt like a trapped animal, honestly. I felt cornered and very confused.
“The words that would come out of my mouth [while we were on stage] were abrasive. I was lashing out at other bands when I really had no business mentioning other bands during a PANTERA show. I was going slowly insane throughout the touring of this record, whether it be from pills, alcohol, or the mental stress from carrying around the chronic pain along with the addiction.”
When PANTERA broke up in 2003, Vinnie Paul and his brother, PANTERA guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott formed DAMAGEPLAN. On December 8, 2004, while performing with DAMAGEPLAN at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio, Dimebag was shot and killed onstage by Nathan Gale. He was 38 years old.