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.”
A teaser for the forthcoming BLACK SABBATH DVD, “Gathered In Their Masses”, can be seen below. The set will contain footage from the band’s tour in support of its long-awaited reunion album, “13”.
BLACK SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler told the Chicago Sun-Times that the band’s current tour could very well be his last. Asked why he thought that, Butler explained, “I don’t know. I just got a feeling. It’s getting tough, it really is. I can’t lie about that. I’m old now. It really is tough going on every night. You wake up the next day, all the pains you never had before. I don’t want to go onstage for the sake of the money. You have to have a lot pride in yourself, and I honestly think I’m coming to the end of the top of my job.”
Butler also said that he’s enjoying the current SABBATH tour, adding, “I’ve always said as long as I can play, as long as I can do it to a good level, then I’ll keep doing it, because I still really enjoy playing. I’ll know when the day comes I can’t do this anymore, can’t play to my usual standards. That’s when I won’t go out anymore. I won’t do that to me self. But at the moment, I just love playing with the band. It probably will be the last time, will probably be the last tour. But I want to go out on a high. The band is playing really well at the moment.”
Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi and singer Ozzy Osbourne reunited in late 2011 to record their first new album together in 35 years. Original drummer Bill Ward was on board at first but dropped out over contract disputes.
Progress on the record was slowed first by Ward’s departure and then by Iommi’s January 2012 cancer diagnosis.
MOTÖRHEAD mainman Lemmy Kilmister has released the following statement:
“I have to sadly let you know that MOTÖRHEAD has had to postpone the forthcoming European tour until early next year, 2014.
“We have made the decision because I am not quite ready to hit the road yet, and am working my way back to full fitness and rude health. Don’t worry — I’m not about to start promoting veganism and alcohol-free beverages, but it is fair to say that I personally have been reconfiguring areas of my life to make sure I can come back fitter and stronger than ever.
“It disappointed me tremendously to have to say I wasn’t quite ready to hit the road yet, but not nearly as much as it would’ve disappointed me to go out, play some average shows and watch my health give way long before the tour was over! When people come to see aMOTÖRHEAD tour, they expect a MOTÖRHEAD show, and that is exactly what you will get as soon as I am fit and ready to rumble.
“Your patience and understanding is appreciated…and know that I’m getting stronger and stronger every day, so watch out next spring Europe and we will see you then.
“Thank you all.”
Lemmy recently spoke to U.K.’s Classic Rock magazine about his health issues that have caused the band to cancel a number of European festival appearances this past summer — including shows in France, Germany and Russia. The dates were called off when doctors discovered an unspecified haematoma, a pool of leaked blood gathered in Lemmy’s muscles. The legendary rocker is also suffering from Type 2 diabetes, diagnosed more than a decade ago, and has had a defibrillator fitted earlier this year to iron out the uneven bumps in his heart.
“I don’t mind you asking about my health,” Lemmy told the magazine. “I’ve been poorly. There’s no point lying about it or trying to deny it. I’ve never done that. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry, isn’t it? I understand you’ve got to ask. And I’m feeling better.”
According to Lemmy, people are telling him to slow down — that living life at breakneck speed is beginning to take its toll.
“It was the same when people were telling me to stop smoking,” Lemmy said. “‘You’ve got to stop smoking, Lem,’ they kept saying.” “Fuck you. I don’t like people telling me what to do, even if they might be right.”
Lemmy did, however, stop smoking cigarettes a year ago. “I was having breakfast one morning, coughing and hacking my way through a cigarette and I stopped and thought: ‘What am I doing here?'” he explained.
Although it’s been reported that Lemmy used to drink a bottle of Jack Daniel’s a day, he claims that those days are behind him.
“I stopped drinking Jack Daniel’s and Coke because the sugar in the Coke wasn’t good for my diabetes,” he said. “I don’t drink much [anymore].”
Lemmy takes two pills every day for his diabetes, which has affected the circulation in his legs. As a result, his legs stiffen and ache if he walks too far and his back hurts if he stands for too long. “But I can still stand at that mic every night and play my songs,” he said. “I wouldn’t know about the defibrillator if it wasn’t for that fucking lump in my chest,” he said. “I’m getting better. By the time this article is out, and the tour comes around, I’ll be all right. I’ll be ready.”
When told that some people have suggested that MOTÖRHEAD’s upcoming album,”Aftershock”, might be the band’s last, Lemmy replied: “Really? Who said that? I’ve never said that. Phil [Campbell, MOTÖRHEAD guitarist] has never said it. Mikkey [Dee,MOTÖRHEAD drummer] has never said it. We plan to go on. Maybe, if we can’t tour any more, we’ll just make albums. We’ll be like THE BEATLES after 1966.”
Lemmy, who turns 68 years old in December, told Classic Rock he didn’t expect to still be here at 30,
“I don’t do regrets,” he said. “Regrets are pointless. It’s too late for regrets. You’ve already
done it, haven’t you? You’ve lived your life. No point wishing you could change it.
“There are a couple of things I might have done differently, but nothing major; nothing that would have made that much of a difference.
“I’m pretty happy with the way things have turned out. I like to think I’ve brought a lot
of joy to a lor of people all over the world. I’m true to myself and I’m straight with people.”
Asked if his illness this year has made him more aware of his own mortality, Lemmy said: “Death is an inevitability, isn’t it? You become more aware of that when you get to my age. I don’t worry about it. I’m ready for it. When I go, I want to go doing what I do best. If I died tomorrow, I couldn’t complain. It’s been good.”