Former EXODUS Vocalist Rob Dukes Claims TESTAMENT's Chuck Billy "Responsible" For His Firing
It's no secret that Rob Dukes was not happy with the way he was fired from Exodus. Dukes was unceremoniously replaced by longtime vocalist Steve "Zetro" Sousa before the release of Exodus' most recent album, Blood In, Blood Out. On a recent episode of "One On One With Mitch Lafon" and pulled no punches about his displeasure.
He mentioned that the band chose to fire him on his honeymoon:
"It was the phone call that I got, the things that were said to me. It was all lies, and it was all bullshit, and it was all like this… It was just bullshit, man. [I was, like] 'None of this is true. You're fucking full of shit. You're fucking reaching.'" Dukes later added "it could have waited two weeks. They didn't have to do it three days after my wedding. They could have waited two more weeks. The album wasn't coming out for months. They could have just avoided my phone calls and let me be on my honeymoon and let me celebrate the fact that I just got married and not fuck up my wife's fucking honeymoon. And it just fucked everything up. Now [I was] financially insecure, 'cause I didn't know what I was gonna do. I just moved to a new state. I didn't know anyone where I moved to. And it was just really bad timing. And they could have done it wiser, they could have done it better. But you know what? The truth is, they didn't really give a fuck about me. I was just an entity, and I was an expendable thing in their world. The actions that had happened, that's what it was. If it's something different, then I'm unaware of all that. I'm basing things on the actions and the things that happened."
Lafon then asks if Dukes felt that Testament's Chuck Billy, who is a part of Exodus' management team, had any hand in the firing:
"I think Chuck's responsible for it. I think Chuck and their management, Metal Maria, I think they were looking at [Exodus's] record sales from the '80s and they were baiting them into, 'Look, if you do this, you're gonna get this.' I mean, I was there for it. I even spoke up. I even said it in front of Chuck to his face. I said, 'Gary, I think it's a conflict of interest having the singer of Testament be your fucking manager. Because, what makes you think that he's not gonna put his own band ahead of you every single fucking time? It's a conflict of interest, Gary. This is not a good thing to happen.' And they were, like, 'No, I don't think it's a bad thing at all. I think it's fine.' And I'm, like, 'Ah, okay.' And you know what? That's kind of what they did… Let me give you a scenario. Metallica calls [Exodus's] management, and they say, 'Hey, man, we want Exodus on this tour.' What's gonna keep Chuck Billy from going, 'Well, I don't know if Exodus will work out, but I know Testament can do it.' Do you know what I mean? Why wouldn't he do that? I'll tell you this: I would do it. I would fucking do it in a fucking second. 'Cause I'm fucking honest. But nobody there in that whole world is honest. It's all craziness. And I'm glad to be out, dude. Honestly, it's like this weight lifted off my shoulders. And like I said, it fucking hurt for a minute, because it was fucking fun and it was cool; it was a cool fucking thing I was doing. It was fucking enjoyable, and to lose that sucked. But you know what? It’s not all of me. It's not everything. It wasn't my entire being. It was a part of my life that I don't regret. I'm grateful for it. I'm grateful for the opportunity and the shit that I got to do. And I love the experiences that I've acquired over the years, man, but I'm not gonna die without it. I'm gonna move on. I'm gonna go on without it, 'cause it didn't define me as a human being. What defines me is how I treat my friends and my family and the man that I am walking around on the planet."
There certainly is some conflict of interest with a singer of a band that is of similar status also having a hand in managing you, but at the same time, I can't imagine Billy is sitting in the office on the phones, day to day. But again, I can understand Dukes' concern. Clearly the rest of the band didn't share the concern and they seem to be doing fine.