Jon Dette (born April 19, 1970) is a heavy metal drummer, best known for playing in Evildead, Iced Earth, Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, and Heathen. Dette is a left-handed drummer.
Dette’s drumming career has spanned over two decades, playing for a number of popular metal bands such as Slayer, Anthrax and Testament.
Dette grew up in the coastal town of Encinitas in San Diego. On his fourteenth birthday, he received two drum kits. "I've been playing a double bass kit since day one. My parents were divorced and they each got me a kit for my birthday. A red five-piece CB700 and a blue three-piece Ruther by Pearl. I got some white shelving paper and after wrapping all the shells, I had a cool 7 piece kit." On that same birthday, Dette also received the Anthrax album, Fistful of Metal, which he would later credit for influencing his drumming style. "The first time I heard that album, my jaw dropped. I had never heard fast double bass drumming like that before ever. It was so fast, and heavy sounding. I just immediately felt a connection to that style of music and drumming."
From 1984 to 1991, Dette developed a unique practice method that would lay the foundation for his fast and aggressive drumming style. It also prepared him for his professional career. Although he received some formal lessons, he predominately learned to play drums on his own by listening to and learning albums from Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. "Drumming was just one of those complex puzzle type things that when I listened to it, made sense to me. I could listen to a song and understand almost everything that was going on with the drums. I couldn't play 90% of it, but I understood it. And from that, albums became my study books. I would practice and learn every song on Big Four albums until I could play the entire album by myself."
After graduating high school in 1988, Dette was eager to start a career in music. He moved to Hollywood to attend Musicians Institute. Although MI was a positive learning experience, Hollywood was not. "I was not a fan of Hollywood. The Glam scene was popular then and I just didn't fit into that in any way." Upon graduating MI, Dette moved back to San Diego and eventually started his own band Apocalypse, where they played local clubs in the San Diego area.
During the mid 1990s, Dette's career took off. He had a small run with SPV artist Evildead between 1993-1994. From there, he went on to play for the heavy metal band Testament, where he toured with the band, appeared in their music video, "Low" and performed on their live record, Live at the Fillmore. He also appeared with the group in the major motion picture, Strange Days. At the end of 1995, Dette was asked to join the thrash metal band Slayer, where he again toured with the band supporting the album, Undisputed Attitude. Dette appeared in the music video, "I Hate You." Dette then began working with the band on what became Diabolus in Musica but was replaced by Paul Bostaph just prior to recording in 1997. Dette soon went back to Testament to begin their world tour supporting the album, “Demonic” until early 1998.
During the 2000s, Dette was relatively quiet in the industry. He started the band Pushed with former Testament bassist Greg Christian. Pushed recorded two demos and played the club scene in San Diego and Los Angeles. Dette also collaborated with drummer Stewart Copeland for a movie music trailer library entitled, Stewart Copeland’s Ear Drum.
From 2011 to current, Dette's contributions increased, recording three full-length albums and working with several bands that have included: Slayer, Anthrax, Iced Earth, Animetal USA and Impellitteri, which he recently joined in 2015 which also features fellow Animetal USA member and band namesake Chris Impellitteri. In 2013, at Australia’s SoundWave festival, Jon Dette toured and performed with Slayer and Anthrax together.
Dette plays Tama drums and pedals, Evans Drumheads, and Zildjian cymbals. He also uses Vic Firth drumsticks, Ahead and DANMAR accessories, JH Audio earphones and various electronic equipment by Roland, Remo, and Sennheiser. He has, in the past, also used Paiste cymbals and Pro-Mark drumsticks.