Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante has bowed out of the band's upcoming Australia tour dates due to "personal issues." The news broke on Feb. 18 via Scott Ian's Twitter account, with the guitarist explaining that Benante "can't leave the country" right now and will be replaced by Jon Dette.

The last year has proven to be a hectic time in Benante's life, with his mother, who was also the grandmother of Anthrax bassist Frank Bello, having passed away in early February 2012. Benante has experienced further personal issues with his wife, as the couple were both arrested on July 27, 2012, for domestic battery in front of a child. Benante's lawyer released a statement soon after, stating that the drummer's wife had been the one who incited the reported violence, leaving Benante with a large gash on the back of his head that required several staples to close.

There has been no official explanation as to why Benante will miss the upcoming Australian dates, but this isn't the first time the legendary percussionist has been forced to bow out of a string of shows. In November 2012, Scott Ian reached out to his fans via Twitter, once again siting "personal stuff" as the reason Benante would be missing a batch of European tour dates. As was the case during that trek, the skins will be manned by former Slayer / Testament drummer Jon Dette.


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As of now, Benante is expected to rejoin Anthrax for their headlining run on the Metal Alliance Tour, which kicks off March 22 in Anaheim, Calif. See the band's full itinerary here.