Thrash Hits

July 18th, 2008

Slayer: Reign of Fear

Slayer have been heading up the thrash metal scene for a quarter of a century. Frontman Tom Araya tells Joel McIver that it may soon be time to rethink the band’s future and defends the forthcoming Unholy Alliance III tour with Trivium.

Slayer Kerry King Tom Araya Jeff Hahnemann Dave Lombardo Thrash Hits

This autumn, the UK’s bigger clubs will be quaking to their foundations thanks to the latest instalment of the Unholy Alliance tour, headlined by Slayer and featuring Trivium, Mastodon and Amon Amarth on the bill.

Previous jaunts included Slipknot and In Flames and received much acclaim, but there’s a sneaking feeling among Slayer’s rabid fanbase that perhaps some space on the bill could have been allocated to newer, more extreme bands this time around. Thrash Hits .com put this to Tom Araya this week, as well as asking him to clarify his band’s future.

Some people would say that you, Slayer, are in a position to give smaller bands much-needed exposure by taking them on tour with you, rather than taking Trivium and Mastodon out who are already established.
I hate to say this, but at this stage of the game, for as many years as we’ve been out as a band, it’s about income. When it comes to having a band who you would love to give exposure to, in all honesty, you would have to be really wowed by that band. I can honestly say that there’s only been one other band in recent times that has done that for us, and that’s System Of A Down. Nobody knew them, but we heard them and we were like ‘Fuck! Let’s take these guys out on the road’. And look what happened.

Watch the video to ‘Eyes Of The Insane’ by Slayer

So System Of A Down was the exception?
Yes, that was an exception. Can you name any other bands that deserve that kind of break?

Yes – tons!
OK, there’s tons, but is there one that gives you that wow factor, that makes you say ‘Fuck!’? Because I haven’t really heard anything recently that makes me say, ‘Wow! This is fuckin’ amazing!’ You can sit back and name bands that are worthy of being exposed to a broader audience and would never be given the chance, but you have to look at it from our perspective. They’re not gonna sell tickets, and the idea behind the tour is to try and sell tickets, to fill those seats.

You were quoted a while ago as saying that after the next Slayer album you would have to discuss whether to continue as a band, but your guitarist Kerry King has downplayed this comment. What’s the truth? Are you really going to talk about winding up the band?
Yeah. Let’s put it this way, this is the final record of our commitment with Rick Rubin. When we first signed a deal with him back in 1986, we never sat down and said, ‘How long do you guys want to keep this together?’ We signed the deal and we’ve just been doing records since. Then, by the time we did Seasons In The Abyss (1990), our third record with Rubin, we had a manager [Rick Sales] who did a really good job of renegotiating an entire new deal for 10 records. We just continued making records, with no game plan other than ‘We’re gonna do a record and then tour’, ‘We’re gonna do another record after the tour’ and so on.

Slayer Tom Araya Thrash Hits

So if you’ve never said to each other, ‘What are we going to do after our final album?’, when will that conversation happen?
I don’t know. We’re working on new ideas now just so that people can have a taste of what’s coming. Kerry and Jeff are putting together ideas, so what the end result of this next two and a half months is, I don’t know. Once we’ve put together new material, we can get together and discuss our future plans.

Are you in a position financially where you could retire?
I don’t know. I would think, to some extent, that I’m a little better off than most people, but as far as being secure? Maybe. But you know what, life will always be good. I don’t fear it. I’ve been very grateful for everything that I’ve gotten.

Is it because of your age that you’re thinking of hanging it up?
Seeing a 50-year-old man headbanging on stage would make me cringe. If I was watching that, I’d think, ‘Dude, you’re a little too old for that, aren’t you? You’re gonna fall off!’

The Unholy Alliance tour kicks off in Manchester on 27 October 2008



Bands

Comments

  • Detective27

    Slayer is consistent. You know what you’re getting when you buy a Slayer record. Having said that, they do seem to make the same record every time…..I say hang it up. We have plenty of back catalog to listen to, and nobody is anxiously awaiting the new Slayer record anyways….it’s not like what’s on it will surprise anybody.

  • Detective27

    Slayer is consistent. You know what you’re getting when you buy a Slayer record. Having said that, they do seem to make the same record every time…..I say hang it up. We have plenty of back catalog to listen to, and nobody is anxiously awaiting the new Slayer record anyways….it’s not like what’s on it will surprise anybody.

  • anderss

    id watch tom older than lemmy.

  • anderss

    id watch tom older than lemmy.

  • Lep

    Yeah treading water full of water, this frantic tick tick tock of hurry! here isn’t Dave Lombardos best drumming in the last 17 years on a testament album called the gathering, I remember meeting Kerry King and he hadn’t even heard it! hahahaha!

  • Lep

    Yeah treading water full of water, this frantic tick tick tock of hurry! here isn’t Dave Lombardos best drumming in the last 17 years on a testament album called the gathering, I remember meeting Kerry King and he hadn’t even heard it! hahahaha!

  • glg

    hey dio is 70 and heaven and hell is kicking ass!

    slayer is slayer, i’d see them forever if they kept bringing it like they always have.

  • glg

    hey dio is 70 and heaven and hell is kicking ass!

    slayer is slayer, i’d see them forever if they kept bringing it like they always have.

  • cory

    Well in response to the guy who thinks slayer should hang it up, and are predictable on their records, and that nobody is waiting for thier next album I beg to differ. Now I’m NOT trash talking I’m just saying if you were a huge slayer fan than you’d see the bands ture strengths. To a HUGE slayer fan thier albums are never repetitive, and we’re always awaiting for thier new material. As far as slayer calling it quits, I thinks it’s an enevitable sorta thing, but I don’t see them caling it a day so soon. I mean they’re in better shape both financially, and critically than they’ve ever been before. However I kinda see where tom is coming from. I was actually a little surprised by his statment about how it’s become amoney issue to sell tickets the slayer I know, and love isn’t about any of that, but I can see now in their carreer that it’s very important, and I think that might be driving factor for tom to be so indecisive, about slayers future. I mean if it’s gotten to that then yeah I’d say take a step back, and look at yourself, but I ask the question why is it so important to have opening acts that sell tickets. I mean the opening acts on a slayer tour are totally eclipsed by slayer. However I guess I’m just a fan who dosen’t one of his fave bands to go away just yet . So even if they do drop slayer I don’t think they’d be out of the music boz espcially kerry because obviously he’s not ready to quit so he’ll probebly start a new band if tom isn’t wanting to go further with slayer, and also 50 isn’t that old to be bashin’ it up

  • cory

    Well in response to the guy who thinks slayer should hang it up, and are predictable on their records, and that nobody is waiting for thier next album I beg to differ. Now I’m NOT trash talking I’m just saying if you were a huge slayer fan than you’d see the bands ture strengths. To a HUGE slayer fan thier albums are never repetitive, and we’re always awaiting for thier new material. As far as slayer calling it quits, I thinks it’s an enevitable sorta thing, but I don’t see them caling it a day so soon. I mean they’re in better shape both financially, and critically than they’ve ever been before. However I kinda see where tom is coming from. I was actually a little surprised by his statment about how it’s become amoney issue to sell tickets the slayer I know, and love isn’t about any of that, but I can see now in their carreer that it’s very important, and I think that might be driving factor for tom to be so indecisive, about slayers future. I mean if it’s gotten to that then yeah I’d say take a step back, and look at yourself, but I ask the question why is it so important to have opening acts that sell tickets. I mean the opening acts on a slayer tour are totally eclipsed by slayer. However I guess I’m just a fan who dosen’t one of his fave bands to go away just yet . So even if they do drop slayer I don’t think they’d be out of the music boz espcially kerry because obviously he’s not ready to quit so he’ll probebly start a new band if tom isn’t wanting to go further with slayer, and also 50 isn’t that old to be bashin’ it up

  • Kieran

    I hope Slayer doesn’t “Retire” Come on I know they’ve been a band for 30+ years but one Their one of the only TRUE Thrash metal bands left(Metallica Sold out LONG AGO, Megadeth & Anthrax sold out, Pantera & Sepultura Broke Up) SO PLEASE SLAYER DON’t BREAK UP!!!!

  • Kieran

    I hope Slayer doesn’t “Retire” Come on I know they’ve been a band for 30+ years but one Their one of the only TRUE Thrash metal bands left(Metallica Sold out LONG AGO, Megadeth & Anthrax sold out, Pantera & Sepultura Broke Up) SO PLEASE SLAYER DON’t BREAK UP!!!!

  • MIGUEL

    SLAYER IS THE BEST THRASH BAND EVER! I HAVE NEVER SEEN THEM LIVE, I´M A LAWYER FROM ECUADOR AND COME TO THE OFFICE EVERY DAY LISTENING TO SLAYER RECORDS! I HOPE THEY DON´T BREAK UP SO I CAN ATTEND TO ONE OF THEIR CONCERTS

  • MIGUEL

    SLAYER IS THE BEST THRASH BAND EVER! I HAVE NEVER SEEN THEM LIVE, I´M A LAWYER FROM ECUADOR AND COME TO THE OFFICE EVERY DAY LISTENING TO SLAYER RECORDS! I HOPE THEY DON´T BREAK UP SO I CAN ATTEND TO ONE OF THEIR CONCERTS

  • candemen

    If we keep coming to their live shows and give them a good show,by moshing,partying,drinking(alcohol or not),handdive,screaming,smoking(if u 1 2)and have a good time,then ,i hope, they won’t stop if we don’t stop.
    F*&#$N’ SLAYER

  • http://- candemen

    If we keep coming to their live shows and give them a good show,by moshing,partying,drinking(alcohol or not),handdive,screaming,smoking(if u 1 2)and have a good time,then ,i hope, they won’t stop if we don’t stop.
    F*&#$N’ SLAYER

  • candemen

    by the way miguel,you should see them.You’re a f-ing lawyer,can’t you afford a ticket?or are you a bad lawyer? ;-)
    and tom a; I wouldn’t mind if you’re a 100 year old man and you have no teeth and hair and you have to play laying on a bed.at that time we are also very old.then you wouldn’t have to play fast.take it a nudge slower by that time.

  • http://- candemen

    by the way miguel,you should see them.You’re a f-ing lawyer,can’t you afford a ticket?or are you a bad lawyer? ;-)
    and tom a; I wouldn’t mind if you’re a 100 year old man and you have no teeth and hair and you have to play laying on a bed.at that time we are also very old.then you wouldn’t have to play fast.take it a nudge slower by that time.

  • Gilbert

    I haven’t heard any other band being as consistent as Slayer when it comes to thrashing and blowing me away with riffs so evil & strong!
    Slayer rock -the KINGS of THRASH FOREVER!!!

  • Gilbert

    I haven’t heard any other band being as consistent as Slayer when it comes to thrashing and blowing me away with riffs so evil & strong!
    Slayer rock -the KINGS of THRASH FOREVER!!!

  • Mark

    SLAYER FUCKING ROCK!!!! I saw them 9 times already in a club in downtown Providence in RI USA .THey are GODS . FUCK SEPULTURA < FUCK MEGADETH and WHATEVER METTALICA….SLAYER FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER……..

  • Mark

    SLAYER FUCKING ROCK!!!! I saw them 9 times already in a club in downtown Providence in RI USA .THey are GODS . FUCK SEPULTURA < FUCK MEGADETH and WHATEVER METTALICA….SLAYER FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER……..

  • tim

    i would like to say every slayer fan is waiting for the new album and yeh dave is slammin on the gathering testament is another thrash band that isnt done yet check out “the formation of damnation” and try to disagree but as far as slayer is concerned if they do continue i can htink of alot of bands i would pass up hearing thier new stuff so i could hear more slayer!!!!

  • tim

    i would like to say every slayer fan is waiting for the new album and yeh dave is slammin on the gathering testament is another thrash band that isnt done yet check out “the formation of damnation” and try to disagree but as far as slayer is concerned if they do continue i can htink of alot of bands i would pass up hearing thier new stuff so i could hear more slayer!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/inferusrc Chris

    FUCKING SLAYER!!!!!….. if i had money i`d probly fly over to europe just to see Slayer destroy whatever venue there in. Slayer have never been in it for the money, but come on guys they do need to live, what i can tell you is there music will never be effected by money Slayer are the thrash gods, listen to the clip Psychopathy Red that is something you`d expect off of Reign in blood, Slayer will always stay true to there roots, they are the most extreme metal band to ever walk the earth. i`ve been to 4 Slayer shows so far the lastest one being Augest 10th 07 in Toronto which me and my nephew were so broke we gathered video games to sell so we could go see FUCKING SLAYER.

    My band Inferus are heavily influanced by Slayer and are striving to be as chaotic as them. we`re tryin to bring Thrash metal back in a area full of Death and hardcore,

    as for the guys who say Slayer is repeditive, your dead wrong, and I for one am fucking buying that album THE DAY it hits the stores, Slayer has always had one thing in common with there ablums, there about the fastest songs on this planet…… i for one feed off that. i am a die hard fan of Slayer and that will never change, i WILL buy there albums and I WILL be at there shows around here.

    So too Kerry, Jeff, Tom and Dave….. don`t pull the greatest Thrash band off this earth, but know the day you walk off stage for the last time, you will be legands.

    On and on South of heaven,

  • http://www.myspace.com/inferusrc Chris

    FUCKING SLAYER!!!!!….. if i had money i`d probly fly over to europe just to see Slayer destroy whatever venue there in. Slayer have never been in it for the money, but come on guys they do need to live, what i can tell you is there music will never be effected by money Slayer are the thrash gods, listen to the clip Psychopathy Red that is something you`d expect off of Reign in blood, Slayer will always stay true to there roots, they are the most extreme metal band to ever walk the earth. i`ve been to 4 Slayer shows so far the lastest one being Augest 10th 07 in Toronto which me and my nephew were so broke we gathered video games to sell so we could go see FUCKING SLAYER.

    My band Inferus are heavily influanced by Slayer and are striving to be as chaotic as them. we`re tryin to bring Thrash metal back in a area full of Death and hardcore,

    as for the guys who say Slayer is repeditive, your dead wrong, and I for one am fucking buying that album THE DAY it hits the stores, Slayer has always had one thing in common with there ablums, there about the fastest songs on this planet…… i for one feed off that. i am a die hard fan of Slayer and that will never change, i WILL buy there albums and I WILL be at there shows around here.

    So too Kerry, Jeff, Tom and Dave….. don`t pull the greatest Thrash band off this earth, but know the day you walk off stage for the last time, you will be legands.

    On and on South of heaven,

  • Monty

    From the fact that Trivium and Mastodon are on this toure, I would say it’s obvious the only real objective is to make money. Bands like that just don’t belong on the same bill as titans like Slayer. That said, it sounds like Tom really isn’t enthusiastic about the music anymore. Enthusiasm and energy are essential to writing good metal, so I think they should call it quits while they’re still producing good material as opposed to continuing to rehash the same old sound with less and less passion and innovation in each iteration like Metallica seem to be doing.

  • Monty

    From the fact that Trivium and Mastodon are on this toure, I would say it’s obvious the only real objective is to make money. Bands like that just don’t belong on the same bill as titans like Slayer. That said, it sounds like Tom really isn’t enthusiastic about the music anymore. Enthusiasm and energy are essential to writing good metal, so I think they should call it quits while they’re still producing good material as opposed to continuing to rehash the same old sound with less and less passion and innovation in each iteration like Metallica seem to be doing.

  • Mister Kitty

    I like cats.

  • Mister Kitty

    I like cats.

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