Slayer’s Tom Araya Speaks On The Bands Future Plans


Slayer vocalist/bassist Tom Araya had a lot to say of the bands future to Speaking on the groups current lineup—which includes himself, guitarist Kerry King, guitarist Gary Holt in place of the late Jeff Hanneman and returning drummer Paul Bostaph—he offered:

“…They’ve experienced Slayer with Gary, and everybody’s experienced Slayer with Paul because Paul was part of the band for quite a few years, so it’ll be time for everybody to get reacquainted with Paul and acclimated to this lineup. Gary has been playing with us for two years now, if you can believe that. People have seen the various pieces, just not all together.

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Paul’s always been a friend. When he left it was on his terms and it was no bad feelings at all. Paul felt he needed to move on and it wasn’t on bad terms and to have him back and playing in the band is awesome. It’s like we’re taking up where we left off with Paul and he’s amazing. He’s full of energy, he’s excited to be back and he’s excited to be part of Slayer again. So it makes for very energetic shows and very exciting times.

This is gonna be good. Like I said, everybody is going to be reacquainted with Paul and everybody knows Gary has been filling in, now it’s just a whole different circumstance knowing that Jeff has passed. I’m sure everyone will enjoy it. Paul is very energetic and excited, which makes everybody else excited. It’ll be good and it will allow closure for everybody.”

On how Gary Holt is handling balancing Exodus and Slayer:

“He’s managing. He still has Exodus, actually apparently in his time off he’s been writing new material, so he’s putting together material for a new Exodus album and taking care of that. But yeah, at some point, once we get this tour put aside, me and Kerry are going to have to sit down and take care of Slayer business and figure out how we’re going to handle this.

But Gary has been doing an amazing job. He’s a devoted friend, obviously, to continue doing what he’s been doing, because it’s been asking a lot of him. He’s been great at this, he’s been doing a tremendous job and we’re indebted to him because he’s continued and kept moving forward playing with the band, he’s more than happy to do what he’s doing.”

On whether or not Gary will be writing and playing on the new Slayer album:

“We’re going to have sit down and figure out something. We haven’t had a chance to sit down and talk about anything. I, for one, didn’t really want to, especially at that moment when everything was happening. Now that we’ve got that behind us and we’re going to do this fall tour, once we get finished I think that will be an opportunity for me and him to sit down and talk Slayer and see how he feels about it, and I can tell him how I feel about it and we’ll know before the year is out what the future holds”

On using material Hanneman wrote prior to his passing on their next release:

“He’s got a lot of material I’m sure we haven’t heard, we haven’t had the privilege to really go through his material as far as the stuff that he has at home, personal stuff. That’s up to his wife to allow us the access to that. But there are two songs, one that was incomplete lyrically, that we were working on for World Painted Blood and then another song that he had put together before he passed away that got circulated between the three of us.

It was something when I heard it I liked it, and I communicated that with Jeff, that I thought it was great, that we needed to figure this out and I wanted to put some ideas together for it because I really liked the song musically. He was excited, and he let me know how he wanted the song to be as far as verses and choruses go, so me and him communicated about the song, so I was all excited, and then … (pauses).

That’s what he usually does, he’ll put together a demo of songs and let everybody listen to them and everybody learns then, and then when we go into the studio we work the songs out until they are polished the way we like them.”

On the bands writing process and their currently recorded new material:

“Me and Jeff collaborated a lot. I collaborated with Kerry on a few songs, but that was not a big thing with Kerry. Kerry liked to do his own stuff, and liked to do it his way, and didn’t really care too much for collaborating, he wasn’t too hip on that.

Kerry’s been doing some stuff on his own and there were two songs, out of all the songs that he and Dave demoed, two songs were completed that I helped finish for him vocally, but it wasn’t anything that we collaborated on. When we did the two songs in the studio, he was like “here are the lyrics and this is how I want the song done.” And I did the songs the way I felt they should be, but he would prefer that I did them his way (laughs). So there are two songs that have come out of the sessions they started a few years back.

We’ll see how it goes. Like I said, there’s a lot of communication that needs to go on before we move forward. We need to sit down and talk.”

The full interview can be read at

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