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SLAYER's Tom Araya Hints Issues Need To Be Resolved with Kerry King Before Next Album

Posted by on July 24, 2017 at 1:30 pm

We are big fans of young Elliot Fullam of Little Punk People. Elliot is one of our favorite interviewers on the scene, speaking to some of his idols while trying not to be incredibly star-struck. One interesting thing about these big rock stars being interviewed by twelve-year-old Elliot, is they always seem a little more honest and forthcoming when talking to a kid, as opposed to an adult interviewer.

Such honesty was on full display in Elliot's most recent interview with Slayer frontman Tom Araya. You might recall, a few backs, Kerry King noted that they still have eight completed songs left over from the last album recording sessions and that he hopes to record next year. At the time, we noted that Araya himself made it extremely well-known that he's pretty much over touring at this point, and it doesn't seem like Araya isn't looking too far into Slayer's future. So, when the topic of new music came up, it was interesting to see where Araya took the answer.

"I don't know. When we started doing this… when I started doing this, I always wanted to be in a band and play music. And then I ended up hooking up with four guys that were like-minded, just like me, and we clicked. And then we just started playing and jamming, and then we started writing our own stuff and jamming. Next thing you know, someone says, 'Hey, I wanna do a song. I wanna do a record.' And we just kept doing that. Thirty-five years later, I find myself in a place where I never thought I'd ever be. I never really once thought about ever being where I am. And it's a business. And that was something that I really enjoyed doing because I loved it, and it slowly somehow turned into a business. It wasn't about making music, [it was about] the business of making music. So what I'm leading into is that we had Jeff [Hanneman], who passed away a few years back. We never really had our business matters taken care of, as far as the membership and the band and all that stuff. That's something that me and Kerry [King] are, at the moment, in the middle of getting all that squared away. So as far as the next record, apparently we did record a bunch of songs, and we finished the songs for this album, and there was, like, another six or seven songs. We'll see. [Laughs]"

When Elliot follows up by asking Tom if he ever thinks of Hanneman when playing onstage, and Araya offered another "clue" (his own word) on the future of Slayer:

"Yeah, yeah, because I look over and I see Gary [Holt] playing, but, yeah, I think about him. Especially when we do songs that me and him co-wrote. Me and him were collaborators — we wrote a lot of songs together, me and Jeff. So there's a lot of songs that we play where it's, like… And then this new album [2015's Repentless], it was kind of a collaboration between me and Kerry, but not. [Laughs] That's a clue. [Laughs] That's a clue right there; I just gave you a big clue. But, yeah, I think about him a lot. Especially when we do… 'cause we always end our set with 'Angel Of Death', and that's a tribute to him. So, yeah, I think about him. You just wonder… You always think about how you wish you could have or should have done things different that went on towards the latter period of his life. In hindsight, you always wanna do… you think you should have done more, and that's how I feel: I feel like we could have, or I should have done more to help him."

Emphasis is ours here, but it's clear what Araya is alluding to is that he and King wrote separately, or perhaps King did not consult Araya when writing the album.

Either way, it looks like Slayer need to get their business matters in order before moving forward. This was the major reason why Dave Lombardo left the band.

Besides the dramatic stuff, I recommend checking out Elliot's full interview with Tom below. Watch more of Elliot's great interviews, including an awesome one with James Hetfield, right here.

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[Transcription via Blabbermouth]

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