TOM ARAYA Questions SLAYER's Future Without JEFF HANNEMAN; KERRY KING Disagrees
Last week, we revealed some pretty sad bits from the just-released issue of Guitar World featuring a big feature on the life and death of Jeff Hannmean, which includes some revealing quotes from Hannmenan's band members in Slayer, and his wife, namely that Tom Araya doesn't know if the band can continue without Hannmean, but Kerry King disagrees.
Frontman/bassist Tom Araya was asked what it would be like moving on without Hanneman and he said:
“After 30 years, it would literally be like starting over. To move forward without Jeff just wouldn’t be the same, and I’m not sure the fans would be so accepting of that drastic a change. Especially when you consider how much he contributed to the band musically. And you can have someone sit in for him, but there’s no one on this planet that can do what Jeff did. There’s no replacing him.”
To make matters worse, it seems like Jeff wasn't too happy about Slayer moving on without him a few years ago after his spider bite:
According to Kathryn, Jeff was at first not too thrilled that Slayer were moving on without him (even temporarily), saying “I remember when the tour came up, Jeff said to me, ‘No. No. There’s no way in hell this band is going out without me.’ He was definitely hurt by the fact that, for the first time ever, the band had to go on without him, but eventually he became okay with it, and a lot of that was because it was his friend Gary [Holt, also of Exodus] that was going to fill in for him. He knew the band had to go on.” Kathryn also added that “I think part of him knew that he wasn’t going to be back in the band.”
From the sound of it, it seems as though the band didn't "ask" Hanneman if he was cool with Holt, but rather informed him they'd be moving on without him and he eventually came to terms with it, which isn't fun by any means.
Meanwhile, Kerry King said that up until that very last day they were holding out hope that Hanneman would return:
“We were holding out hope until the day he died. If he ever came to us and said, ‘Okay, I can do this,’ there was no question. This was his gig. Now, did I think that would actually happen? No, I didn’t.”
But now that he didn't, while Araya feels it's difficult to move on without him, King disagrees:
“I don’t think we should throw in the towel just because Jeff’s not here.”
So it seems for the time being that we'll at least get some Slayer live gigs, as the band already has overseas commitments they plan on performing at. But what about new material? It looks like Tom Araya is apprehensive about writing new Slayer but King is all gung-ho about moving ahead. Could this potentially create a rift between Araya and King? What if Tom Araya decided to bail? Do you think Kerry King would find a replacement vocalist and still move forward with Slayer? Is it even Slayer at that point or just a Slayer tribute band?
[via Metal Insider]