SLAYER – Interview With Bassist/Vocalist Tom Araya
By Peter Atkinson
Live pictures by Arto Lehtinen
Slayer, circa June 2013. Photo by Tim Tronckoe
As 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of Slayer’s debut album, Show No Mercy, and the 25th anniversary of their legendary, yet divisive fourth album South of Heaven, this should have been a year of celebration for the band. Instead, frontman/bassist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King spent the first half of the year dealing with the back-to-back gut punches of replacing original drummer Dave Lombardo yet again in February, on the eve of an Australian tour, and then mourning the sudden loss of guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who died in May of alcohol-related liver failure after battling the effects of necrotizing fasciitis in his right arm for two years that left him unable to perform with the band – and which nearly killed him to begin with.
While the shock of it all was still just settling in, Slayer were back on the road over the summer, honoring tour commitments in Europe and South America – all while the usual parade of shit-talkers were taking to their Interweb soapboxes to pile on the band for forging ahead under such circumstances and casting doubt about their future with the common refrain of “No Hanneman, No Slayer!” – given that he had written most of their signature songs, from “Angel of Death” to “Psychopathy Red.”
The band is soldiering on for now with Exodus guitarist and long-time friend Gary Holt holding down Hanneman’s spot – as he has been since Hanneman contracted the infection, apparently from a spider bite, in 2011 – and two-time drummer Paul Bostaph returning once again, after one-time drummer John Dette filled in on the Australian dates. Slayer will be playing their first North American shows since Hanneman’s death – and with the new lineup – starting at the end of October, with France’s Gojira opening.
After that, however, nothing is for certain. There is some new material to be had. Some of it was put together by King and Lombardo before contract squabbles prompted the drummer’s departure after his 11-year latest stint with the band. More intriguing, perhaps, is the fact that there are two relatively complete songs written by Hanneman in the hopper, and potentially many more bits and pieces in his archives. Whether any if it will see the light of day, however, remains to be seen.
During an Oct. 9 phone interview from his home in Texas, a somber but still quite chatty Araya spoke about the loss of Hanneman, how the band has handled things in the aftermath and the new material that has been kicking around. He also noted that what the future holds for the band will be determined once he and King are able to “sit down and talk Slayer” after the upcoming tour is over.
I caught the tail end of the last interview where you were reminiscing about places you used to play back in the day. When you are playing in New York this time, is the Theater at Madison Square Garden the old Felt Forum you were so famously banned from for the “seat cushion” incident?
Slayer at Jalometalli 2013
Tom Araya: That’s the old Felt Forum, yeah. The Felt Forum was crazy because people were lighting seat cushions on fire and throwing them like Frisbees. Good times (laughs).
When I saw the Clash of the Titans tour at the full Madison Square Garden in 1991, I was up toward the front, which were supposedly the VIP seats, and all the fold-up chairs there ended up in a huge smoking heap at the front of the stage by the time you were finished, so even at the big hall it was devastation.
Tom: (laughs) Oh yeah. I remember that. A lot of tours where we played buildings like that they put folding chairs out and we always told them, “Not a good idea.” We had a security guy who worked for us, a guy named Jerry Mele, and when we’d play at these arena-type places where they would put these chairs out he would tell them, “you can’t be putting these chairs out.” And they would be, “well, you know, we have to.” And it was like, “we understand that, but we’re telling you right now this is not a good idea. This area in front of the stage, you can’t put seats.”
He would tell them “this is what will happen if you do.” And they would be like, “Oh, no, no, no, no. We have to put seats, it’s regulations, it’s fire code.” And he would talk to anyone in authority and say they shouldn’t do this, and they would ignore him and at the end of the show there would be a huge pile of them.
And then it’s your fault.
Tom: Yeah, and then it’s our fault. A lot of times, what he would do, once the chairs started coming up and becoming a pile, he started encouraging the fans, these kids, to line up and pass them to side, so they would put out away from the audience. And a lot of the kids were very helpful, and they would clear out a big section of the floor and then do what they wanted to do, which was mosh and go crazy. Do their metal dance (laughs).
That continued happening even up to when we started Ozzfest. We did the Ozzfest in San Bernardino and they did the same thing. They started ripping out the chair sections in front of the stage, and they started passing the seats over the barricade and they got taken onto the stage and out the back. That seems to follow us everywhere we go, so we’re used to it. But it doesn’t happen so much any more.
I remember reading an article about Jerry back then in the New York Times magazine or some place like that where was talking about all the security preparation that went into a show like yours and he sounded like a general preparing for combat.
Slayer at Jalometalli 2013
Tom: Yeah, he was a really great person to have out because everywhere we went he would talk to the local security and a lot of security companies adopted his method to the madness, which is really cool because it’s made life easier for a lot of bands and a lot of fans to enjoy themselves more. As opposed to what they used to do, which was beat the shit out of you and throw you out (laughs).
You’ll be getting back into more “intimate” places on this North American tour, are you looking forward to that?
Tom: Yeah. We’re going to be doing theaters, between 2,000 and 5,000 seaters, so it’ll be good. It’s the first time we’re actually doing a Slayer tour, as opposed to being a part of a big tour, in a very long time. The last few tours we’ve done across the states have been with co-headlining acts or festivals. It’s never just been a Slayer tour with two special guests as opening acts. We figured we’d just keep it simple and hit theaters and small arenas. We’ll see how it is, we hope it’s successful, but we haven’t done it in a while.
Are you interested in seeing people’s reactions here to the new Slayer, the new old Slayer, or whatever people think it is?
Tom: (laughs) I don’t know. 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.
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.
Those were two pretty big hits for the band back to back, the situation with Dave and then Jeff passing.
Slayer at Jalometalli 2013
Tom: Yeah. It was a same time kind of thing. We would have conference calls between the three of us [Tom, Kerry and Jeff] trying to figure this whole mess, this situation with Dave, and each of us were letting the other know how we felt about it and we needed to figure out what we were gonna do about it. All three of us were onboard as far as what was to be done and how we were going to approach the situation with Dave, and Paul coming onboard, and then Jeff passed on. We were stunned. It was pretty crazy. It still is kinda crazy.
It seems like that happened a longer time ago than it did, since the band was playing shows all through the summer, but it hasn’t even been six months since Jeff passed away and Paul returned. You guys really didn’t have much time to take stock of everything.
Tom: After Jeff passed, about a month and half later we started a European tour, which is something that was in the books the year before. So we did two European tours and we just got done doing a South American tour.
We put a banner up, it’s a Hanneman banner, it’s like a small memorial to Jeff. Doing these shows, its allowed closure, but, shit, the first tour of Europe we did after he passed was a little rough. For me it was. The first week and a half was pretty rough as far as continuing on and doing what we were doing. It’s a whole different tune now. It’s not the same, because you know it can never be the same. That was a little rough for me.
But like I said, we have a banner, we have a backdrop that we use, and we’re taking it to the audience, to the fans, and allowing closure for allow of them, for everyone to sit back and remember Jeff. So I think doing what we’re doing, this fall tour that we’re doing, is going to allow for that for the fans in the states. It’s a healing process for me, remembering Jeff by playing his music.
Believe it or not, 95 percent of the music we play live is Jeff’s (laughs). Almost every song we play live is a Jeff song, musically written by Jeff.
How is Gary dealing with all this, he’s in odd position – plus there’s still Exodus and I wonder if he’s itching to get back to that, since it’s his baby?
Tom: 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.
Slayer at Jalometalli 2013
Would you be amenable to having Gary write and play on a new Slayer album, or is that going to be part of the Slayer business you and Kerry will be taking care of?
Tom: Yeah, 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.
Of course the cat is out of the bag now about the material Jeff had left behind, and the possibility of it being included on a new Slayer album. Where do things actually stand with regard to that?
Tom: 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.
Slayer at Jalometalli 2013
On Soundtrack To The Apocalypse there’s the demo of, I think it’s “Angel of Death” [actually, it’s “Raining Blood”] where he put the guitar tracks down over a drum machine, and it didn’t sound that far off from how the finished version ended up.
Tom: That’s how he did stuff. He would present six or seven songs like that every time. On World Painted Blood, before we even thought about going in to do the album, he was like “hey, why don’t we go in and record at least three or four tracks and try to release an EP or a single, just to give everybody a flavor of the upcoming album.” And he had seven or eight songs that I recall listening to and thinking “Oh my god, this is some really good stuff here.”
“Psychopathy Red” was one of the songs that was on that disc. And we recorded two of the other ones, one of them being the song that we haven’t been able to finish (laughs). He had other stuff that I thought sounded awesome, and when we started recording the album he brought out other material that was different than the stuff he had earlier.
I even communicated with him and told him, “Listen, there were three or four songs that I really liked [from earlier] that I’m surprised you never did anything with them. Whatever happened to them?” And I had to send him a copy of what I had because he was like “I don’t think I have copy of those anymore.”And later it was like, “Oh yeah, I remember these songs (laughs).”
I thought they were great because I had ideas for them, melody ideas, and they never really came into fruition. I’d like to hear what he had done and whether he had ever completed any of that stuff. And there is other stuff that, hopefully, I’ll get a chance to sit and go through and listen to and see if we’ll have access or get permission to do something with.
Slayer at Jalometalli 2013
That sounds like it would be like going through someone’s attic, with all its ghosts and memories and things like that.
Slayer at Tuska 2008
Tom: I think that that would be good though, because there are some things that I know he’s got that would be great. But like I said, we have to talk business before we can do anything else.
Have you and/or Kerry been working on stuff of your own, or working together on anything?
Tom: 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.
Well I certainly appreciate your doing this, it can’t be easy to sit through these one right after the other talking about what might happen with your career.
Tom: Yeah. I’m trying to choose my words correctly. Definitely (laughs). We’ll see what the future holds.
I had an opportunity to interview Peter Hobbs in Jalometalli –festival which turned out as an interesting session for covering up the history of the band from the late 80’ties to the present day. We talked about future plans of Hobbs Angel of Death as well as the shape of music industry today. How does Peter Hobbs feel about the comparison of Hobbs Angel of Death to Slayer??? Got interested already? Read on!
Interview by Niko Karppinen
Pics by Arto Lehtinen
Short history lesson of what happened after the first album
The debut album of Hobbs Angel of Death was released in 1988 and second album was released in 1995. What happened during those years and why it took so long between those two albums?
PH: A lot of line-up changes. A lot of line-up changes and unfortunately the window of the line-up changes when you go reshow people the past. By the time you get to show them the past songs and you get to a stage where you can get — again you can do tours and whatever, you end up playing the old songs. By the time you finish a lot of people realize that they can’t really cut the deal. It’s not what they want in life. You got to be a diehard to be doing this sort of thing. That’s why there were so many — so many years past.
I was trying to find the right people that can actually work with me. I’m not a tyrant. I’m a pretty easy going fellow. But some people at the end of the day they got commitments. They got commitments and normal lives.
I always made Hobbs Angel of Death to be a part of my life when I possibly can. Unfortunately line-up changes have been a great deal in my career. But while I’m still here today I keep going and going and going to give my fans what they expect from me, the best I possibly can.
During recent years there have been lots of reunions from the old bands. Which probably got something to do that thrash metal has become popular again? What actually made Hobbs Angel of Death to come back in 2002?
PH: Hobbs is full of passion, passion and aggression. I thought it was a good time in my life when I saw maturity coming into it, that I could go out again and fight those wars as a gladiator and actually even get wounded in the process but always finish that war and be proud of what I did. In the earlier days a lot of people take for granted what you can go and do. I found it was a very good opportunity for Hobbs and to me, personally to go back out in the world again and show the artistic thing that I withhold. You know? And I did some great gigs with Destruction of course, Mayhem, of course close friends of mine. And a lot of numerous other bands that sort of asked me to be playing with them and whatever.
So when bands came to Australia they will ask for Hobbs support or whatever. I actually didn’t want to do supports. I said, “Look, this is your guys, this is your night. You’re in my hometown. Enjoy, enjoy your time. Enjoy your gigs. Do whatever. I’ll play after. . I’ll play afterwards and I’ll just fill my hometown with my enjoyment.” That’s a badie, you know? I went on a long fishing trip earlier in that year and I caught a whale and it took me around the world a few times.
The sound of the band was unique right from the start because you were using keyboards in the debut album and that was not very common in those days when it comes to the thrash metal bands. Do you think that it made a difference between the Hobbs Angel of Death and the other thrash metal bands at the time?
PH: It was keyboards. Hobbs never had keyboards. You mean at the end Marie Antoinette?? Correct. I wanted that to be a very classic ending. I wanted it to be epic and I played those keyboards myself. I believe that French Queen, Marie Antoinette deserved to be remembered for total history. I hope the younger generation remembers a lot of people through the old past times. Because without history, you can’t move forward and you need to learn from history for repair change. Or make another way of it to progress. So it was my honour back there at that time to make it an epic ending and do the choirs.
The music press was praising that the Hobbs Angel of Death was the Australian response to Slayer. What do you think about that especially now when you are sharing the stage with the Slayer here in Jalometalli-festival?
PH: I’ve waited 30 years for this to arrive. 30 years to actually prove that Slayer and Hobbs Angel of Death are totally different. I mean there’s no denying that my influences were Slayer. I’m a sort of guy that I guess shaking the future in front and I loved it. Slayer’s coming through with Show No Mercy, Hell Awaits and all those classical awesome songs. I know that that sort of band is going to really happen because I could see the support they had, I could see their hunger, I could see their warmth, I could see their passion and I knew that was going to happen.
Last night, on the 9th of August 2013 Hobbs Angel of Death had the opportunity — and I ask Peter Hobbs had the opportunity to show to Slayer is that we are not the same. There are some influences but everybody has influence on everybody. It gave me great pleasure to — and I know they heard — I know they heard from their dressing rooms I was giving it what Hobbs – Peter Hobbs is all about and I just hope a small part of my life if they can respect me as much as I respect them.
What kind of elements are Hobbs songs made of ?
Your songs are quite often referring to the historical events or characters such as “Bubonic Plague”, “Jack the Ripper”, “Marie Antoinette” and “Tutankhamen”. You seem to find history inspiring when writing songs?
PH: Okay, a quick rundown. House of Death was — I wrote that song in Italy. I was there, there was a shrine of monks there and had these — they were fucking real. They were standing there and they were holding crosses and there was content there of what you are, we once were a monument of life. Now what we are here you will become in the House of Death. I took that and I put it in my own way.
As Jack the Ripper, I’m a person that gets a feel — I need to feel the realness. So back in that time I was in White Chapel in England as I was there in the year previously. I did a bit of a promo tour as well on my own. I actually walked around the Jack the Ripper walk and felt the ground, felt the walls, felt where the murders were. I could actually feel that — I could feel what happened.
Marie Antoinette, the Bastille — the real Bastille is not there anymore. Actually wrote that song in the early times with Tarsus and at the same time when I was there I actually went to in my imagination to the Bastille on the grounds of where it was. I asked my first wife to bring me my last supper to actually let me feel how that pain was going to be, heading to the guillotine the next day. How Louie was thinking. How the children were thinking and I put myself in the position of that pain knowing that come that time in the morning there’s going to be no more.
That gave me great inspirations for those choirs and everything when I recorded that album. Yeah, I like to get feeling from real life things. A lot of other songs that I’ve wrote, well you can’t commit such crimes to feel that feeling but to still have the fantasy and whatever. I think it really helps a lot writing music.
What kind of bands influenced you most in the beginning when you formed Hobbs Angel of Death?
PH: Okay, so if I can just go into my early stages like when I was 9-years-old. I was listening to all those sort of bands like Status Quo and all that sort of stuff. Then of course Black Sabbath, Rainbow, Uriah Heep, Iron Butterfly all those sort of bands. I was listening to Demon… A lot of early things…
I should tell you a little quick story. When I was in Wacken back in 2004 I had the opportunity to meet Ronnie James Dio personally. I was talking to Ronnie for about half an hour and I mentioned to him that watching you guys — sort of made when I was young, wanting to be in a band and now what I’ve saw. That’s what I want to do with my life. After length of time and he actually said to me, he said, “I’ve listened to you bullshit for fucking half an hour.” And he said, “I actually know who you are from Australia.” And he said, “You make me want to keep going at 60.” – I was just fucking shocked! I was just absolutely blown away that talking to my idol could turn around tell me that back to me! Made him still trying to conquer and continue in his career. You know? So it was quite a shock.
I hear a lot of things from a lot of people and – Norwegians; Hell Hammer, Frost, Faust, Emperor. All these people, they’re saying to me that fucking you do matter. It’s amazing and I inspired them in the things that they do and they inspire me. So what I’m actually seeing now is a mirror image of me being able to have the pleasure to have been around watching them saying that fuck you guys, you really fucking kill. It’s a pleasure to watch this talent, you know, from around Europe and we’ll watch. You know? Especially when they say that I’ve influenced them. I’ve just come from Norway. I saw Bloods & Army and I thought, fuck, these guys are now influencing me back again. They made me hungry to finish off the rest of the tour and to finally today be in Finland and fucking enjoy myself and you know, play. Last night was awesome.
You have once said that Hobbs Angel of Death is playing “virgin metal”. Was this term about to differ the sound of the band from the others or does this term contain certain musical features?
PH: Pure black virgin metal are my old management from back here what nearly 25 – 27 years ago now. He came up with a sort of name and we actually came with it together, you know. I was the black, he was the — you know, anyway what it is not fucked by anybody. That’s what it means. Pure black virgin metal is Hobbs’ pure aggression. The black is my satanic lyrics and the virgin is not being at that stage by anybody. It was unique. It was something special and the metal, yeah, pure black virgin metal.
Back to the roots of thrash-metal
European thrash metal has its roots in traditional heavy metal whereas U.S. thrash metal (especially east-coast bands) has clear hard-core influences. Hobbs was among the very first Australian bands playing European-style of metal. But do you think that the roots of Australian thrash metal lies somewhere else compared to the European and U.S. bands?
PH: I don’t know. I mean being far away in Australia I’ve always said there was a band in Australia called Depression, another band called Renegade and I had my band called Taurus. We actually changed the movement in Australia of that cross over deal. So we — being living in Australia, very far away from everywhere. America’s far, Europe’s far. But I actually learned that if you combine U.S., European and Australian on Australian way. I’m English born but I still have that European thing about me inside. You know? I’ve also always believed that European ways the way to be. They’re straight forward; you say it straight up front. If you can’t fucking operate with the rules, get the fuck out. You know what I mean? It’s I believe the way of being true to yourself. Be a Viking, be a Gladiator, and be whatever. Add to the combination of the American, Europe.
I still to this day walk around thinking, well how do you judge genres? How do you judge them? Now where did it come from? So I like 70s punk, Sex Pistols. You know you can be mixing 60s sorts with explode into that. You know? And as thrash and that’s where you come up with the aggression. The aggression, that rudeness and forceful way, you know what I mean?
The tape-trading and the metal underground scene began to take shape in the middle of the 80’ties. How do you see the importance of metal underground scene in those days and do you think it helped Hobbs Angel of Death in the very beginning to gain success?
PH: Definitely! At the time when European metal underground put a lot of support behind Hobbs for Germany that was the first time in Angel of Death before I changed it to Hobbs Angel of Death it took quite a lot of copies and Europeans helped us to get through that area there with the first demo. The demo was accepted worldwide and it sold so quickly. The amounts, the units, I still even believe today that it’s a great opportunity for bands to release a demo. Do a demo first. Like it’s really hard because it’s very financial now to be doing these sort of things but I believe in the old school way. Do a demo. Do a very good demo. Have it as a teasing thing for companies.
We all know that the industry has got older now and there’s downloading and stuff like that. But I believe — an that’s what I’m actually doing is what I’ll do is I’m going back to the roots of how I saw success to make things happen. There’s nothing wrong with doing demos. If you can do a great demo and you have interest, you can do a great album and that’s where companies may help you go in the old school way. You know? A lot of companies want you to do it all now so financial and they want you to do all the products and just take the easy road. I think it’s time to go back to the old roots. Go back into the bedrooms. Start writing this stuff. Stop doing any demonstration form. You know? Come out with a good demo. Enough to tease show what you got. Then come to the product.
Touring in Europe and a few words about the forthcoming album
This is the very first time for you to play in Finland. What kind of expectations do you have towards the Finnish fans? What do you know about Finland and do you know/ like any Finnish bands?
PH: Oh, it’s always been a dream to play in every country of the world. I heard a lot about Finland. I got here yesterday and I walked in through these gates. Got out of the — you know, walked through these gates and there was just so much respect for me. You know? I must apologize for a little bit of my naiveness because there’s some great talent here. You know, I can go back home in the next few months and appreciate the talent that has come here from Finland’s. There’s great talent worldwide and I think that everybody has the opportunity to do that. I’m seeing that here at this festival.
It’s a great organized festival. Everybody’s friendly. Everybody is respectful and of course it’s in turn. Organizers are to be respected for their efforts. They’ve done a great job here. I want to actually come back to Finland here when it’s snowing. I want to see it in winter. You know, I want to feel that — I want to feel what you guys feel. You know? Out here in the summer I get the feeling like in Australia sometimes.
But I actually want to feel the — I want to feel what it’s like to be living here in Finland fucking minus 30 degrees and feel the passion of getting up every day. Going to do your normal life I take my hat off to this country because it’s something that I just wouldn’t see. But I’m going to make it a good effort to come here in the winter. Yeah, I want to do that.
You just finished your European tour and this gig in Jalometalli –festival is going to be the last one of the tour. You have played in Italy, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Holland and Belgium. How do you feel about the tour?
PH: Very happy with the tour, the tour was going extremely well. I came in 2012, did a little mini tour to see how Hobbs would be accepted to come back after a long term of absence. I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the attention that I’ve had here. The respect is just abundance.
It really makes me quite emotional at times to actually feel that, because one thing that I always said to a lot of people in the young generation as well; is that never ever in your career disrespect any fan! Listen to input. Your fans are what are making you. Without fans you’re nothing. You might as well stay home in the bedroom. Which I’m very lucky and very graced to have a great lot of gratitude to my fans for giving me the support. And it just grew, I understand now that it makes me feel that 2013 is not over. I’m going back to Australia. I’ve got a few things to do. I’ll enter back into Europe again before 2014. So I will be returning in 2013 again to show my appreciation. Love Europe! I love the people in Europe! I love the fans in Europe and all I’m trying to do is return that gratitude! That’s what I’m here to do.
You have Harris Johns 0n the tour with you who mixed and produced the first album?
PH: Because that’s the guru, the guru is Mr. Harris Johns! Awesome producer, awesome engineer! Harris and I collaborated 25 years ago and we made something special that become cult. When I’m dead and gone, another 25 years — though I hope I’m around to see it — this new album to become cult again.
To do a product you have a product, you have a market and to make something work you need to work with the right people it saves everything. Harris knows what I can deliver. I know what Harris can supply with his maturity and professionalism, and also his experience in Music Lab. I know what he’s doing so well that I would be an absolute fucking fool to not ask again this man to help me do something special together and collaborate and do something special again.
You know, like I’ve got seen through a lot of other bands that I’ve had producers, engineers and they’ve changed. A lot of the ones that have succeeded and I’ve ended up with great big names, humongous names today that stuck along with the same way. The same process, not everyone’s a winner but it is there. You keep chumping and changing in life, fucking nothing works. You know, you got to get something, think about it, put it all together, do the planning of it and then come and execute it.
So that was my thought. What I’ve done here, while I’m here I believe that I’ve done that again. So I’m going back here in about three weeks’ time to complete what I believe and personally believe and with support from people. Is I’ve recreated that cult album in another way. Let’s see what happens.
There is new album on its way which you recorded in the Musical Lab in Berlin? What kind of material we can expect from the forthcoming album?
PH: Okay, so what I’ve tried to do is I’ve had advice from you know like old listeners and old school people. I understand and I appreciate exactly what they’re talking about. Hobbs was something special back in the 80’s. I did create something special. Somehow try and recreate that. So think of the old way, this of the old roots and everything, you know.
So, I feel that I have put back into the — this upcoming album a lot of taste from what I did in the past. You know, like you will hear 12-stringer again. You may even hear more than choirs this year. Maybe even a harpsichord. You know. And that’s me showing a very old instrument there.
About the new album: What kind of process it was to work it out? Did you do something differently than usual?
PH: Am I doing something different? Unusual? Yeah, I’m putting back the passion back in satanic part of fucking Hobbs Angel of Death. That’s what I’m fucking putting back.
Hobbs Angel of Death, what it’s all about
The current line-up consists of skilled musicians like Luke Anticevic who has played with Angelcorpse, Krisiun and Forbidden etc. How difficult it was to find right guys for the band and do you think this line-up is going to be the permanent one?
PH: Hobbs Angel of Death is never going to have permanency. Hobbs Angel of Death is always going to be changing line-ups talking about commitments and things like that. Not everybody can afford to be playing the game with Hobbs. It’s not a game, it’s a very — I take my career very serious. It’s not a joke. People have got to be in the unit that actually believe in me. It is my baby. It always will be my baby. I’m offering my heart for you guys to come on an adventure with me. If you can cut the distance and you can run with it, you can do it. You can abide by the rules? Okay. So join the family of Hobbs Angel of Death. Tell me now before I get to a stage where I feel that you can be a part of the family and fucking now if you don’t want to do it. You know?
Having Luke in the band is absolutely fucking amazing. This guy’s young, this guy’s talented. Very, very talented and the way he uses his instrument, plays an instrument. Matt’s also a professional as well that’s playing and filling in with drums. I’ve got Bo Rami with me as well. Bo and I — he worshiped Hobbs from his younger days when he was 16. He used to come and see me in Cantarus days. Bo is with me today too.
The reason — another reason why Bo will probably be — will obviously stay with Hobbs is because he has the same fucking dream I have. We — he has the same dream. We get up, we sing music, and he’s wanted to come here as much as I have and fucking we’re here! So he said to me last night, you know, he calls me Boss. I started laugh about it and I call him brother. You know? And we both thank each other for being a team. Hobbs is a team. And that’s what we’re here, to be a team. Execute what we’ve got to do as a team. I’m not better than these guys. But I do know that the situation and the line-up that I’ve had here on this tour, it has been fucking cream. It has actually been cream. I’ve got to go back home and do what I’ve got to do to now gather again and to have Hobbs come back to wherever again in Europe. If it’s one month, two month, three months, I have to — I have to fucking put it out! I’ve got to get it…and that’s life. That’s what it’s all about. A lot of people have a lot of different things in life. There’s opportunities knocking on another door then we’ll take that. If that opportunity is not the right door to open it’s not my fault. because the train does actually pull in the station; “All aboard!”, and then leaves…
Music industry today is in crisis, record sales are getting down resulting that the gigs and online sales have become important issue for the bands. So there is kind of “do it for yourself” –mentality prevailing in scene which reminds me a bit of a situation we had back in the 80’ties with the metal underground. Do you agree with me?
PH: I do. It’s becoming very, very hard. You go to the internet, very easy to download things. I’m actually thinking to maybe stay in the independent area where I can have full control myself. It’s my product. I pay for the recording. Actually Peter Hobbs personally pays 99% of what I do. That’s a big sacrifice for me to just give that away.
I’m very strict about when I do recordings and whatever, there are no leakages. Because I want to offer if there’s an opportunity with a company to have Hobbs Angel of Death on their label. I want to have total security and respect to them that you’re getting the whole 99% of Hobbs without any interference. So I have strict laws. Anything I record does not leave that recording studio. It stays mine. It’s protection. It’s a protective way.
The internet has personally fucking — we need this internet and what’s been invented for us to use? Technology! We need technology to move forward. Unfortunately technology’s destroying a part of what the metal scene is. I’m old school and I know that to get things was hard. You had to in your ways fucking get up, go to the bloody record store, sit there before it opened and all this stuff. And wait and fucking bleed for the new Exodus, new Destruction album. Sodom all this sort of things, fucking Raining Blood… Everything, you know, you had to really wait. It was an excitement. Fuck now you got to do is — you can actually do it in bed. You just fucking roll out, turn on the fucking laptop, push this, fucking bang. YouTube is there and, you know, like Lars for Metallica many years ago was trying to stop all this. I could see his intentions but unfortunately you’re one man now competing against the world and you can’t stop it.
But, he gave it a good shot, he tried to do what he had to do and it’s a part of growing as well. You have to accept the fact that technology is growing. I at my age have to understand and appreciate I guess and respect also because a little bit of a leakage can actually fucking help in ways. It can tease and whatever…
But for me personally Hobbs Angel of Death is I keep everything fucking secure like the Mafia -man. I think that’s the best possible way for it to happen for myself. A lot of people wouldn’t agree but fuck them. I treasure what I have and everything that I’ve worked for I’ve had to work hard. I don’t believe that it’s a free ride. If I’ve got to get on public transport, I got to pay. I tried it in my younger days to sneak on it but I got fucking caught and but I’ve learned now through wisdom fucking pay the money. Don’t try to sneak in anyway because all you’re doing is ripping somebody off. Instead of trying to get on a guest list: See the band, fucking pay! Pay to go in! It’s helping them! It’s helping the younger generation of the world. That’s my honest opinion. It’s good for some, bad for others. But we all have to adapt to it, you know, in our own way.
What kind of music does Peter Hobbs listen nowadays? Are there any new bands which have impressed you lately?
PH: I’ve always answered this in a very intelligent way. There is so many bands that I listen to and I can’t mention them all. To leave anybody out from who I would mention is — I would, you know, to me personally, the person that I am I would find it insulting on my behalf that I can’t mention the great artists and the great bands that are in this world of today.
I’ve always tried to be political in that way as well to not mention so and so and so and so, without mentioning so and so and so and so. So where’s it start, where’s it stop? I just sort of like to add to that comment as well that everybody that’s trying to do what they’re doing. Fucking don’t stop!
I appreciate everything that I hear. It doesn’t matter whether it’s fucking hard core, soft core, fucking new metal, blah, blah, blah… black-metal. Ya, ya, ya, ya, ya. …As long as everybody’s trying.
Look at these guys behind me now. They’re still fucking going. I can spell it. T-A-N-K-A-R-D, you know what I mean? Fucking my hat’s off to these sort of people! European acts, fucking awesome! I love them! I was English…Born in England and I’m not racist so I love music from every avenue of the world and it keeps me versatile. So there are some great bands in Australia. Some really great talent and I’m going to help them personally. I’m going to help them. I’m going to offer my advice if they want to listen, so be it.
What kind of plans does Hobbs Angel of Death have for the future?
PH: To come and keep pleasing you Nico… To show you that at my age I still have passion. I still have aggression. I still have respect for my fans. I have respect for organizers. I have respect for festival organizers, promoters. Again, Hobbs has material but I also need the help from promoters and organizers to help me put it out there. So Hobbs has a future that is still being respected today. So why not continue that fact and keep coming back.
Fucking put on those fucking boxing gloves bro and I’m ready to fucking enter into any ring as a Gladiator would. The bigger coliseum, the more opponents I have, the more it makes me hungry! So and I feel like that. The voice has its story. You know that movie Gladiator? Where that fucking — that gate is like that. The sun is shining in your face and I see on the other side the fucking thing man, whipping that fucking thing. And I’m looking here… Are we ready to go and some are pissing themselves and I’m thinking fuck, I got to get out of here. Soon as that gate opens, actually duck, come around from the back. Get that big fucking guy. You know and that’s how it is. Because I’m older now, Nico I’ve got wisdom in my head. I know how to fight wars, which is normal strategy. Wars are built on strategy. So the wars for Hobbs Angel of Death in the future are about to fucking stand tall! Respect those who respect me. Have gratitude, have honour, and have dignity and fucking continue on in this fucking metal industry!
Just — I’m going to go further. I haven’t finished. And like Ronnie James Dio said to me once is, well I gave him the reason to keep going. Well now I look at all these younger bands and they’re giving me the fucking reason to keep on going!
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Growing hard rock/metal artists such as Sevendust, Eyes Set To Kill, Angels Fall plus DJ’s like Datsik, Mike Czech of Skratch ‘n Sniff, Shannon Gunz of Sirius XM, world-famous tattoo artists such as Paul Booth, Steve Soto, famed street artist RISK, and more are supporting COLDCOCK on the road and at home, not only because of its fantastic taste and herbal benefits, but because it gives back to them! COLDCOCK is all about working hard together and sharing success, and its vision to share that success with artists is already taking off! Zeiler Spirits supports hard working artists by giving them the opportunity to earn ownership in the brand. Want to learn more and/or get YOUR BAND in on the action? Bands can submit their information to www.coldcockwhiskey.com under “sponsorship” or email firstname.lastname@example.org with inquiries.
Slayer’s Kerry King and his lovely wife Ayesha enjoying some COLDCOCK!
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A week after announcing seventeen U.S. dates for the fall, Slayer comes back today announcing the addition of seven Canadian concerts as well as a date in Seattle. These added shows are part of Slayer’s first North American tour in two years.
Slayer – Tom Araya/bass vocals, guitarist Kerry King, drummer Paul Bostaph, and guitarist Gary Holt, who continues to fill in for the late founding member Jeff Hanneman – will have Gojira and 4ARM support on all dates.
Tickets for these newly-added dates go on sale beginning this Friday, September 13. Log onto www.slayer.net for complete on-sale dates and ticketing information.
Slayer’s Fall 2013 North American tour is as follows:
22 Sullivan Sports Arena, Anchorage, AK
25 The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
28 Hollywood Palladium, Hollywood, CA
30 Events Center @ San Jose State, San Jose, CA
1WAMU Center, Seattle, WA
3Stampede Corrall, Calgary, AB
4Shaw Center, Edmonton, AB
5Praireland Park Center, Saskatoon, SK
7MTS Center, Winnipeg, MB
8 Myth, Minneapolis, MN
10 FunFunFun Fest, Austin, TX
12 Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX
13 South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX
15 Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
16 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI
17 LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH
19 The Fillmore, Washington, D.C.
20 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA
21Ricoh Colibsum, Toronto, ON
23CEPSUM/University of Montreal, Montreal, QC
24Pavilion de la Jeunesse, Quebec, QC
26 Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, CT
27 Theatre @ MSG, New York, NY
29 Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ
30 Tsongas Arena, Boston, MA
Following a summer of storming through Europe, South America and Mexico while topping the bills at solo shows and major festivals, Slayer will headline its first North American tour in two years. The five-week-plus trek will kick off on October 22 in Anchorage, Alaska, oddly enough marking the first time the band has played there since October 23, 1996. The tour will include the band’s previously announced return to New York’s Theatre at Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Palladium, venues the band hasn’t performed at in 25 years.
Fan Club pre-sale opens today from 2PM local and ends this Thursday at 10PM local.
Imagine a weekend of nothing but pure heavy fucking metal.
Imagine being surrounded by the friendliest 15,000 people who share the same passion for heavy metal music and lifestyle. Imagine a place where it is respectable to have beer for breakfast and drinking until you drop in an accomplishment. Imagine a festival where you can see over 100 heavy metal bands and pretty much none of them suck.
Ladies and gents, this ain’t no heavy metal fairytale!
This is Bloodstock Open Air – the greatest heavy metal music festival of our times. It’s a place where metal heads run free, headbang until their heads roll off, shout ‘SLAYEEER!’ and avoid shower for 4 days straight.
It just does not get any better than this.
Our Metal-Rules.com UK team were privileged to attend Bloodstock Open Air 2013 and see things for themselves…here’s a ‘little’ insight of what went down.
Article by Arto Lehtinen and Niko Karppinen Pics by Arto Lehtinen
Here we are again… The mighty Jalometalli Open Air Metal festival strikes back with a killer line-up to maintain its lofty status on the Finnish festival map. The festival is known for relying on and old school metal approach offering traditional metal to extreme metal. The dream came true for the primusmotor of the Jalometalli Festival by having Slayer to play in the backyard of the Teatria club. The place was completely packed when the thrash kings unleashed angel of death. Besides Slayer there were a plenty of killer bands on the bill. On the other hand it is sad to see the Jalometalli Festival was the last time in the environment of the Teatria club. Both the club and the festival are both forced to look for a new place as the old one will be torn down. Before that, the Metal Rules team hit the ground of Oulu to witness several absolutely killer bands. The whole Jalometalli as a festival is so unique and one of a kind that anyone reading this article should take a glance at the offering of the festival.
Here is a brief article on the fest. So the time had come all of us to leave bitter sweet farewells to the old venue where we have enjoyed great music and great company throughout the year..
Slayer will headline concerts at two venues it hasn’t played in 25 years – the Hollywood Palladium on Monday, October 28, and New York’s Theater at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday, November 27, the night before Thanksgiving. Gojira and 4ARM will support. Registered Slayer Fan Club members will be receiving a special email offering them “first-access” to purchase tickets through a special pre-sale that begins tomorrow. Tickets go on sale to the public Friday, August 9 at 10AM local time. Log onto www.slayer.net for more ticketing info.
This will be the first time that Slayer – Tom Araya/bass, vocals, guitarist Kerry King, drummer Paul Bostaph, and guitarist Gary Holt, who continues to fill in for the late founding member Jeff Hanneman – will play a concert in New York since The Big Four concert at Yankee Stadium on September 14, 2011, and the band’s first Hollywood show since 2010’s Jagermeister Music Tour.
Over the past eighteen months, Slayer has toured throughout Europe, India, Japan, South America, and Australia, and co-headlined the 2012 Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Tour of North America.
Slayer has also been confirmed to play the Fun Fun Fun Fest 2013 to be held at the Auditorium Shores in Austin, TX November 8-10.
While recovering from the devastating loss of Hanneman, Araya and King have begun to work on new material and hope to spend some time in the studio prior to these dates.
In the August 2013 issue of Guitar World magazine, Kathryn Hanneman, the wife of late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, recalled the spider bite that he suffered in January 2011 and the resulting infection that ravaged the flesh and tissues of Jeff‘s arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement, depression, and left him near death at several points
Describing the night that Jeff felt a small prick on his arm from a spider bite at a friend’s house, Kathryn told Guitar World that she knew there was something wrong when he walked in:
“He wasn’t feeling well, and he just wanted to go upstairs and go to sleep. Before he did he said, ‘Kath, I need to show you something, even though I really don’t want to.’ And he took off his shirt, and I just freaked out when I saw his arm. It was bright red and three times the normal size. I said, ‘Jeff, we need to go now. We need to get you to the ER.'”
Jeff was intoxicated and refused to go to hospital, but the next morning she managed to get him into the car despite his lack of strength.
“When we got to the hospital in Loma Linda, they took one look at him and they immediate knew what it was, so they took him right in … neither of us thought it would be a life-or-death situation.”
Three hours later, everything had changed.
“The doctor put it in perspective for me. He said, ‘I need you to see your husband. He may not make it.’ The doctor looked at Jeff and told him, ‘First I’m going to try to save your life. Then I’m going to try to save your arm. Then I’m going to try to save your career.’ And looking at Jeff on that stretcher and possibly saying goodbye, knowing that I may never see him again… [pause] was one of the hardest moments of my life.”
Kathryn says she encouraged him to go to rehab to get over the effects of the resting flesh-eating illness, but all he wanted was to get back to playing guitar.
“I couldn’t get Jeff to go to rehab or therapy. I think he was letting the visual of his arm get to his emotions, and it was messing with his mind. It was hard to keep him upbeat at that point. I think he thought he could do this on his own – that he would just to go rehearsal and play, and that that would be his rehab.
“But I think he started to learn, once he tried rehearsing, that he wasn’t playing up to his ability and that he wasn’t able to play guitar at the speed he was used to. And I think that really hit him hard, and he started to lose hope.”
For the rest of this story, plus a Jeff Hanneman poster, order a copy of the Guitar World August 2013 issue at the Guitar World online store.
SPIN Gallery of Jeff Hanneman/SLAYER Pics from “Murder in the Front Row” Book Now Online; 1984-Era Shots by D.R.I. Bassist Harald OimoenCapture Energy of U.S. Thrash Metal Arrival
SPIN.com is honoring the life of SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman with a gallery of early photographs by D.R.I. bassist Harald Oimoen, from his book Murder in the Front Row: Shots from the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter. The photos capture several live and candid moments from the rise of U.S. thrash metal circa 1984, including Hanneman and Slayer performing outdoors on a plywood stage; Slayer‘s very first face-to-face encounter with the members of Metallica; Oimoen’s classic sleeve photo from Slayer‘s Hell Awaits album; and a moving portrait of Hanneman and his eventual substitute in Slayer-Gary Holt of Exodus.
In the wake of Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman’s death, the directors of the International Day of Slayer — the Slayer-centric holiday that sprang to life on 6/6/06 — announce a change in the status the celebration of this year’s version of “the world’s first heavy metal holiday.”
“With the passing of Jeff Hanneman, it would be reasonable to assume that the 2013 celebration of the International Day of Slayer would be a somber one,” said Hessian spokesperson and International Day of Slayer CEO Jim Tate, “but nothing could be further from the truth. This year more than any other demands full engagement and celebration from Slayer fans and hessians across the globe.” Tate explained that the term “Hessian,” derived from the long-haired maniacal mercenaries of the revolutionary war, is a term of cultural self-reference for metal fans.
He explained that the significance of the International Day of Slayer goes far beyond Slayer. “The outside world was once again forced to reckon with us as a cultural movement when they acknowledged the loss of one of metal’s most important figures, so it would be a mistake to simply hang our heads and close up shop. Jeff made music that was loud and defiant, and we must continue to uphold this standard in how we commemorate him and represent the hessian community,” said Tate.
Slayer’s Tom Araya and Kerry King are very pleased to announce that Paul Bostaph has rejoined the band on a full-time basis. Bostaph will be behind the drum kit beginning June 4 when Slayer kicks off the first leg of its 2013 international tour in Warsaw, Poland. Gary Holt will continue to fill in for fallen guitarist Jeff Hanneman.
Slayer’s 2013 itinerary will have them playing 35 dates that will include headline shows as well as a number of major summer festivals in Europe, Eastern Europe and South America between June and October. The complete itinerary is below.
“Paul’s a great drummer and a good friend, and we’re very happy that he’s decided to rejoin the band,” said Tom Araya. “We’re still pretty numb from the loss of Jeff, but we don’t want to disappoint our European fans, and we need to begin moving forward…having Paul back in the band makes that a whole lot easier.”
“I’m very excited to be rejoining Slayer,” added Bostaph. “We spent a very intense ten years of our lives together, had a lot of fun, made a lot of great music, so for me, this feels like coming home.”
Bostaph was Slayer’s drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band – the Gold certified Divine Intervention (1994), the 1996 punk covers album Undisputed Attitude, Diabolus in Musica, (1998), God Hates us All (2001) that received a Grammy nomination for “Best Metal Performance,” as well as the DVD War at the Warfield (2001), also certified Gold. In addition to Slayer, Bostaph has been a member of Forbidden, Exodus, Systematic and Testament.
Kerry King (SLAYER), Dave Lombardo (SLAYER), Gary Holt (EXODUS, SLAYER), Robert Trujillo (METALLICA), Shavo Odadjian (SYSTEM OF A DOWN), Robb Flynn (MACHINE HEAD), Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS), Chuck Billy (TESTAMENT) and John Tempesta (THE CULT, EXODUS, TESTAMENT) are among the musicians who attended the public memorial celebration for SLAYER‘s late guitarist Jeff Hanneman, which was held yesterday afternoon (Thursday, May 23) at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles, California.
High-quality photos of the event from photographer Stephanie Cabral can be found at this location. Fan-filmed video footage is available below.
The Jeff Hanneman Memorial Celebration will take place on Thursday, May 23 at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles from 3:30 – 7:30PM. Hanneman passed away on May 2 at the age of 49.
The Memorial Celebration will be free and open to the public on a first-come, first-in basis (subject to venue capacity). All ages are welcome, and paid parking will be available around the venue.
Jeff Hanneman helped shape Slayer’s uncompromising thrash-metal sound as well as an entire genre of music. His riffs of fury and punk-rock attitude were heard in the songs he wrote, including Slayer classics “Angel of Death,” “Raining Blood,” “South of Heaven” and “War Ensemble.” Hanneman co-founded Slayer with fellow-guitarist Kerry King, bassist Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo in Huntington Park, CA in 1981. For more than 30 years, Hanneman was the band member who stayed out of the spotlight, rarely did interviews, amassed an impressive collection of World War II memorabilia, was with his wife Kathy for nearly three decades, shut off his phone and went incommunicado when he was home from tour, did not want to be on the road too late into any December as Christmas was his favorite holiday, and, from the time he was about 12 years old, woke up every, single day with one thing on his mind: playing the guitar.
It was once suggested to Slayer that if they would write “just one mainstream song that could get on the radio,” they would likely sell millions of records and change the commercial course of their career, similar to what had happened to Metallica with 1993’s “Enter Sandman.” Jeff was the first to draw a line of integrity in the sand, replying, “We’re going to make a Slayer record. If you can get it on the radio, fine, if not, then fuck it.”
While the details are being worked out now, Slayer wants its fans to know that there will be a celebration of Jeff Hanneman’s life sometime later this month, along with Jeff’s family and friends, the public will be invited to attend. More information will be posted here soon.
Kerry King and Tom Araya are trying to deal with the loss of their brother by remembering some the good times they shared.
KERRY: “I had so many great times with Jeff…in the early days when we were out on the road, he and I were the night owls, we would stay up all night on the bus, just hanging out, talking, watching movies…World War II movies, horror movies, we watched “Full Metal Jacket” so many times, we could practically recite all of the dialogue.”
TOM: “When we first formed Slayer, we used to rehearse all the time, religiously, 24/7. Jeff and I spent a lot of time hanging out together, he lived in my father’s garage which was also our rehearsal space. When he got his own apartment, he had an 8-track and I would go there to record songs I’d written, not Slayer songs, other stuff I’d written. At a certain point, you still have the band but you start your own lives outside of the band, so that 24/7 falls to the side, you don’t spend as much time together as you once did. I miss those early days.”
KERRY: “He was a gigantic World War II buff, his father served in that war, so when Slayer played Russia for the first time – I think it was 1998 – Jeff and I went to one of Moscow’s military museums. I’ll never forget him walking around that place, looking at all of the tanks, weapons and other exhibits. He was like a kid on Christmas morning. But that was Jeff’s thing, he knew so much about WW II history, he could have taught it in school.”
TOM: “We were in New York recording South of Heaven. Jeff and I were at the hotel and we had to get to the studio – I think it was called Chung King, a real rundown place. So we left the hotel and decided to walk, but then it started raining. We walked maybe five blocks, and it was raining so hard, we were totally soaked, so we decided to get a cab. Here we are, two dudes with long hair and leather jackets, absolutely soaked, thumbing to the studio. No one would stop. We had to walk the entire way.”
TOM: “Jeff was a lifeline of Slayer, he wrote so many of the songs that the band will always be known for. He had a good heart, he was a good guy.”