Band Photo: Slayer (?)
From: Huntington Beach, CA, United States
Last Known Status: Active
The thrash metal sound of Slayer was formed in Huntington Beach, CA in 1982. Comprising Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Jeff Hanneman (guitar) and Dave Lombardo (drums), they made their debut in 1983, with a track on the compilation Metal Massacre III. After that the rest has been history. The band played at breakneck speed with amazing technical precision, but the intricacies of detail were lost in a muddy production. Araya's lyrics dealt with death, carnage, Satanism and torture, but were reduced to an indecipherable guttural howl. But this chaos called music is what set the ways for Slayer and many bands to follow.
Through the years, Slayer has been hit with much controversy over their lyrics, including lawsuits. But through the years Slayer has managed to build a following from coast to coast. Slayer has played such tours as Monsters of Rock, Ozzfest, and recently toured the U.S. co-headling with Pantera.
Now almost 20 years later, Slayer is still playing just as hard as ever. Will Slayer ever stop? Not likely, considering they are keeping up with thrash bands half their age, after all they did start it!
Slayer Interviews and Features
Below are our features and interviews with Slayer.
Branded the most brutal metal drummer of our time, Eugene "Gene" Victor Hoglan II, has been consistently acclaimed for his creativity in drum arrangements, including usage of odd devices for percussion effects and his trademark lengthy double-kick drum rhythms. His highly technical precision of playing increasingly fast and challenging tempos, with extreme accuracy, earned him the nickname "The Atomic Clock." He is best known for his works with the bands Death, Strapping Young Lad and Testament.
Completely self-taught, Hoglan got his first drum kit when he was 13. He began his music career in the early 80s, playing drums during concert sound checks for legendary metal band, Slayer, and working as their lights engineer on tour. He also formed the well known thrash band, War God, with Michelle Meldrum. At the end of the same year he was asked to drum for the thrash metal band Dark Angel, and wrote most of the lyrics for their next three albums. He achieved even greater notoriety during the 1990s playing with Death, recording an album with the thrash metal band Testament, and making the acquaintance of Canadian multi-instrumentalist Devin Townsend, forging a lasting friendship. He has since recorded several albums with Townsend, both as part of the speed/industrial/death metal band Strapping Young Lad and Townsend's solo albums.
Hoglan recently played on "The Dethalbum," for Adult Swim's animated TV show, Metalocalypse. "The Deathalbum," debuted at #21 in the Billboard 200, making it the highest charting death metal album in history. He just finished touring with Dethklok, selling out shows in every city. Hannah and I got to sit down with Gene and discuss the Dethklok tour, various percussion instruments he's created, and the recent loss of his dear friend Michelle Meldrum. More...
Slayer formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. Known for their distinctive musical traits, involving fast tremolo picking, guitar solos, double bass drumming, and screaming vocals, Slayer quickly gained recognition with their 1986 release Reign in Blood, which has been called "the heaviest album of all time". The band is credited as one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands, along with Megadeth, Metallica, and Anthrax.
Criticized by religious groups (which consequently generated album bans, delays, lawsuits and, most importantly, publicity) due to their outspoken lyrics and creative album art, Slayer's lyrics cover topics such as serial killers, Satanism, religion, warfare and the Holocaust.
Selling over four million albums in the United States alone, since their debut record in 1983, the band has released two live albums, one box set, and ten studio albums. The band has received two Grammy nominations, winning one in 2007 for the song "Eyes of the Insane", and headlined music festivals worldwide, including Ozzfest and the Download Festival.
I sat down with legend Kerry King to catch up on their Christ Illusion tour. More...