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!
Latest Slayer News
Below is our complete Slayer news coverage, including columns and articles pertaining to the band. Some articles listed may be indirectly related, such as side projects of the band members, etc.
Note: We began associating news directly with bands in late 2003. Therefore, earlier band news may not be listed on this page.
MTV Overdrive has a feature on the debate that took place when MTV set out to come up with the top ten greatest metal bands list. Here's a summary of the process:
"We reached out to the most passionate and knowledgable metal fans working at MTV and asked them to send us their individual picks for the 10 greatest, with the only criteria being "whatever greatness means to you." Some feel that the influence a band had on others is the most important factor in judging greatness; others say the strength of the albums is the primary concern; and some believe the power of a band's live performance is the ultimate measure. We did not care what each participants criteria was; we only asked them to vote from their hearts."
"In part two, we gathered everyone together, showed them the results, and asked them to either stand by it, or change it as they saw fit, the only rule being that a majority had to vote in favor of every change. The discussion and debate over the rankings is what you see in the Overdrive show."
"In such debate lies much geekdom and fun, and MTV's metal brain trust — our panel of experts, consisting of nine die-hard, longtime fans — had a blast conjuring and debating this list."
The resulting list of the greatest metal bands follows, but be sure to check out the video because it was actually an interesting discussion.
1. Black Sabbath
2. Judas Priest
4. Iron Maiden
10. Motley Crue
Read the full article at MTV.com.
Cam Lindsay of Canada's Exclaim! magazine recently conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo. A few excerpts from the chat follow:
Exclaim!: What are your current fixations?
Lombardo: "Right now it's music and it's been that for a while: rhythm and music, immersing myself in as much good stuff as possible. There's a Bulgarian band TARAF DE HAIDOUKS and their album 'Band of Gypsies'. Their music is fast and resembles the intensity and the speed of SLAYER. It's a whole different genre, gypsy folk music. But let me tell you, it's some of the fastest stuff that I've ever heard in my life. I'm just intrigued by these guys who enjoy playing fast like we do, so there's a common thread there. It gives you a good rush."
Exclaim!: What has been your most memorable or inspirational gig and why?
Lombardo: "In Paris at a jazz festival. I played there with John Zorn and Bill Laswell, the dub producer, and Fred Frith, the guitar player/sound effects guy. We did an improv there that brought the people to their feet — it was just amazing. We clicked so well that night that I don't think it was ever recreated again. That showed what could come out from your inside naturally — a musical experience that only happens not very often."
Exclaim!: What have been your career highs and lows?
Lombardo: "Career lows would probably be leaving SLAYER and starting my next band [GRIP INC.]. When I was trying to think of what kind of music I was going to do. I didn't know, so it took four or five years till I released 'Power of Inner Strength'. I think I've been consistently at a high point since 1999, at least personally I feel like I've been up there since then, when FANTÔMAS started. The one year  that I did 'Vivaldi: The Meeting', which was me playing drums to some chamber instruments and soprano singers, I did FANTÔMAS, TESTAMENT, GRIP INC. and I released my drum methods book. Ever since that point I got to a certain height and I think I'm still up there, which is kind of cool."
Exclaim!: What's the meanest thing ever said to you before, during or after a gig?
Lombardo: "The meanest thing that was done to me was being tackled by security guards at L'Amour in Brooklyn in, I don't know what year, 1985 or '86? I was with the crowd, throwing my sticks and pretending I was going to jump in the crowd, and the security guys came up and just grabbed me. I kept fighting them away, we knocked down these Marshall stacks and we got down to the floor and he let me go. I said, 'You son of a bitch, I'm in the band!' and he turned around and punched me in the face. That's the worst situation that ever happened to me."
Exclaim!: What should everyone shut up about?
Lombardo: "I'm trying to watch my words; this is a hard one. Jason Bittner. SHADOWS FALL. Sorry, I just have two drum magazines here and I guess he's getting a good profile. I've known him for years, ever since he was a little kid. But come on!"
Exclaim!: What traits do you most like and most dislike about yourself?
Lombardo: "I drink a lot of coffee and Red Bull so I'm bubbly. I like that trait. I hate when I have bad days. I don't react well."
Exclaim!: What advice should you have taken, but did not?
Lombardo: "To stay in technical drafting. No, probably to learn the piano when I was a kid. I don't know it fluently, but I can play it and make up my own stuff. When you're a child you've learned all the hard stuff that you don't want to remember now. At that time, you're like a sponge so you remember everything that you're taught. And then it becomes second nature when you're an adult.
Exclaim!: What are your feelings on piracy, Internet or otherwise?
Lombardo: "It sucks if you don't write any of the music because those musicians get royalties from the whole record being sold. So, I think downloads do suck."
Exclaim!: What makes you want to take it off and get it on?
Lombardo: "My wife does, man. My wife Theresa, man, she really makes me want to take it off and get it on. I'll see her up in Vancouver and I already have a boner."
Exclaim!: What has been your strangest celebrity encounter?
Lombardo: "There was a time where I met Bono [from U2] that was really funny he was with Gwen Stefani. I walked up to him and said, 'Hey, I'm Dave Lombardo from SLAYER.' And he goes, 'You're the drummer, right?' I go, 'Yeah.' Then he just says, 'Oh…' And that was it."
Read the entire interview at www.exclaim.ca.
A web-exclusive video clip of SLAYER performing the track "Disciple" on the set of "The Henry Rollins Show" has been posted online.
SLAYER recently taped a performance of the track "Cult" for the program, which will air this Saturday night, July 29 at 10:00 p.m. EST on the IFC (Independent Film Channel). An encore presentation of the program is scheduled for Thursday, August 3 at 11:00 p.m.
Sirius Satellite Radio's "Hard Attack" (Sirius 27) will present an "Eternity of Slayer" — six days of all things SLAYER with guitarist Kerry King! A program description follows: "Worship at the altar of SLAYER every hour as Hard Attack celebrates 25 years of metallic dominance all leading up to the release of their new masterpiece, 'Christ Illusion', in stores August 8th. 'Eternity of Slayer' is six days of SLAYER every hour, the top six SLAYER songs of all time as voted on by YOU (1-877-33-SIRIUS, 27 for Hard Attack, then press 2 for SLAYER song list) and the chance to score one of six 'Slaytanic' prize packs that include autographed CDs, DVDs, shirts and more! Listen to hear 'The Sounds of Kerry Fuckin' King', a one-hour, ass-kicking where Kerry sounds off on anything and everything and plays whatever the hell he wants to. You'll also catch an exclusive interview with the guitar god and hear the Hard Attack staff and YOU recount stories on how SLAYER help mold us into the metalheads we are today. It's an 'Eternity of Slayer', and it's guaranteed to satisfy every SLAYER fan from coast to coast!"
"Eternity of Slayer" will kick off on Thursday, August 3 at 7:00 a.m. EST and will run through Tuesday, August 8 at 11:00 p.m. EST.
SLAYER and MASTODON will be playing the next MySpace secret show, July 25th at In the Venue in Salt Like City. Check out the poster here.
For more info, check out http://www.myspace.com/secretshows
SLAYER will release Christ Illusion, featuring the single "Cult" on August 8 and MASTODON's Blood Mountain will follow on September 12
The UFC backed compilation "UFC Ultimate Beatdowns Vol. 1" will be reissued on August 29th via Nitrus with a revised track listing. Here's how it will now shape up:
01 - UFC Intro - "Optimus Bellum Domitor"
02 - Stemm - "Face The Pain"
03 - Slayer - "Warzone"
04 - Damageplan - "Blunt Force Trauma"
05 - Hatebreed - "Live For This"
06 - American Head Charge - "Cowards"
07 - Shadows Fall - "Power Of I And I"
08 - Sepultura - "Bullet The Blue Sky" (U2 cover) 09 - Fear Factory - "Slave Labor"
10 - Icepick - "Born To Crush You"
11 - Killswitch Engage - "Breathe Life"
12 - Chimaira - "Indifferent To Suffering"
13 - U.P.O. - "It's Alright"
14 - Index Case - "Listen"
15 - Black Flood Diesel - "Lost Cause"
16 - Scars Of Life - "Dying Here"
Modern Drummer: "Christ Illusion" is your first recording with SLAYER in fourteen years. Were you totally itching to get this album out?
Dave: "Yes. It was frustrating, because Kerry [King] and I were recording demos back in early 2003. So it's been three years of working on this stuff. We made two demos at my house and then we rehearsed the songs forever. The good part was, once we went into the studio, we were ready. I recorded the songs in, like, three and a half days — bam, slammed 'em out! I was almost disappointed, because I didn't get a chance to enjoy the studio."
Modern Drummer: From the tracks we've heard, there seems to be more of a thrash beat being worked back into the songs.
Dave: "Yeah, it's in there, but it's only at special times. We didn't want to overdo it. You want to add that sort of thing at the right time and in the right place. SLAYER was originally a metal band, but we were influenced by punk, too. And that fast beat is the punk influence coming back in."
Modern Drummer: You've now had a chance to reflect on all the albums you've done with the band. What went through your head this time before you started writing your parts?
Dave: "Actually, I wanted to be a little more creative than I was allowed to be. There were certain boundaries I had to stay within. I've learned so much while I was away from the band, and I wanted to apply some of those concepts. But the other guys didn't feel those ideas were really what SLAYER is all about. So, in a way, I revisited the approach I used with the band years ago."
Modern Drummer: When you started writing with the band again, was it pretty much the same as it was for previous SLAYER recordings?
Dave: "Their writing and approach is the same. I don't think they've changed one single but from back then. But my approach has changed — I'm thinking about things a bit differently."
Modern Drummer: In what way?
Dave: "A guitar riff can have many types of drum beats, and at this stage of my playing, I have a wide variety to choose from. It's cool, because I can give the guys different options.
Modern Drummer: Do you think your time away from SLAYER was god for you?
Dave: "It was the best thing that ever happened to me. I had been a part of the greatest metal band in the world, and then I was able to venture into other styles and work with very different musicians. Honestly, if I stayed in SLAYER, I would have never had those incredible musical experiences. All of that experience shaped me and kind of 're-formed me' into the drummer I am now. I now feel confident jumping from one thing to another."
Modern Drummer: You've had a solo percussion album in the works for a few years now.
Dave: "God, it's been forever. I don't know, one of these days I'll get it out. It's close to completion. I need to do a bongo overdub, a timbale overdub, and a drumset overdub. The recording is essentially me in my room with a keyboard, drums, and percussion, layering parts. I'll do one beat, layer something on top, layer something on top of that, and so on.
"I've been working on this record in my free time. The problem is, I don't have a lot of free time! When I'm on tour, I really can't work on it because I don't have everything on hand. I've been doing some editing of the parts, but not any recording. When I'm home, I'm occupied with a hundred and one other things. But the record is sitting there, waiting. When it's ready, it'll be out."
Modern Drummer: What's on it? Is it metal?
Dave: It's unclassifiable. Some people might describe it as world music. It could be a film soundtrack. It's definitely not metal."
Los Angeles thrashers SLAYER will embark on a Mexican tour in late September, immediately following their short run of dates in South America. Although no details have yet been officially announced, these are believed to be the tentative dates for the trek:
Sep. 1, 2, 3, 6 - Brazil
Sep. 9 - Chile
Sep. 12-13 - Argentina
Sep. 15 - Colombia
Sep. 17 - Venezuela
Sep. 21 - Arena V.F.G. - Guadalajara, MEX
Sep. 23 - Monterrey Metal Fest - Monterrey, MEX
Sep. 24 - Salon 21 - Mexico City, MEX
Sep. 25 - Salon 21 - Mexico City, MEX
BLABBERMOUTH.NET can reveal the alternate non-graphic SLAYER "Christ Illusion" album cover that is being offered to retailers who will not carry the regular version because it is "too offensive." Check it out at this location.
The "regular" cover artwork for SLAYER's new album, "Christ Illusion" can be viewed at this location. Larry Carroll, who did the cover artwork for SLAYER's "Reign in Blood", "South of Heaven", and "Seasons In the Abyss" album, painted this original piece for the "Christ Illusion" cover. Working only from the song titles and early lyrics, Carroll has produced a classic SLAYER masterpiece — a portrait of the Christ whose forearms have been chopped off, standing in an ocean of blood surrounded by floating, decapitated heads. Carroll created the painting on a 4-by-4-foot slab of wood using a combination of mediums. SLAYER guitarist Kerry King already has placed dibs on ownership of the original wooden canvas.
Previously unseen footage of SLAYER in the studio recording the vocals for their upcoming album, "Christ Illusion", has been made available at the Warner Bros. web site:
"Christ Illusion" is SLAYER's first new studio album since 2001, and the first recorded by the band's original line-up — Kerry King (guitar); Tom Araya (bass, vocals); Jeff Hanneman (guitars); Dave Lombardo (drums) — since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss". "Christ Illusion" was produced by Josh Abraham and executive-produced by Rick Rubin.
"Christ Illusion" is scheduled for release on August 8, 2006 via American Recordings/Warner Bros. Records.
Jenny Feniak of the Edmonton Sun recently conducted an interview with SLAYER frontman Tom Araya. A few excerpts from the interview follow:
On being "the most evil band in the world":
"It's all about the cool factor - that's the main point. If something we find is really cool and gory and graphic, we'll go with it."
On being still at the top of its game 25 years after the band's inception:
"Our vision of how we see the band has been the same; that's never altered. We've never shied away from what we initially started this band as, but we have grown in all aspects of that."
On the band's early days:
"It sounded amazing, so I was in. It was easy as that. They [Kerry, Jeff and Dave] were into it; we knew the songs, you know. It's kind of hard to find a group of guys that serious about that.
"We didn't want to look like all the hair bands that were coming out at the time.
"We didn't want to look like girls; we wanted to look like a bunch of guys putting on makeup like guys. That was a must.
"So we did everything completely opposite of that, which included the dark image, you know, that whole Satan vibe. And our first album being Side 6 Side 66, people were really freaking out over that."
On possible issues between his Catholic faith and the band's subject matter:
"Kerry's written some really far-out shit. If it's a good song, I'm not one that's going to go, 'This sucks because it's contrary to my beliefs.' To me it's more like, 'This is really good stuff. You're going to piss people off with this.'
"People have these heavy issues and ask, 'Isn't this a problem for you?' and no. I'm well-rounded, I have a really strong belief system and these are just words and they'll never interfere with what I believe and how I feel.
"People are not in good shape to where they have to question their own belief system because of a book or a story somebody wrote, or a SLAYER song."
On the current metal scene:
"(Metal's) like a serpent that comes up out of the water and you see all his ripples and his humps, and then he goes back down into the water to brood for a while and then he comes back up.
"I think right now it's at its momentum. It's above water and it's cruising for awhile.
"Give it a couple years and it'll go back down again and then it will become an underground thing, and then all the kids in the new generation will discover the bands that started it all, and then there'll be reunions...."
Read the full article at Jam! Music.
Henry Rollins reports on his website that SLAYER will soon be taped for an appearance on his Independent Film Channel program "The Henry Rollins Show".
The frontman of the ROLLINS BAND, which kicks off the "As the World Burns" tour with X later this month, says that all of his interviews for the first season of the TV show have been taped, but that "We still have SLAYER to tape next week." According to the IFC show's web site, the episode featuring SLAYER will premiere on July 29. The ROLLINS BAND is scheduled to be the musical performer on the final episode of the season on August 12.
SLAYER's new single, "Eternal Pyre", has entered the Finnish national chart at position No. 2. As previously reported, the US release date for "Christ Illusion" is August 8th. As it seems Germany will be lucky and will get the release 4 days earlier which will make it August 4th.
Due to medical reasons, TESTAMENT drummer Louie Clemente will be unable to perform with the band on the upcoming shows scheduled in the United States, Europe, and South Korea. Veteran drummer and good friend Paul Bostaph (EXODUS, ex-SLAYER, FORBIDDEN, SYSTEMATIC) will be filling in for Louie on the following dates in July and August:
Jul. 12 - Key Club - Hollywood, CA
Jul. 13 - Galaxy Theatre - Santa Ana, CA
Jul. 14 - Nevada Empire Ballroom - Las Vegas, NV
Jul. 15 - Venue of Scottsdale - Scottsdale, AZ
Jul. 16 - Reflections - Victorville, CA
Jul. 21 - Earthshaker Fest - Rieden, GER
Jul. 22 - Metalcamp Fest - Tolmin, SLO
Jul. 24 - Carling Academy Islington - London, UK
Jul. 25 - Bradford Rio - Bradford, UK
Jul. 26 - JB's - Dudley, UK
Jul. 28 - Metalway Festival - Jerez, SPA
Jul. 29 - Metalway Festival - Gernika, SPA
Aug. 05 - Busan Rock Festival - Busan City, KOR
TESTAMENT are tentatively planning to enter the studio in the fall to record the long-awaited follow-up to 1999's "The Gathering", due in early 2007.
In a recent interview with LivingForMetal.com, TESTAMENT guitarist Eric Peterson stated that the upcoming CD will feature the band's original lineup. He said, "We're gonna get Louie [Clemente] to come back to do some songs. The drummer situation, we are probably gonna use a couple of drummers 'cause we've had people that are in our lives and a part of TESTAMENT so it wouldn't be fair to not have these people play on it. Probably Jon Allen from DRAGONLORD and SADUS will play on it, who's also been a part of TESTAMENT and toured with us. Just the way we do things now, we don't tour extensively so it's kind of hard to keep steady players. Like if something comes up and someone's not available we'll go, 'Let's see if this guy's available.' Yeah it's gonna be killer, the new material is sounding pretty old-school. . . Alex's [Skolnick, guitar] got some riffs that he's been sending me and they sound pretty TESTAMENT, just really cool stuff. Like that 'Apocalyptic City' kind of vibe. Good chord progressions with octaves over it."
World Entertainment News Network is reporting that SLAYER are courting controversy among Christian groups by releasing sacrilegious artwork on their latest album.
The cover for upcoming record, "Christ Illusion", depicts a tattooed and amputated Jesus Christ standing in a sea of blood and corpses, and has infuriated right-wing religious groups.
The Californian foursome are preparing themselves for a bitter backlash after the pictures were slammed as hurtful and grossly irreverent.
However, guitarist Kerry King defends the shocking imagery, saying, "We wanted Christ in a sea of despair.
"The first version that came back looked like he was just chilling out in the water!"
Frontman Tom Araya adds, "Then when they sent a new one he had his eyes half open and was surrounded by floating heads. It was much better because he looked like a drug addict!"
SLAYER hit the headlines last month when fans desecrated a New York City seminary after being urged by a fansite to cause chaos on the so-called "day of the devil." They have also angered 9/11 victims' families with extremist track "Jihad", which appears on their new album.
A rare MEGADETH live video from 1984, filmed at the band's debut live performance in Berkeley, California with Kerry King of SLAYER guesting on guitar, has been posted online at YouTube.com.
In a recent interview with Decibel magazine, Kerry King and fellow SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman spoke about King's decision to play MEGADETH's first live shows more than 20 years ago:
Jeff Hanneman: "I thought [Kerry] was an ass for doing that. [laughs] I remember talking to Tom [Araya] about it, like, 'I guess we're gonna get a new guitar player.' I thought he was kissing Dave's [Mustaine] ass or something, and I thought it was kinda fucekd up. I think he was gonna join. Kerry will probably tell you something different, but why do that if you're not thinking about joining? I'm a loyalist, you know, and I thought SLAYER was the best thing going. Why go hang out with somebody else? If Dave would've asked me to do it, I would've told him to fuck off."
Kerry King: "I did it because I admired Mustaine — I'd seen him play with METALLICA. He'd be up there drunk off his ass, just ripping, not even looking at his fingers. Me and Jeff didn't know how to do that yet. [laughs] When he got kicked out and was sniffing around for a guitarist, I figured I'd do it because I thought I ould learn something. The other guys in SLAYER were probably unhappy, but we weren't really known back then, and the way I looked at it was that if people saw me playing in Dave's band, it'd be more publicity for SLAYER. Now you look back and you think 'supergroup,' but back then, absolutely not. I played their first five shows, and then I was like, 'Man, this is taking too much of my time.' I can't speak for Dave, but I don't think he would've been unhappy if I stuck around."
Three songs from SLAYER's upcoming "Christ Illusion" album — "Cult", "Jihad" and "Eyes of the Insane" — are available for streaming at the Spanish web site Rafabasa.com in Real Media format.
Slayer's first new studio album since 2001 and featuring its original lineup, "Christ Illusion" is due out August 8, 2006.
Nuclear Blast Records is currently offering a 7" vinyl picture-disc version of SLAYER's new single, "Eternal Pyre", to be made available in a limited-edition pressing of 1,000 copies on June 30. YOu can order a copy here. In addition, the regular CD single version of "Eternal Pyre" — which was sold in the U.S. exclusively via Hot Topic stores starting on June 6 — will be made available in Germany on June 23. You can check it out here.
The Slayer-headlined "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted" kicked off in Camden, NJ yesterday. Slayerized has revealed Slayer's setlist for the tour:
01. South of Heaven
02. Silent Scream
03. War Ensemble
04. Blood Red
07. Mandatory Suicide
08. Seasons in the Abyss
09. Chemical Warfare
10. Dead Skin Mask
11. Hell Awaits
12. Raining Blood
14. Angel of Death
The Slayer's upcoming tour dates including the North American "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted," the European edition and some Europena and Asian festival tour dates are as follows: More...
The "final" cover artwork for SLAYER's new album, "Christ Illusion" — complete with the band's logo and album title — has been posted online. You can check it out here or here. Larry Carroll, who did the cover artwork for SLAYER's "Reign in Blood", "South of Heaven", and "Seasons In the Abyss" album, painted this original piece for the "Christ Illusion" cover. Working only from the song titles and early lyrics, Carroll has produced a classic SLAYER masterpiece — a portrait of the Christ whose forearms have been chopped off, standing in an ocean of blood surrounded by floating, decapitated heads. Carroll created the painting on a 4-by-4-foot slab of wood using a combination of mediums. SLAYER guitarist Kerry King already has placed dibs on ownership of the original wooden canvas.
"Christ Illusion," due out August 8, 2006, is Slayer's first new studio album since 2001, and the first recorded by the band's original line-up - Kerry King/guitars; Tom Araya/bass, vocals; Jeff Hanneman/guitars; Dave Lombardo/drums - since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss." "Christ Illusion" was produced by Josh Abraham and executive produced by Rick Rubin, and will be released on Slayer's long-time label, Rubin's American Recordings/Warner Bros. Records.