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.
A live video of METALLICA members James Hetfield, Kirk Hammett and Robert Trujillo performing the track "Battery" with SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo at the Download festival in England on June 6, 2004 has been posted online at YouTube.com. More footage — including interview clips with some of the other bands performing at the Download 2004 festival (such as DAMAGEPLAN, HATEBREED and ILL NINO) — can be found here.
METALLICA's regular drummer, Lars Ulrich, was taken to hospital with an undisclosed illness just hours before METALLICA were due to headline the festival. Rather than pull the show and risk a revolt from fans, METALLICA called upon SLAYER and SLIPKNOT drummers, Lombardo and Joey Jordison (respectively), alongside Ulrich's long-standing drum tech Flemming Larsen, to rescue the gig. Jordison played in his SLIPKNOT mask. You can watch a clip of Joey Jordison performing "Enter Sandman" with METALLICA at this location. Video of Jordison's rendition of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" with METALLICA can be viewed here.
According to the World Entertainment News Network, SLAYER has sparked controversy with a new song about 9/11 from the terrorists' viewpoint.
The California foursome were fed up with other bands' American perspective of the attacks on New York and Washington D.C. in 2001, so they wrote their own unique version.
Guitarist/songwriter Jeff Hanneman has angered 9/11 victims' families with the extremist angled track "Jihad", which will feature on their new album.
Guitarist Kerry King says, "In America every band under the sun has written their 9/11 song. And that's why I didn't want to have any part of it, but this is really cool. It kind of has an 'Angel of Death' feel because it doesn't condemn anyone or say that anyone's right or wrong."
In related Slayer news, the National Day of Slayer (on 6.6.06) has gone International. The organizers of the "National day of SLAYER" have issued the following press release:
"In our pluralistic modern world, it seems like every group gets a holiday or month dedicated to its activities — except metalheads. Responding to the overbearing moralism of the American holiday for Christian prayer, two headbangers created a holiday of their own: the National Day of Slayer.
Little did they know that this holiday would become popular worldwide, prompting an outpouring of translations, dedications, and most of all, vows in over 20 countries to "Stay home from work, and listen to SLAYER instead." Even the SLAYER guys weighed in on Los Angeles' KNAC radio, saying the concept was hilarious and they wish they'd thought of it first. A groundswell of popularity is making this holiday a reality!
"We need a holiday to celebrate great metal music instead of going to a boring job," said JT, NDoS Director. "When National Day of Slayer was created, it was a protest against how SLAYER is ignored by the workaday world. Now, it's a phenomenon reaching the furthers corners of the globe."
This June 6, if you're a metalhead or just like the music of SLAYER, join us for an "INTERnational Day of Slayer" by putting off your normal responsibilities and enjoying an entire day of SLAYER. For too many years the vibrant culture of heavy metal music has been ignored, but now there's a holiday for metalheads... worldwide.
SLAYER's previously announced sold-out "warm-up" dates — June 2 at New Oasis in Sparks, NV and June 3 at Senator Theatre in Chico, CA — will **NOT** be rescheduled to take place following the Denver date at the end of July, despite a previous announcement to the contrary. Scheduling conflicts are believed to be the reason behind this decision, which was triggered by the postponement of the tour's start date so as to allow SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya sufficient time to recover from a recent minor gall-bladder surgery.
As previously reported, Araya's two-hour May 5 procedure forced SLAYER to suspend the June 6 launch of this summer's Unholy Alliance Tour, which also features LAMB OF GOD, MASTODON, CHILDREN OF BODOM and THINE EYES BLEED. The trek will instead kick off June 15 in Camden, New Jersey, and run through July 26 in Denver.
SLAYER's still-untitled follow-up to "God Hates Us All", which was released on Sept. 11, 2001, is due July 25 via American Recordings. For the project, the group reteamed with longtime collaborator Rick Rubin to executive produce their first new album with their four original members since 1990's "Seasons in the Abyss".
SLAYER will preview their first album in five years with an EP exclusively available at Hot Topic stores. The album will include "Cult", the lone new song the band plans to play live on the upcoming Unholy Alliance Tour.
In related news, Kerry King recently spoke to Kerrang! Magazine about the new album and even the national day of Slayer. You can check out the complete interview here.
The Slayer-headlined "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted," has confirmed that the tour will kick off on June 15 in Camden, NJ and not in Peoria, IL on June 10 as had been previously announced.
The rescheduling is due to Slayer's bassist/vocalist Tom Araya's minor gall bladder surgery which successfully took place earlier this month.
"We wanted to give Tom an extra few days to make sure that he's at 100% before he puts one foot on the road," said Slayer's manager Rick Sales. We apologise for any confusion that this has caused, but Tom and the band want the fans to get the best Slayer shows possible."
The St. Louis date, originally scheduled for June 12, has been moved to June 21; Chicago, originally set for June 13, is now scheduled for June 20. The entire itinerary for Slayer's ""Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted," featuring Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Mastodon, and Thine
Eyes Bleed, is as follows: More...
The Slayer-headlined "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted," featuring Lamb of God, Children of Bodom, Mastodon, and Thine Eyes Bleed, and originally slated to launch on 6.6.06 in San Diego, CA will now kick off on June 10 at the East Peoria Convention Center in Peoria, IL.
Postponed and rescheduled shows are:
San Diego, CA - originally June 6 at the Sports Arena, now rescheduled for July 20 at the Sports Arena
Las Vegas, NV - originally June 7 at The Orleans, now rescheduled for July 24 at The Orleans
Denver, CO - originally June 9 at the Fillmore Auditorium, now rescheduled for July 26 at the Fillmore Auditorium
In addition, two sold-out "warm up" dates - June 2 at New Oasis in Reno, NV, and June 3 at Senator Theatre in Chico, CA - will be rescheduled to take place following the Denver date at the end of July.
Tickets purchased for all postponed dates will be honored at the rescheduled concerts.
The postponement of the tour's start date is due to Slayer bassist/vocalist Tom Araya's minor gallbladder surgery which successfully took place late last week. Araya is doing fine, recuperating at home.
With the tour's kick off now June 10, Six-Six-O-Six will still be a special day for Slayer fans. On that day, Slayer will release "Eternal Pyre," a limited edition EP that will preview "Cult," a brand-new song from the band's as yet untitled new album (due out July 25), a live version of "Dead Skin Mask" recorded at last year's Full Force Festival, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the new album, and, originally available only on 1995's now out-of-print "Live Intrusion" video, a 5-minute clip of the Slayer fan who carved the band's name into his forearm. "Eternal Pyre" will be available exclusively at all Hot Topic stores.
The members of Slayer - Araya, Kerry King/guitars, Jeff Hanneman/guitars, and drummer Dave Lombardo - are in the final stages of completing their new album, Slayer's first new studio album since Lombardo rejoined the band in 2003. The new album is being produced by Josh Abraham and executive produced by Rick Rubin and will be released on Slayer's long-time label, Rubin's American Recordings.
Titles for some of the album's new songs include "Cult," "Consfearcy," "Eyes of the Insane," and "Jihad." In a recent interview with MTV, Araya said about the new album, "It's fast - maybe faster than anything we've done before. No one's going to be disappointed. It's going to be brutal."
Confirmed tour dates for the "Unholy Alliance Tour: Preaching to the Perverted" are as follows: More...
National Day of Slayer, LLC, which is described as "a non-profit corporation in the State of Wyoming," has launched a web site urging as many SLAYER followers as possible to take part in "the National Day of Slayer" on June 6, 2006. A posting on the site reads in part, "6.6.06 isn't a date that comes around very often (once per century, to be exact), and while plenty of stupid horror movies and terrible albums will be released for the hype value of the day that bears 'the number of the beast,' we here at NDoS decided that this would be a perfect day for Hessians across the country to come together and engage in something upon which we can all agree - listening to SLAYER! Also, do you really want those evangelical Neo-Cons to have all the fun with their 'National Day of Prayer'?"
For more information, visit nationaldayofslayer.org.
You can win an exclusive ESP/LTD Signature Series Alexi Laiho guitar. This guitar is custom-designed by Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom. You've heard it all over COB's latest album, "Are You Dead Yet?" For more information and how to enter the competition, visit KNAC.COM.
Children of Bodom will be joining Slayer, Lamb of God, Mastodon and Thine Eyes Bleed on the upcoming Unholy Alliance Tour.Tour dates are as follows: More...
Slayer's Tom Araya had the following to say about their new album:
"I'm hoping that whenever it comes out, nothing major happens, it's like, 'I wonder what's going to happen this time around?' "
"This album is actually like a culmination of everything we've done. There's one song that I'm thinking will surprise everybody, because of the song itself. I'm not going to say why, because you have to keep that element of surprise, dude. Musically, it's going to blow everybody away. It's going to trip everyone out. It has all the elements of everything we've done. No one's going to be disappointed with this record. It's fast, heavy — maybe faster than anything we've done before. It's going to be brutal. It's what everyone expects from a Slayer record."
Araya said a track called "Eyes of the Insane," is perhaps the most political song on the album. The song was inspired by an article he'd read in an issue of Texas Monthly magazine. "The song's about the effects of war on some of these soldiers," he said. "This article — and it was a pretty trippy article — it really affected me. The entire magazine was devoted to soldiers of this new Iraq conflict that's going on. The effect that the war has had on some of these kids who're coming home and having a tough time dealing with what they've seen — I mean, some of these kids are traumatized and mentally destroyed by what they've seen. The magazine also ran an entire list of the soldiers from Texas who've died. It was several pages with pictures of these kids. It blew my mind."
Araya also had the following comment on the Unholy Alliance Tour: "For the heavier crowd, you're definitely going to get your money's worth [from this tour]"
Thine Eyes Bleed will be re-releasing their debut album, "In the Wake of Separtaion" on The End Records. The re-release will contain the song entitled, "Better Off Dead", which was previously only available in Japan and contain the video for the song "Cold Victim".
Thine Eyes Bleed will continue to push their name out to the metal masses as their tour supporting Soulfly starts April 21 in Anaheim, California. Following that month long tour, they will then embark on The Unholy Alliance tour which includes Slayer, Mastodon, Lamb of God, Children of Bodom) starting June 6.
More dates have been confirmed for the Slayer-headlined "Unholy Alliance Tour - Preaching to the Perverted," which will kick off on 6.6.06 in San Diego, CA (see entire itinerary below). The seven-week trek boasts what has got to be the genre's coolest line-up - joining Slayer will be Lamb of God, Mastodon and Children of Bodom (who will rotate the second and third slots), and Thine Eyes Bleed who will open the
Here is the updated itinerary for the "Unholy Alliance Tour - Preaching to the Perverted": More...
For the most part, SLAYER — Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitars), Jeff Hanneman (guitars), and Dave Lombardo (drums) — have finished recording tracks for their as-yet-untitled new album due out this fall, and will begin the mixing process this week. This album is the first new studio album since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss" that features the entire original SLAYER lineup (drummer Lombardo left the band in 1992 and rejoined in 2003). Rick Rubin, who helped solidify the much-emulated SLAYER sound beginning with their genre-defining 1986 classic "Reign In Blood", is executive-producing, and Josh Abraham (KORN, VELVET REVOLVER, ATREYU) is producing. Working songtitles include "Catalyst", "Cult", "Supremist", and "Consfearacy".
More dates have been added to this summer's Unholy Alliance Tour, featuring headliners SLAYER with support from LAMB OF GOD, CHILDREN OF BODOM, MASTODON and THINE EYES BLEED. The tour kicks off June 6 in San Diego, California at the Sports Arena. The dates are as follows:
Jun. 06 - San Diego, CA @ The Sports Arena
Jun. 07 - Las Vegas, NV @ The Orleans Hotel and Casino
Jun. 09 - Denver, CO @ Th Fillmore
Jun. 12 - St. Louis, MO @ Pop's Blue Moon
Jun. 13 - Chicago, IL @ Aragon Ballroom
Jun. 15 - Camden, NJ @ Tweeter Center at the Waterfront
Jun. 16 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena
Jun. 17 - Lowell, MA @ Paul E. Tsongas Arena
Jun. 19 - Cincinatti, OH @ US Bank Arena
Jun. 23 - San Antonio, TX @ Freeman Coliseum
Jun. 24 - Dallas, TX @ Nokia Live
Jun. 30 - Cleveland, OH @ Tower City Amphitheater
Jul. 02 - Quebec, CANADA @ Centre de Foire
Jul. 03 - Montreal, CANADA @ The Bell Centre
Jul. 04 - Toronto, CANADA @ Molson Amph
Jul. 06 - Detroit, MI @ Cobo Arena
Jul. 07 - Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Auditorium
Jul. 09 - Winipeg, CANADA MTS Center
Jul. 11 - Edmondton, CANADA Shaw Conf. Center
Jul. 13 - Vancouver, CANADA Qwest Field Event Center
Jul. 14 - Seattle, WA @ Qwest Field Event Center
Jul. 15 - Spokane, WA @ The Star Theatre
Jul. 16 - Salem, OR @ Salem Armory
Jul. 21 - Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre
Jul. 22 - Long Beach, CA @ Long Beach Arena
SLAYER's longtime manager Rick Sales had previously commented on the tour, "We want to make 'The Unholy Alliance' tour an annual global event, so we decided to be smart about the design from the beginning. We chose to book most of the tour's shows at indoor venues, as that allows the bands and the fans amenities like air conditioning and indoor bathrooms, as well as the very best stage lighting, production, and sound and less expensive concession prices. The few shows that will be played outside will be played at night in permanent facilities with our lighting, production, and so on. Everyone wins."
During a recent interview with "The Metal Show", heard live on 92.3 FM WXRK in Cleveland, SLAYER vocalist Tom Araya slammed STATIC-X while discussing their performance during a tour with SLAYER, PANTERA, MORBID ANGEL and others. The following is an excerpt from the interview:
The Metal Show: It's not like the SLAYER fans are very giving when it comes to anybody but you guys playing.
Tom Araya: "Well, they kind of are, especially if you're good. You know…they'll give into you."
The Metal Show: I don't know, man. I saw you guys here on the tour with PANTERA and STATIC-X where STATIC-X got booed right off the stage while people were chanting "SLAYER!"
Tom Araya: "Dude, come on. You're talking about STATIC-X. (laughing a lot) One night…it's pretty understandable why they got booed (Laughs)."
The Metal Show: Very nice, man, I’m sure they are thrilled to hear that.
Tom Araya: "I'm sure they will be! (Laughs)."
You can hear the interview in its entirety at Pitriff.com (Real Player required). This specific exchange can be heard about 9 minutes, 3 seconds into the conversation.
SLAYER frontman Tom Araya will take part in an online chat on Monday, March 20 at 1:00 p.m. at ESPGuitars.com.
The four original members of SLAYER — Araya, Kerry King (guitar), Jeff Hanneman (guitar), and Dave Lombardo (drums) — recently entered a Los Angeles-area studio to record what will be their first new studio album since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss". Uber-producer Rick Rubin, who helped solidify the much-emulated SLAYER sound beginning with their genre-defining 1986 classic "Reign In Blood", has taken the helm as executive producer of the project. Working closely with Rubin will be Josh Abraham (KORN, VELVET REVOLVER, ATREYU) who will produce the album.
Jeff, Tom and Kerry have been writing songs for this new album since they wrapped their last North American tour in September 2004. Working songtitles include "Catalyst", "Cult", "Supremist", and "Consfearacy".
On June 6 in San Diego, CA, SLAYER will kick off a seven-week summer trek, "The Unholy Alliance Tour Preaching to the Perverted", also featuring LAMB OF GOD, MASTODON and CHILDREN OF BODOM (who will rotate the second and third slots), and THINE EYES BLEED who will open the shows.
Singer Justin Wolfe of the Canadian thrash/metalcore act THINE EYES BLEED — who feature in their ranks former KITTIE guitarist/technician Jeff Phillips and bassist Johnny Araya (photo; brother of SLAYER's Tom Araya) — have grabbed the opening slot on the most anticipated metal tour of the summer, "The Unholy Alliance Tour".
"Right now we are thinking, 'Holy fuck, we got the big one!'" says Wolfe about the tour. "We couldn't be more excited to be a part of 'The Unholy Alliance Tour' and as of right now it's still overwhelming."
The tour — which is headlined by SLAYER and features MASTODON, LAMB OF GOD, CHILDREN OF BODOM and THINE EYES BLEED — will launch on June 6, 2006 and run for two months across North America.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we have always dreamt of having as a band," adds Wolfe. "Personally we have no choice but to go out and prove ourselves being the ‘underdogs’ of the tour and we want to take full advantage of it. We have worked so hard to get to this point and it's really going to show. This tour will definitely leave its mark in every city it hits. It's a tour that any metalhead shouldn't pass up."
Before the massive tour begins, THINE EYES BLEED — who released their debut album, "In the Wake of Separation", on The End Records in June of 2005 — will be out on the road all spring on various tours, including opening slots on tours with SIX FEET UNDER, RINGWORM and NECROPHAGIST.
The fury surrounding Slayer's upcoming album and recently announced "The Unholy Alliance Tour - Preaching to the Perverted" has not died down and new information is still being revealed piece by piece.
The four original members of SLAYER Tom Araya/bass, vocals, Kerry King/guitars, Jeff Hanneman/guitars, and Dave Lombardo/drums - the pioneers and undisputed kings of extreme speed/thrash metal, have entered a Los Angeles-area studio to record what will be their first new studio album since 1990's "Seasons In The Abyss." Rick Rubin, who helped solidify the much-emulated Slayer sound beginning with their genre-defining 1986 classic "Reign In Blood," has taken the helm as executive producer of the project.
Working closely with Rubin will be Josh Abraham (Korn, Velvet Revolver, Atreyu) who will produce the album. "We're real happy to have Josh on the team," said Slayer's Jeff Hanneman. "He's a very creative and intuitive guy, he knows music, and he really gets who Slayer is and what we're doing." The as yet untitled album will be released on Slayer's long-time label, Rubin's American Recordings/Warner Bros. Records, and is expected out this fall. As previously reported, The new album is expected to feature 11 songs, one of which will carry the title of "Cult".
"Dave's been back with us, playing live, for a couple of years now, and we're all looking forward to recording together again," said the band's Tom Araya. Kerry King added, "There really is no one like Dave he doesn't have to work at what he does, he just walks in, picks up his sticks and goes."
Said Lombardo, "It feels really good being back with the same guys I started out with. The chemistry is definitely there, that's the exciting part of it, to capture that chemistry again. And that's what is happening."
Jeff, Tom and Kerry have been writing songs for this new album since they wrapped their last North American tour in September 2004. "This is probably the most prepared we've been to record an album since the 80s," King added. "We've been writing and cutting demos for months." While these may change, working titles for some of the songs that will be recorded include "Catalyst," "Cult," "Supremist," and "Consfearacy." "I like to write songs that have different meanings for different people," said King, "where everyone can say, ŒI know what he means,' but still get their own sense of what the song is about."
Finally, on 6.6.06 (a date already snatched up by for numerous death metal releases, most notably Deicide's) in San Diego, CA, Slayer will kick off a seven-week summer trek, "The Unholy Alliance Tour Preaching to the Perverted," that boasts what has got to be the genre's coolest line-up of the summer Lamb of God, Mastodon and Children of Bodom (who will rotate the second and third slots), and Thine Eyes Bleed who will open the shows. Not only is the line-up terrific, but ticket prices will reportedly not exceed $39.00, giving fans a great value for their dollar.
According to Slayer's long-time manager Rick Sales, "We want to make 'The Unholy Alliance' tour an annual global event, so we decided to be smart about the design from the beginning. We chose to book most of the tour's shows at indoor venues, as that allows the bands and the fans amenities like air conditioning and indoor bathrooms, as well as the very best stage lighting, production, and sound and less expensive concession prices. The few shows that will be played outside will be played at night in permanent facilities with our lighting, production, and so on. Everyone wins."
With more dates and details to be added, the confirmed dates so far for "The Unholy Alliance Tour Preaching to the Perverted" are as follows:
June 6 - Sports Arena, San Diego, CA
June 7 - The Orleans, Las Vegas, NV
June 12 - Pop's Outside, St. Louis, MO
June 13 - Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
June 15 - Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ
June 16 - Continental Airlines Arena, E. Rutherford, NJ
June 17 - Tsongas Arena, Lowell, MA
June 23 - Freeman Coliseum, San Antonio, TX
June 25 - Reliant Arena, Houston, TX
June 29 - Tower City Amphitheatre, Cleveland, OH
July 6 - Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI
July 7 - Eagles Auditorium, Milwaukee, WI
July 14 - Qwest Field Event Center, Seattle, WA
July 16 - Salem Armory, Salem, OR
July 19 - HP Pavilion, San Jose, CA
July 21 - Mesa Amphitheatre, Mesa, AZ
July 22 - Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA
LAMB OF GOD drummer Chris Adler has commented on the band's upcoming U.S. "Uholy Alliance Tour" with SLAYER, MASTODON, CHILDREN OF BODOM and THINE EYES BLEED.
LAMB OF GOD are currently at home in Richmond, Virginia recording their sophomore Epic CD with producer Machine (CLUTCH, KING CRIMSON) for an August release.
Commented Adler: "Since we took the time off to write our new record, several well known tour opportunities and offers did hit the table — many discussions occurred late last year, but at the time we were uncomfortable committing to the projected lineups. It's a tough line to walk weighing opportunity vs. what you consider the intention and integrity of the project. You have to know yourself and respect your audience or you will lose step very quickly. We are heavy metal band — we're not interested in trying to sell a record to everyone. We write 'ugly' music for 'ugly' people and we have no intentions of lightening things up for more appeal. If you know of us and don't like us now, you never will and we aren't missing you.
"When discussions began with SLAYER about a U.S. run together, we knew this needed to happen. We've done shows together in the U.K. and let me tell you, it is one of the most intense and brutal nights of music I have ever witnessed both on and off the stage. This will not be a normal heavy metal tour, this is roaming devastation. As a lifelong fan of heavy music, this is the show that I would want to see — this is the show that the fans deserve — this is the show that will raise the bar and this is the show that will not be forgotten."
LAMB OF GOD may introduce new material from their forthcoming album on the "Unholy Alliance Tour"
It was too good to be true. Contrary to previous speculation, SLAYER will be hitting the road with LAMB OF GOD, MASTODON, CHILDREN OF BODOM, and THINE EYES BLEED for the Unholy Alliance Tour. The following is from an MTV.com article:
"Dubbed the Unholy Alliance Tour, the trek will make stops in most major cities, although the actual routing of the run is still being fleshed out. Either way King's anxious to hit the road again.
"It's been 18 months since we've toured in the States," he explained. "People are going to be chomping at the bit to see us again. Our initial thought [with Unholy Alliance] was to go up against Ozzfest, because I think that tour's getting a little bit tired and I think people are tired of going out and getting sunburned for hours every summer. Every place we play is going to be indoors, with a good-sized lineup. We're certainly not going to try to make Ozzfest go away. We're just trying to offer an alternative."
According to Rick Sales, SLAYER's manager of 18 years, the idea's to make the Unholy Alliance Tour an annual event "with the best bands out there." During the fall of 2004, SLAYER, SLIPKNOT, MASTODON and HATEBREED toured Europe under the Unholy Alliance tag. Sales also wants to take the tour global and said following its U.S. run, the Alliance will return to Europe, followed by stints in Japan and Australia — although, he noted the lineups would be different on each leg.
"I think we're in a different spot than Ozzfest," Sales continued. "This is more extreme and it's not involving any sort of 'radio bands.' It's a no-compromise lineup, the best of the breed. We think this is a great live event and that the tour will become bigger than the lineup. I think Ozzfest has proven that."
SLAYER, who Sales said declined an Ozzfest 2006 invite, will deliver an hour-plus set to close out each night of the Unholy Alliance; THINE EYES BLEED will open on all dates, followed by BODOM and MASTODON (who'll be rotating slots) and then LAMB OF GOD. King said SLAYER will debut some new material from the stage.
On Tuesday SLAYER entered a Los Angeles studio, where they started recording the 11 songs that'll comprise their yet-untitled album. Rick Rubin (JAY-Z, RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS) will executive-produce the disc, while Josh Abraham (VELVET REVOLVER, STAIND) will turn the knobs. One of the songs has an official title ("Cult"), but all of them, King promised, will be devastatingly grim.
"There are definitely things you can't write about in SLAYER, and there are definitely things people expect you to write about," he said. "Everybody expects war, Satanism or anti-religious stuff — and this record's chock-full of that."
The LP, which the band hopes to finish in time for a late June release, will be the first to feature original drummer Dave Lombardo in more than 15 years. Their last outing together was 1990's Seasons in the Abyss.
"[Drummer] Paul [Bostaph], who we did God Hates Us All with, kind of had an elbow problem, and now he's with EXODUS," King said. "When Paul left us ... it was brought to our attention that Dave was available. And we figured if anybody should be doing this, it should be him."
Most of the 11 songs SLAYER will record were written more than two years ago, the guitarist said. "We're hoping to do it old-school and record everything in like four weeks," he added. "We're ready. This is probably the most ready we've been since Seasons. We've been spinning our wheels in rehearsals, just waiting for the green light on this thing. Now that we've got it, we're ready to go.
"It's definitely going to be a riff-fest," King continued. "There's riffs all over the place. As much time as we've had to work on it, there better be riffs on it. I think anybody who likes SLAYER, musically, is going to love it."
While Sales said SLAYER's studio LP probably won't be in stores by June 6, he says the band will release a digital download, EP or something else to coincide with the tour launch.
On Saturday, MTV2's "Headbangers Ball" will feature an exclusive interview with bassist Tom Araya regarding the forthcoming album and the Unholy Alliance run."
Slayer entered the studio this past Tuesday to begin recording their new album with producer Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver, Staind). The album, which is being executive produced by Rick Rubin (System Of A Down, Red Hot Chili Peppers), is expected to feature 11 songs, one of which will carry the title of "Cult". Furthermore, the band plan to launch a two month US run this June under the banner of the "Unholy Alliance Tour". Other bands featured on the bill include Mastodon, Lamb Of God, Children Of Bodom and Thine Eyes Bleed. There are intentions to make the tour itself an annual run, for more on all of that and Slayer's new album, check here.
Sam Dunn is a 30-year old anthropologist. He's also a lifelong metal fan. After years of studying diverse cultures Sam turns his academic eye a little closer to home and embarks on an epic journey into the heart of heavy metal. His mission: to try and figure out why metal music is consistently stereotyped, dismissed and condemned, even while the tribe that loves it stubbornly holds its ground - spreading the word, keeping the faith, and adopting the styles and attitudes that go way beyond the music.
Sam visits heavy metal landmarks as far flung as L.A.'s Sunset Strip, the dirty streets of Birmingham and the dark forests of Norway. Along the way, the two sides of Sam Dunn - curious anthropologist and rabid fan - collide, as Sam explores metal's obsession with sexuality, religion, violence and death, meets his heroes and discovers some things about the culture that even he can't defend. Part social document, part celebration of a misunderstood art form, this documentary is the first of its kind: a chance for metal fans to speak out and a window into a culture that's far more complex than it appears.
The film stars Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Arch Enemy, Dee Snider (Twisted Sister), Geddy Lee (Rush), Vince Neil (Motley Crue), Lemmy Kilmister (Motorhead) and others.
The film is written and directed by Sam Dunn and Scot McFadyen and is distributed by Seville Pictures.
The film opened in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Quebec City yesterday (Feb. 24) and will open in the U.S., UK, Germany, Australia, Scandinavia, Brazil, Japan, Poland and Belgium in early March.
For more information, visit www.metalhistory.com.