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.
Beefy funny man, Billy Milano once said “Skinheads and bangers and punks stand as one Crossover to a final scene.” This insight he offered on S.O.D.’s 1985 release “Speak English or Die” would serve as a rallying cry for hardcore punks and metal heads to come together. Not only did this song help create a mindset for bringing together two scenes; it also constructed a formula for the two styles to merge. Known simply as metalcore or crossover, the term came to describe how hardcore bands added metal’s solos and heft to their arrangements, while thrash absorbed the speed, attitude and brevity of hardcore to their compositions.
Milano also claimed “It’s not the way you wear your hair, it’s what’s inside of you.” Even though these words ring true twenty-seven years after publication, and so often we see the two lines blurring together, hair styles have pretty much remained the same (minus poodle hair and mullets). Short hair, often bald or spiky, is still relegated to punks, while long hair is a feature of head bangers. Regardless of attitude and opposition to the mainstream, many punks and metal heads prefer to segregate.
After hearing an inspiring hardcore/crossover album from "The Casualties" and attending festivals such as Fun Fun Fun Fest and Chaos in Tejas that mesh metal and hardcore in the last year, I felt the need to research and write an article on the history of this topic. Through the usual resource of the Internet, Ian Christe’s book “Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal” and a first person source, I hope to shed light on this phenomenon. In the following article, we will look at the interchangeable qualities of punk and metal, as well as delving into each style’s social constraints. We will look at the bands that started this movement and analyze how the art form has evolved. Ready yourself for a crash course on punk-thrash crossover movement. More...
Blasting metal at home or in the car is one thing, but extreme music is frequently meant to be experienced live with a sea of headbangers surrounding you, which is why we share favorite pit stories from musicians and fans each week. Today guitarist Kragen Lum of Prototype shares this tale of seeing a crazy Slayer show:
Probably the craziest pit that I have ever seen was at the Hollywood Palladium during Slayer’s set on the Reign In Blood tour. Dark Angel opened the show that night, as a last minute replacement for Flotsam and Jetsam, and got the crowd pretty pumped up. By the time Slayer came on the stage all hell broke loose. The adrenaline was flowing and at various times during the show there were fist fights in the audience. The real craziness was in the pit though. There were literally 2 huge pits, side by side on the floor, and at various points the pits joined together into what looked like a figure 8. It was a sea of bodies slamming into each other in a strange, almost coordinated effort.
As Slayer continued to play, the crowd got more and more violent and the spotlights were moved to point at the fights in the crowd instead of at the band. I had been to lots of shows already at that point but I had never seen anything like that pit. It was so intense in there that the police had called in the riot squad to wait outside the venue and help disperse the crowd after the show. I’ve heard Dave Lombardo refer to this show in interviews as the most insane pit he’s ever seen. There is no question in my mind that he is absolutely correct.
Prototype is gearing up to drop new album "Catalyst" on September 11th via Nightmare Records. You can check out a trailer for the release at this location.
Today marks the 150th official column in the Sunday Old School series (we’re not counting the April Fools article which looked at Limp Bizkit) and to celebrate, we’ll be taking a look at a band that we’ve been asked to feature for years. If you haven’t worked it out from the title, this week's Sunday Old School will be examining Slayer, one of the most controversial bands in the history of metal music, with a fan base more akin to the characters in One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest than the average head banger.
Slayer was founded in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, who met when they went to audition for the same band. They soon completed the group when they recruited singing bassist Tom Araya, a native of the South American country Chile, and drummer Dave Lombardo, who met King while working as a pizza delivery man. The quartet initially performed at local parties, covering songs by the likes of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, as well as using a "Satanic" image, influenced by such bands as Mercyful Fate and Venom. In 1983, the band pooled money saved by Araya and borrowed from Kings father to record their debut album, "Show No Mercy," which was released through Metal Blade Records in December of that year. Although some had criticised the record for its production quality (or lack thereof,) it became the biggest selling album on Metal Blade at the time, shifting over 20,000 copies in the United States alone. They followed the album with a three song EP entitled, "Haunting The Chapel," which featured the live staple, "Chemical Warfare" and soon performed in Europe for the first time, including opening for UFO in Belgium and a show at Londons infamous 100 Club, where the band were upset about being spat on by the audience (though this was actually a sign of approval from British punks.) More...
"...And Justice For Art" premiered today, July 11th, 2012 on www.PureGrainAudio.com and a new episode in the series is scheduled to be released weekly. The articles include in-depth research and exclusive interviews with musicians, designers and industry insiders about landmark cover artworks albums such as Death's 'Symbolic', Sigh's 'In Somniphobia', Cormorant's 'Dwellings', Slayer's 'Reign in Blood', Opeth "Heritage" and many more. To view the first article visit this location today. Check out the video teaser for the series below.
"...And Justice For Art" is the result of the tireless efforts from the series' mastermind and frequent PureGrain writer Ramon Martos-Garcia, who is also known in the underground scene for his involvement with Third World Metal bands like Archaios, Divinis Invocat and the indie record label Dark Canvas Records. "In the past, there have been many attempts to tell stories about this subject ", says Ramon, "but never with this level of hindsight and detail. I think what will make this series different is that we are telling stories from different points of view and exploring these cover artworks from a human, psychological, artistic and historical perspective. I truly believe this will be something very unique and special and that everyone reading these articles will be learning and discovering new things about Contemporary Arts and Metal."
Slayer has issued an update to fans about the status of guitarist Jeff Hanneman, Gary Holt (Exodus) filling in on tour, and even some new songs. Here's the "open letter" direct from Slayer:
As you know, Jeff was bitten by a spider more than a year ago, but what you may not have known was that for a couple of days after he went to the ER, things were touch-and-go. There was talk that he might have to have his arm amputated, and we didn't know if he was going to pull through at all. He was in a medically-induced coma for a few days and had several operations to remove the dead and dying tissue from his arm. So, understand, he was in really, really bad shape. It's been about a year since he got out of the hospital, and since then, he had to learn to walk again, he's had several painful skin grafts, he's been in rehab doing exercises to regain the strength in his arm; but best of all, he's been playing guitar. We were all excited when he joined us onstage for the encore a year ago at The Big Four show at Coachella. Since then, we've given him all the time and support he's needed to continue his rehab so he can come back to the band fully recovered and able to deliver the kind of shows we all want him to. While Jeff's been doing some writing and has been coming to rehearsal over the past several weeks, he has decided he needs to take more time to continue his rehab. While we want him back onstage with the band, all of us support his decision. So, we're very grateful that Gary Holt will continue to fill in for Jeff, and will tour with us until Jeff completes his rehab and is ready to return. How long will that be? The best and most honest answer we can give you is 'as long as it takes.' We also wanted you to know that we've been doing some writing and recording for the next Slayer album - we've tracked a few songs, and will finish the album when we're off the road later this year. Gary will join us on tour in Europe and the UK in May and June, and then we'll all see you on this Summer's Mayhem Festival.
Metal Underground.com wishes Jeff a complete and speedy(er) recovery.
While on the black carpet of the Revolver Golden Gods Awards, Metal Injection had a chance to speak with PHILM, the side project of Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo.
At the end of the conversation, Lombardo was asked when we could expect new music from Slayer and Dave confirmed that there will be an EP of Slayer tunes out before the band hits the road this summer with the Rockstar Mayhem Festival.
When light hits the stage even before the band does, theres only one thing that signifies you are about to have your face ripped off by a literal wall of sound. You see it in almost every huge rock and metal arena show. Its a vision pursued by any musician who dreams of playing live, and playing loud. As a kid I gazed at the stage in wonder, mesmerized at these giant black boxes stacked on top of one another. As soon as the band started playing, you could swear everything you heard was coming from these giant stacks of sound. They stood out almost as a member of the band themselves. All thats is left after the show ends, is a snapshot taken by your memory. The image of the band on stage, and the image of a giant stack of amplifiers with one name draped across the front, Marshall. More...
The organizers of the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival are pleased to announce the addition of Motorhead to the 2012 line-up. This marks the first summer tour that Motorhead has taken part in for several years. The legendary metal veterans join the already stellar 2012 main stage line-up, featuring multi-platinum Iowa cult metal groundbreakers Slipknot in the headlining position, as well as legendary thrash metal kings Slayer—both returning to the festival for a second turn at pummeling fans.
Motorhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister commented, "Well, we're used to mayhem in this band, so it's kind of a family tradition! Bring it!"
Motorhead just finished up a run with Megadeth on the 2012 Gigantour. On January 24th, Motorhead Music/UDR released "The Wörld Is Ours-Vol 1 - Everywhere Further Than Everyplace Else," an official DVD containing some of the finest moments from the band’s recent The Wörld is Yours tour, which also includes a special bonus double live CD of the Chile stop. Frontman Lemmy will also be part of a Ronnie James Dio tribute album which will be out later this year.
This year, in addition to Slipknot, Slayer, and Motorhead, the main stage will also spotlight a ferocious rotation of today’s best artists, including The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, and Asking Alexandria. The festival will make a 27 date trek across the U.S. beginning on June 30th at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California. Head here for ticketing information. More...
American nu metal veterans Limp Bizkit have been confirmed as the final headliner for this year's edition of Belgiums largest heavy metal festival, Graspop Metal Meeting. Also newly confirmed for the festival are Behemoth, Black Label Society, Godsmack, Slash and All Shall Perish, while the organisers have also announced that Young Guns and Lagwagon have pulled out of the event. Graspop Metal Meeting will take place in Dessel, Belgium from June 22nd - 24th and will feature the following lineup, with more to be announced shortly:
Ozzy Osbourne and friends (Headliner)
Limp Bizkit (Headliner)
Guns N Roses (Headliner)
All Shall Perish
August Burns Red
Black Label Society
Black Veil Brides
Children Of Bodom
The organisers of Belgiums largest heavy metal festival, Graspop Metal Meeting, have confirmed a further nine names for this years edition of the event, including French death metal outfit Gojira, English doom metal veterans My Dying Bride and American hard rock legends Twisted Sister, as well as I Killed The Prom Queen, Cancer Bats, Lagwagon, While She Sleeps, Black Spiders and Kobra And The Lotus. Graspop Metal Meeting will take place in Dessel, Belgium from June 22nd - 24th and will feature the following lineup, with more to be announced shortly: More...
In a recent interview with Metal Hammer, Slayer guitarist/co-founder Kerry King stated that the band's new album, their first since 2009's, "World Painted Blood" could be released as early as this Summer
"Currently we’re taking a break, but I am very excited by the way it’s all turning out so far,” King says. “I’ve worked up three songs with Dave (Lombardo; drums) and they’re sounding really refreshing and energetic. I’m certain that I’ll have three more ready to go when we return to action.
"I don’t think we’ll spend long in the studio this time either. We’re gonna do it old school style and get things done fast. In fact, we are already ahead of schedule. The album will be ready for a summer release. But whether it’s put out at that time is down to the record label [American]. They might have other plans. But we want it with the fans during the summer."
He also commented on the health of bandmate Jeff Hanneman, stating: "We could go onstage with him right now and do ‘Mandatory Suicide'. If that was the only song in our set, Jeff would be fine. But he’s slowly getting himself back to full fitness and by the time we’re ready to tour he’ll be right back onstage with us."
The organisers of Belgium's largest heavy metal festival, Graspop Metal Meeting, have announced that American rock legends Guns N Roses will be wrapping the festival up this year, as they will be headlining the event on Sunday 24th. The organisers have also announced that As I Lay Dying has had to pull out of the festival after cancelling their European tour, but also confirmed that Cannibal Corpse, Machine Head, Gotthard, Adrenaline Mob, Sebastian Bach, Black Veil Brides and The Treatment will perform at the festival. Graspop Metal Meeting will take place in Dessel, Belgium from June 22nd - 24th and will feature the following lineup, with more to be announced shortly:
Black Sabbath (Headliner)
Guns N Roses (Headliner)
August Burns Red
Black Veil Brides
Children Of Bodom
Jon Oliva's Pain
Lamb Of God
Sick Of It All
Texas In July
Winds Of Plague
As I Lay Dying will be spend the summer as part of the fifth annual Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival. The main stage will be the strongest ever with the headlining slot occupied by multi-platinum Iowa legends Slipknot. Next up will be legendary thrash metal kings Slayer and then a major special guest will be playing in the third slot whom will be announced on March 5th. The main stage will also spotlight a ferocious mix of today's best artists in a rotation, including The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, and Asking Alexandria.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival will make a 26 date trek across the U.S. beginning on June 30th at the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, California. Pre-sale tickets go on sale Friday the 6th of April, 2012. Tune in to this location for up-to-date ticketing information.
As I Lay Dying will be entering the studio this Spring to record the band's fifth full-length album and follow-up to 2010's "The Powerless Rise," which debuted on the Billboard Top 200 Charts at #10. The band has chosen a producer and will announce more details about the album in the coming weeks. The album's release date is tentatively scheduled for this summer.
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival dates are as follows: More...
This Year's Rockstar Mayhem Festival will be headlined by Slipknot who will be supported on the main stage by Slayer and a rotating slot featuring As I Lay Dying, Asking Alexandria and The Devil Wears Prada. The second stage will feature Anthrax, As I lay Dying, Asking Alexandria, The Devil Wears Prada, Whitechapel, High on Fire and the Jagermeister opener. A "Special Guest" for the tour will be announced on March 5th.
In a recent message posted online by Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, he mentioned briefly that the American thrash metal legends have begun work on their next album and that guitarist Jeff Hanneman looks to be contributing. His post reads as follows:
"The PHILM album is in the mixing stage.. I can't wait for you to hear it! Looking forward to releasing it on Ipecac Recordings and doing selected shows around the world. Slayer is writing a new record. Jeff is still recovering and doing better."
More information will be revealed as soon as it becomes available.
Glenn Danzig’s recent comments and alleged behavior at Fun Fun Fun Fest provoked much talk among the heavy metal community. Mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone brought this conversation to a much larger audience. Besides trying to instigate a riot, Danzig bemoaned playing the Black Stage. He said he is as big as Slayer, so he should be on the larger Orange stage. The Slayer comment sparked a debate among Metal Underground’s readers. Who is bigger and more popular—Slayer or Danzig? Now that the question has been asked, I’ve done some searching to determine who has a larger fan base.
In addition to providing album sales numbers, I will look at some of the factors that contribute to the popularity of both bands. On one side, we have the blues-laden doom metal of Danzig. Often characterized as the Satanic Elvis, Danzig possesses unmistakable, deep vocal tones and lupine howls. Short but muscular, his mic-whipping, air-grabbing stage antics convey a barbaric image. On the other side, we have thrash metal legends, Slayer. In addition to being part of the Big 4 thrash acts of the 80s, they pushed the boundaries of speed, and broke ground for thrash, death and black metal. Kerry King's whammy bar solos perfectly relate the wicked vibe of each song. The battle cry of “SLAYEEEER” is as common at a metal concert as a Marshall half-stack.
Danzig showcased material as Danzig Legacy at Fun Fun Fun Fest, so Slayer is butting heads against not one band but three. The Misfits and Samhain portions of his set added a crossover appeal, which proved perfect for a fest that catered to punk and metal. Still, I’m going to assume that many of the Fiend Club members also listen to Danzig.
Besides Dave Lombardo, Slayer has boasted a stable lineup, without bringing over fans from previous bands. Kerry King spent time in Megadeth, but he doesn’t appear on any Megadeth albums, so he obviously didn’t pull fans from Megadeth. Fans will always recognize Dave Lombardo as Slayer’s drummer, even though he has commanded the beat for other bands such as Philm, Grip Inc. and Fantomas. More...
November 5th, 2011—Day two of Fun Fun Fun Fest exemplified Texas’ extreme weather conditions. Rare rains are great for picnics, but eventually raise havoc on the land. The hottest summer in the recorded history of the United States revealed an Auditorium Shores that resembled a Western ghost town rather than the green knolls of a public park.
Dust masks and bandanas veiled the features of the day’s attendees, giving the festival an appearance part Old West and part zombie-virus film. Those in attendance deserve credit for braving such abhorrent conditions. Weather conditions are beyond the control of Fun Fun Fun’s staff, although I can’t help but think something could have been done to curb the dust problem. No matter who was to blame for Friday’s short Misfit’s set, no controversies marred Saturday’s festivities.
A death metal bludgeoning assaulted my ears upon entering the venue. I asked myself, “Why would a comedy stage play host to a death/grind band?” I peeked around the corner to see this group was Captured By Robots. The one-man-several-robots group was part Mystery Science Theater 3K and part Gwar. Eyeballs and intestines protruded from front man JBOT, who carried on silly conversations with jean-jacket clad, double-necked guitar playing robot GTRBOT666. An ensemble of a disembodied, dreadlocked drummer, DRMBOT 0110 with a macabre brass section and “Monkey Shines” percussion kicked out a hilarious mix of punk, metal, grind, Dubstep and pop covers. Two of the more memorable songs include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and Buster Poindexter’s “Hot Hot Hot.” More...
Texas thrash ensemble Dead Horse has been added to Fun Fun Fun Fest on the weekend of November 4th-6th 2011. The reunited thrashers will play on the Black Stage at 3:50 on Saturday, November 5th. Dead Horse will join titanic metal forces Slayer, Cannibal Corpse and Eyehategod.
After nearly fifteen years of inactivity, Dead Horse reunited to play a Houston show on October 22nd.
To celebrate the return of Dead Horse, Abyss Records has reissued their long out-of-print "Boil(ing)" LP.
Fun Fun Fun Fest and Pitchfork announced today that the 6th annual festival in Austin, Texas will be streaming live on Pitchfork.com November 4 6, 2011. This will be the first time ever that the music of Fun Fun Fun Fest, one of the most progressive independent music festivals in the country, will be available to those outside of Austin, and live.
Unlike other music festivals with similar live streams, Fun Fun Fun Fest will present 4 separate streams with each tailored to different musical tastes, streamed live on one of the most widely read music websites in the world that reaches 3.3 million unique visitors each month. Like the Fun Fun Fun Fest stage setups, each stream will provide a different musical experience, from punk and metal to indie rock and electronica, from bounce and hip hop to competitions and comedy. Fans will be able to toggle the streams to cater to their favorite styles of music, thanks to smart, the quirky, irreverent car.
When asked about the new partnership, Pitchfork had this to say: "Fun Fun Fun Fest has absolutely become one of the great festivals in the country, one that shares the same spirit of adventurous booking and music- and fan-community focus that we bring to our own Pitchfork Music Festival and our other events," said Pitchfork President Chris Kaskie. "Pitchfork has produced a number of live streams in recent years, and we're thrilled to be producing the Fun Fun Fun Fest live stream this year, for the first time bringing the festival to music fans outside of Austin."
Pitchfork Fun Fun Fun Fest Live Stream Schedule:
Friday, Nov 4th at 12:20pm Central
Saturday, Nov 5th at 12:10pm Central
Sunday, Nov 6th at 12:15pm Central
To check out the Fun Fun Fun Fest live stream on Pitchfork, go to www.pitchfork.com.
"We are thrilled to be working with Pitchfork and smart on bringing what we do every year to more underground and progressive music fans around the world. Pitchfork and Transmission have always focused on many of the same acts, ideas, and trends they are a like-minded group of people and it's exciting to see us working together in such an innovative way. Plus, we get to bring a little more Slayer and Turquoise Jeep to the PF pages, which is nice," said Transmission Principal James Moody.
FUN FUN FUN Fest has announced the final lineup and set times for its sixth annual music festival, set for November 4-6 at Austin, TX's Auditorium Shores. The festival organizers have also announced the "FFF Nites" aftershow lineup, which will see a host of late night shows available free to FFFF 6 ticket holders (each based on capacity and type of ticket). The Fun Fun Fun Festival will begin on Friday, November 4 at noon CDT with the fest's multiple stages running until 9:45 pm each evening through the weekend. Each of the festival's four stages will be billed with artists from various genres.
In addition to Orange Stage headliner Slayer (moved from the "Black Stage" to accommodate a bigger stage show), FFFFest has ramped up its "Black Stage" heavy music platform again this year as genre giants The Damned, Murder City Devils, Cannibal Corpse, EyeHateGod, Boris, Russian Circles and Glenn Danzig -- performing Misfits songs with original Misfits guitarist Doyle Wolfgang Von Frankenstein under the moniker "Danzig Legacy" -- and many more will light up the festivals darkest stage over the course of the three day event.