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.
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. More...
After the death of Jeff Hanneman, Slayer announced the band would continue touring Europe this Summer. The band has now checked in with the following announcement about recruiting Paul Bostaph as a new full-time member:
"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.
"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."
"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."
Metal Injection west coast correspondent Johnny Orlando Jr. was on hand at the Hollywood Palladium for the Jeff Hanneman memorial, featuring words from Metal Blade owner Brian Slagel, Jane's Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, and more.
The Jeff Hanneman Memorial Celebration will take place on Thursday, May 23rd at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles from 3:30 - 7:30PM. Hanneman passed away on May 2nd 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 the band would write "just one mainstream song that could get on the radio," the group would likely sell millions of records and change the commercial course of its career. 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 it was previously assumed that Jeff Hanneman's death last week was due to complications from his bout of necrotizing fasciitis in 2011, Slayer has now announced his passing was caused by cirrhosis of the liver. The band comments:
"We've just learned that the official cause of Jeff's death was alcohol related cirrhosis. While he had his health struggles over the years, including the recent Necrotizing fasciitis infection that devastated his well-being, Jeff and those close to him were not aware of the true extent of his liver condition until the last days of his life.
"Contrary to some reports, Jeff was not on a transplant list at the time of his passing, or at any time prior to that. In fact, by all accounts, it appeared that he had been improving – he was excited and looking forward to working on a new record.
"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." More...
Last week Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman tragically passed away, which left the fate of upcoming band activity in question.
The band has now posted the following message online about continuing on with live shows this coming summer:
"We know that our fans everywhere are hurting for the loss of Jeff just as we are. We want to let you all know that when we come to Europe this summer in June, July and August, we'll ALL be making noise together for our brother and dear friend Jeff... We'll see you then!"
Further details will be announced as they are made available. You can also read our retrospective on the life and legacy of Hanneman at this location.
Yesterday, the news broke that the world of heavy metal had lost a true giant. The death of Slayer guitarist, Jeff Hanneman was a shock to many followers of metal, and especially for fans of the band, who are known to be amongst the most manically devoted in the history of music.
Almost immediately after people learned of the news, fans of Jeff and Slayer celebrated in a fashion befitting of the man: By getting drunk and blasting "Reign In Blood" as loud as they could. Hanneman's death is arguably the hardest hitting news since Ronnie James Dio passed away three years ago, and perhaps the biggest shock to thrash fans since Metallica bass player Cliff Burton was killed in an automobile accident in 1986, and at only 49 years of age, he will be considered by many to have been taken from us too soon.
Jeff Hanneman's journey began on January 31st 1964, when he was born in Oakland, California to a German father who fought for the Allies in the Second World War. This, along with the participation of his brothers in the Vietnam war, forged a lifelong interest in all things military for Jeff, a subject he would regularly cover in his lyrical contributions to Slayer. In 1981, Hanneman went to audition for a local band where he met another young guitarist named Kerry King. The two got on well and began jamming covers of songs by the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, before deciding to form their own band, the lineup of which was completed by the addition of King's former Quits bandmate Tom Araya, and pizza delivery guy, Dave Lombardo. Hanneman stated that one of his favourite memories of the early days was whenever people booed them, assured by his confidence to actually get on stage and perform. Of the four members, he was the one who enjoyed punk music the most, a genre he claimed he "forced" onto Dave Lombardo to the point where in 1984, the two of them, along with future Suicidal Tendencies guitarist Rocky George, formed a punk band named, Pap Smear, which folded a year later on the advice of producer, Rick Rubin. More...
Slayer has posted the following message online via Facebook about guitarist Jeff Hanneman dying earlier today:
"Slayer is devastated to inform that their bandmate and brother, Jeff Hanneman, passed away at about 11AM this morning near his Southern California home.
"Hanneman was in an area hospital when he suffered liver failure. He is survived by his wife Kathy, his sister Kathy and his brothers Michael and Larry, and will be sorely missed.
"Our Brother Jeff Hanneman, May He Rest In Peace (1964 - 2013)."
Hanneman had also been hospitalized back in 2011 when he contracted necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, and underwent surgeries, skin grafts, and intense rehab.
Hanneman was replaced on Slayer's subsequent live shows by Gary Holt of Exodus and Pat O'Brien from Cannibal Corpse. More...
There’s yet more thrash for Bloodstock with Northern Irish upstarts Gama Bomb landing an opening slot on the Ronnie James Dio mainstage. The band is looking forward to churning up the Catton Park turf, commenting:
“Bloodstock: it’s just like Woodstock, but for heavy metal types, and replacing the love and peace with chips and Carling! And Slayer! Our UK fans have been asking for this for years, and now the dream is real. So pack your tent, back up your arse with bananas and send the word – The G-Bomb are comin’ to Bloodstock!"
The band’s fourth album, "The Terror Tapes," will be released next Monday 22nd April on AFM Records. Check out the new video for "Terrorscope" right here.
British heavy metal standard bearers Beholder also step in to an early mainstage slot on Saturday. Frontman Simon Hall says “For Beholder to actually be asked to do this, without me dropping to my knees and pleading like a bitch is a true acknowledgment of where the band is right now. To be on the best Bloodstock line-up ever is something we’re not going to approach lightly, and on Saturday 10th August, let’s show the rest of the world how true British Metal fans rule all!!”
The currently announced lineup is: More...
After recently questioning the accounting and managerial practices of his band Slayer, Dave Lombardo was notified that his services behind the kit would not be needed on the band's Slayer Australian Tour 2013.
The following is a message that Dave Lombardo posted to his Facebook public figure page:
I want to personally apologize to all of our fans in Australia who have bought tickets for the tour expecting to see me in my usual place on the drums. So that you all know the truth, as of the end of the business day on February 14th, I was notified that I would not be drumming for the tour in Australia. I’m saddened, and to be honest I am shocked by the situation.
Last year, I discovered 90% of Slayer’s tour income was being deducted as expenses including the professional fees paid to management, costing the band millions of dollars and leaving 10% or less to split amongst the four of us. In my opinion, this is not the way a band’s business should operate. I tried rectifying it by letting my band mates know, and Tom and I hired auditors to figure out what happened, but I was denied access to detailed information and the necessary back up documents.
I spent the Christmas and New Year holidays realizing I had toured all over the world in 2012, but yet, had not been paid (except a small advance) or provided a proper accounting for a full year's sweat and blood. On top of this, I was told that I would not be paid until I signed a long form contract which gave me no written assurance of how much or on what basis management would deduct commissions, nor did it provide me access to the financial budgets or records for review. It also forbade me to do interviews or make statements having to do with the band, in effect a gagging order.
Last Monday, I sat down with Kerry and Tom to rehearse for Australia and to propose a new business model that I felt was the best way forward for Slayer to confidently protect itself so we could do what we do best . . . play for the fans. Kerry made it clear he wasn’t interested in making changes and said if I wanted to argue the point, he would find another drummer. On Thursday, I arrived at rehearsals at 1 pm as scheduled, but Kerry did not show. Rather, at 6:24 pm I received an email from the lawyers saying I was being replaced for the Australian dates.
I remain hopeful that we can resolve our issues. But once again, I sincerely apologize to all of our fans in Australia who spent their money expecting to see the 3 of us original Slayer members.
I look forward to seeing you in the future.
The organisers of Britain's, Bloodstock Open Air festival have announced a further ten bands for this year's edition of the event, including Bay Area thrash metal legends Exodus and Death Angel, as well as 3 Inches Of Blood, Scar Symmetry, Dying Fetus, Xerath, Bloodbound, Vanderbuyst, Scarab and The Prophecy. The event will take place at Catton Park from August 8 - 11th and will be headlined by Slayer, King Diamond and Lamb of God.
King Diamond (Headliner)
Lamb Of God (Headliner)
3 Inches Of Blood
Dave Lombardo was all for it recently when LA metal band Metalachi asked him to join the band onstage for the band's cover of "Raining Blood." Metalachi describe themselves as 'a five-piece ensemble of classically trained mariachi musician brothers, but taking their cues from Kiss, GWAR and Rob Zombie.' The song is uploaded below, coming from a fan appreciation show at the Roxy Theater on January 4th. Read the full article over at Metal Injection.
American thrash metal legends Slayer has been confirmed as the third and final headliner for next year's edition of the Bloodstock Open Air festival in Derbyshire, England. The event will take place at Catton Park from August 8 - 11th and will also be headlined by King Diamond and Lamb of God. A statement from Slayer guitarist Kerry King reads: "Can't wait to hit the stage at Bloodstock! Metal Festival in England? Fuck yes!! It's going to be hell on earth and I'm looking forward to having a party with all my British friends."
The organisers of the festival added: "We are thrilled to announce that seminal thrash metal legends, SLAYER are confirmed as the third and final headliner for Bloodstock 2013. The Californian four-piece will close the Ronnie James Dio stage on Sunday night at Catton Park, bringing their face-melting, monster riffs to the metal hordes."
The lineup for the festival is now as follows: More...
Fuse TV has launched an exclusive interview with Metal Blade Records CEO Brian Slagel, which can be viewed below or over at Fuse.tv.
The interview, conducted at the Metal Blade offices, will give fans insights into Slagel's favorite bands, how the label has evolved, bands the label has missed out on and discovered throughout its three decades in business. Slagel also discusses 30 years of the label's history, with stories about Metallica, Slayer, GWAR, and Cannibal Corpse.
Metal Blade Records will be wrapping up 30th anniversary celebrations for 2012 with a show on November 30th at the House of Blues Sunset Strip. Show headliners Armored Saint will be joined by newcomers Gypsyhawk, as well as a special, short set from thrash legends Sacred Reich.
Additional special guests confirmed for the show include Amon's Amarth's Johan Hegg, Ray Alder of Fates Warning/Redemption, as well as dUg Pinnick of King's X. The guest musicians will join Armored Saint on stage throughout their set to perform a variety of cover songs. That Metal Show's Eddie Trunk and Don Jamieson are confirmed to host the event. More...
Every week we scour the metalverse to get the best and most memorable mosh pit stories from musicians, and this week we have a tale of all-out war that didn't end well for one show-goer's car.
The antics of Slayer shows are no stranger to the Pit Stories column, and today guitarist Paul Coleman of Connecticut act Graven Image adds the story below to the ever-expanding "Slayer has insane pits" category.
Let us know if you remember this show, and feel free to share your favorite Slayer live memory in the comments section below.
If you want to catch Graven Image live, the band will be opening for Anthrax, Testament, and Death Angel at The Webster in Hartford, Connecticut on October 4th, 2012.
WEST HARTFORD BALLROOM: SLAYER/OVERKILL/MOTORHEAD...Slayer is on and the place goes absolutely into a frenzy man, I mean the pit is going out the door into the parking lot. Never seen anything like it, there were some words exchanged outside and like a 30 on 30 war started right there man.
I remember a Volkswagen got flipped right over on its roof...people drinkin, fightin, fuckin right out in the open...crazy, crazy night! Slayer never stopped playin, the shirt sale booths got trampled, all the merch taken! Just insane!
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.