Recently, Slayer’s founding singer/bassist sat down for an interview with Steppin’ Out Magazine to discuss a multitude of topics. Perhaps the most prominent topic brought up is what the future will hold for Slayer now that their founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman has passed away.
During his sideline rehabilitation, the remainder of the band continued on with the thought and foresight that Hanneman would always recuperate and return to the fold, which ultimately would not happen when he succumbed to liver failure on 2nd May this year.
Currently, Slayer is touring and fulfilling a series of tour dates, which Araya stated were set up and scheduled prior to Hanneman’s passing. Gary Holt of Exodus now holds down Hanneman’s vacant spot, and Lombardo has been replaced with his former replacement Paul Bostaph (in a strange series of musical chairs). However, during this interview Araya stated that a long overdue conversation between himself and Kerry King will most likely take place at the end of their current tour to plan out what the ultimate future of Slayer will be.
“There hasn’t been a lot of time for me and Kerry to talk,” explains Araya. “We’ve been on the road, but we haven’t really sat down and talked about it. Jeff and I collaborated a lot, and he offered me the opportunity to write or to collaborate with him. Like I said, there are things we have to discuss to either move forward or just to figure something out.”
During the band’s current shows, encores feature a backdrop designed as a tribute to Hanneman; with his name mimicking that of the Heineken logo. Araya confessed that this “…didn’t make it any easier at all. The first week or so, I had a tough time trying to sing without losing it.” In the end though, Araya let on that he continues to soldier on for Hanneman and Slayer fan when he says “I’m better now but it’s different. But still, even though I feel the way I feel, I give more than 100 percent. The show is great.”
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