DAVID ELLEFSON On SLAYER Reuniting For Festival Appearances: 'Farewells Are Just A Temporary Goodbye'

May 20, 2024

In a new interview with Greg Prato of Ultimate Guitar, former MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson was asked for his opinion on the recent announcement that SLAYER was reuniting for three festival appearances this September and October. He said: "It's inevitable. Look, I don't know their reason for it, other than I can't sit still. I can't sit home and not go play. At some point, this is what you're on the planet to do."

He continued: "They're my friends, so I'm happy for any successes they have. If they're worn out and they want to quit, I'm happy for that, too. But if they're rested up now and getting ready to go play — go play.

"There's all this controversy around PANTERA [reforming with a new lineup and going back on the road], and as I found out with KINGS OF THRASH [Ellefson's project with ex-MEGADETH guitarist Jeff Young celebrating that band's early material], fans still want to hear these songs. Regardless of what you call it, people still want to go hear those songs. Farewells are just a temporary goodbye."

Back in June 2018, Ellefson was asked by Inquisitr about SLAYER's decision to call it quits after completing one final world tour. He said: "Look, groups retire for all kinds of different reasons. Either they've just lost interest, their heart just isn't into it anymore, maybe it's a health issue, for who knows what reasons. And I don't know why SLAYER's hanging it up; I've not talked to Tom [Araya, SLAYER bassist/vocalist] or Kerry [King, SLAYER guitarist] about it to know. It's great to see them have this big last hurrah of success. I'd like to think they're not gone forever, on some level, y'know what I mean? Many farewell tours have made for a hell of a reunion tour later."

He continued: "But they've also lost their dear friend Jeff Hanneman [late SLAYER guitarist], and he was a key writer for SLAYER. Me and Dave [Mustaine, MEGADETH leader] have been through that; past members have passed away. We've been through a lot of lineup changes and stuff, and when lineup changes happen, it's always kind of a shot in the dark whether you're going to be able to capture lightning twice and recreate the magic. Some of our lineups did and some of them didn't.

"Again, a lot of different reasons for doing it," he added. "Now we're making 50-year-olds' decisions, we're not making 20- and 30-year-olds' decisions, which are fight and kill at all cost when you're younger. When you get a little bit older, for all of us, we look back at the roller coaster ride we've been on; some days you go, 'Do I want to get back on that roller coaster again or not?' It's like skydiving. 'I've jumped a couple of times and I've survived. Do I want to really go do it again?' Sometimes you count your blessings; sometimes it's okay to leave Vegas and leave a little on the table."

Five years after SLAYER played the last concert of what was being billed as the band's farewell tour and just weeks after Kerry unveiled the details of his solo project, King and his longtime bandmates announced that they will play at the Aftershock, Riot Fest and Louder Than Life festivals.

When Kerry's solo project was first announced, King told Rolling Stone that he was almost positive he and Tom would never resurrect the band. "I can pretty much a hundred percent say no because I have a new outlet, and it's not SLAYER, but it sounds like SLAYER," King said of a potential SLAYER reunion.

The lineup for SLAYER's comeback will be the same as the one which last toured in 2019: Araya and King, along with guitarist Gary Holt (also of EXODUS) and longtime drummer Paul Bostaph.

Days after SLAYER's reunion was announced, Tom Araya's wife wrote on social media that she "harassed him for over a year" before he "agreed finally" to play more shows with the band. "We shared that news with SLAYER's awesome managers and they did the rest!" she explained. "So yes without Tom it wouldn't have happened.. without me BUGGING HIM it wouldn't have happened."

SLAYER played the final show of its farewell tour in November 2019 at the Forum in Los Angeles.

Find more on Slayer
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).