Former SOULFLY drummer Joe Nunez tried out for the vacant SLAYER drummer slot in early February as part of the Chicago round of auditions and reportedly passed the test with flying colors—so much so that SLAYER guitarist Kerry King referred to him as the band's “favorite [candidate] so far” during an interview conducted in Houston, Texas several days later. However, recent reports have indicated that Nunez has decided to remove himself from the short list of drummer for the gig and focus all his attention on STRIPPING THE PISTOL, the band that he joined on a full-time basis following his departure from SOULFLY.
When contacted by BLABBERMOUTH.NET and asked to explain his reasons for auditioning for SLAYER in the first place, Nunez explained that “as a kid I grew [into] a HUGE SLAYER fan and I remain a SLAYER fan to this day. I was fortunate to develop a friendship with [original and current SLAYER stand-in drummer] Dave [Lombardo] over the years and this friendship was the reason I was able to jam on [Dave's] own kit [during my SLAYER audition]. It was a dream of mine to jam with the guys in SLAYER and when the opportunity presented itself, I took it.
“Having played for two years with Max, Marcello and Mike in SOULFLY was a rewarding and wonderful time, [but] jamming with SLAYER was amazing!!!! However, the progression with STRIPPING THE PISTOL and vibe we are feeling made my decision to not pursue the SLAYER gig the right choice for me. While joining SLAYER would have been an honor, I feel the music we are creating in the PISTOL is where I need to be now.
“I would like to thank SLAYER and their management for this opportunity. Plus with Dave back in the band [at least temporarily], all of us SLAYER fans win.”
STRIPPING THE PISTOL are continuing to play locally in the Chicago area and are receiving impressive radio airplay with their track "Sunshine In the Rain". The group's next gig will take place on April 26th at the Metro in Chicago.
For more information on STRIPPING THE PISTOL, visit the band's official web site at this location