SLAYER's longtime manager Rick Sales spoke to MassLive.com about the band's decision to embark on its farewell tour.
The legendary thrash metal act's final run of dates began on May 10, 2018 with the band's intention to play as many places as possible, to make it easy for the fans to see one last SLAYER show and say goodbye. By the time the 18-month trek wraps on November 30, the band will have completed seven tour legs plus a series of one-off major summer festivals, performing more than 140 shows in 30 countries and 40 U.S. states.
"The band has always had a lot of integrity," Sales said, adding that "there are a couple things that go on. I totally get that they made a decision to stop touring. That doesn't mean the end of the band. It's just the end of touring. I always thought of it as, 'You go out on top.' They made that decision. They're not milking it. From that standpoint, I get it and they made the right choice."
Kristen Mulderig, who works with Rick Sales Entertainment Group, recently said that there will still be plenty of SLAYER-related activities even after the band stops performing live.
"We're in legacy mode," Mulderig told Pollstar, "which is a lot to do, even though they won't be making records or on the road. They still have their endorsers, there's still merch and branding to do — sync licenses and who knows? Maybe coming up with some sort of event that is SLAYER-based. This is all stuff we're thinking about and talking about. SLAYER lives on, absolutely."
SLAYER will conclude its final tour with a two-night stand at the Forum in Los Angeles.
Formed nearly four decades ago, the quartet has released 12 studio albums, selling millions of records worldwide without the hint of a hit single.
The two remaining original members of SLAYER are bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King.
Gary Holt has been the touring guitarist for SLAYER since January 2011 when original member Jeff Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, from a spider bite in his backyard. Hanneman died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER's classic songs, including "Angel Of Death" and "South Of Heaven".
Original drummer Dave Lombardo's most recent stint with SLAYER ended in 2013 when he made allegations about the way the group's financial bookkeeping was handled. He has since been replaced by Paul Bostaph, who was previously SLAYER's drummer from 1992 until 2001 and recorded four albums with the band.