SLAYER's manager Rick Sales has released a statement clarifying reports that the band was seeking a new label home and was no longer working with American Recordings, the label headed up by SLAYER's longtime supporter and one-time producer Rick Rubin.
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King has stated in several recent interviews that the band was currently without a label and was in process of negotiating a new record deal. Furthermore, SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya added fuel to speculation that the group was planning on leaving American for good when he revealed in an interview with Fuse that he recently tried reaching out to Rubin but has not yet heard back from him.
Sales' statement regarding SLAYER's label situation reads as follows:
"With Jeff's [Hanneman, SLAYER's founding guitarist] tragic passing and SLAYER's eventual hectic touring schedule over the past several months, there has been a bit of mutual 'holding off' on jumping into any new long-term recording commitment, but we would like to clarify the comments that Tom and Kerry made in the Fuse interview.
"It is true that SLAYER is currently out of contract, as they delivered their final required album to American Recordings some time ago. Rick Rubin began a new distribution agreement with Universal last year and American/Universal absolutely has made a significant proposal to re-sign the band.
"Both parties had been in substantial negotiation over that proposal at the time of Jeff's passing; and in fairness to everyone, a little space has been given on all sides in terms of closing any new deal.
"We are excited about the possibility of re-signing with Rick Rubin's venture, and are also considering several other options that have been presented since the previous long-term contract with American expired.
"The band has been taking much-needed time to regroup and consider their various options for the future, and looks forward to a new beginning, wherever that may be."
SLAYER is tentatively scheduled to enter the studio in early 2014 to begin recording its new album. Joining King and Araya during the sessions will be returning drummer Paul Bostaph, who replaced Dave Lombardo earlier in the year, and guitarist Gary Holt (also of EXODUS),who has been filling in for Hanneman on tour for the past three years.