TOM ARAYA: 'Repentless' Album Is 'Really Good For Half Of SLAYER'

September 16, 2015

Germany's Rock Hard magazine recently conducted an interview with SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. You can now watch the chat in six parts below.

Asked what he thought when he first heard the final version of SLAYER's eleventh studio album "Repentless" — the band's first without both founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman and drummer Dave LombardoAraya responded: "When I heard it… After I heard the whole thing, 'My God, this is SLAYER.' It's SLAYER. When someone [asks], 'How do you feel about the record?' I say, 'It's SLAYER. Well, half of SLAYER, but it still sounds like SLAYER.' It sounds like a SLAYER record. When you listen to it, you go, 'This is SLAYER.' But then you have to sit back and [go], 'Well, part of SLAYER… It's half of SLAYER.' You know what I mean? Because of what we've gone through. I listen to it and… Inside, yeah, I feel like, 'Okay, well this is…' Because of my perspective, it's half of SLAYER. But when I listen to it, it's SLAYER; it's identifiable."

He continued: "I think it's really good for half of SLAYER. That's what I'm saying. When you listen to it, [you go], 'Oh my God, this is SLAYER.' I said that without the thought that it's just me and [guitarist] Kerry [King from the original lineup]. I said it with, 'Oh my God. this is SLAYER.' 'Cause I'm a fan. You know what I mean? And my concern is, 'What are people gonna think?' 'What am I gonna think?' And so when I heard it, I was, like, 'Oh my God, this is SLAYER.' But deep inside, I know… I know that Jeff's not here, and that we were lucky enough to have a song of his on the record. So that, to me, was… 'Oh my God, this is SLAYER.' But inside I correct myself. I go, 'Well, half of SLAYER, but this is SLAYER.' As a fan, I can sit back and go, 'My God…' And it sounded awesome."

Hanneman contracted necrotizing fasciitis, also known as flesh-eating disease, in January 2011 from a spider bite in his backyard. The infection ravaged the flesh and tissues of Hanneman's arm, leading to numerous surgeries, skin grafts and intense periods of rehab that forced him into semi-retirement and left him near death at several points.

Hanneman eventually 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".

Lombardo was effectively fired from SLAYER after sitting out the band's Australian tour in February/March 2013 due to a contract dispute with the other members of the group. 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.

"Repentless" was released on September 11 via Nuclear Blast. The follow-up to 2009's critically acclaimed, Grammy-nominated "World Painted Blood" was produced by Terry Date, who has previously worked with PANTERA, DEFTONES and SOUNDGARDEN.

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