SLAYER is featured in the new heavy metal series "Noisey Shreds", where Noisey's resident metalhead Kim Kelly travels the globe to interview and hang out with some of the multi-platform music channel's favorite bands.
For the debut "Noisey Shreds" episode, Kelly headed to San Diego, California last July to hang out with SLAYER. First, she caught up with them at Comic-Con, where they debuted a new comic book through Dark Horse Comics, and then she headed over to catch SLAYER's special one-off show at the House Of Blues — a venue much smaller than the thrash metal icons are used to playing these days — where thing get pretty messy.
Seeing as the interview was conducted less than four months prior to the presidential election, the topic of politics came up, with drummer Paul Bostaph saying: "Donald Trump's the biggest joke I've ever seen in my life. Everybody, like, clapping for some of the stuff he says? I'm, like, this is the scariest shit I've ever seen as an American — in my lifetime."
Added vocalist/bassist Tom Araya: "We were talking about the constitution, and they literally wrote in there that, 'Hey, listen, if things aren't going the way you think they should, trash this. Get rid of your government, write a whole new one, because it's time for a change.'"
Asked if they thought a revolution could ever take place in America, Araya said: "If they keep trying to disarm America, it'll never happen. [The government] shouldn't be the only entity [that has all the weapons], because we're defenseless."
Added Bostaph: "That's why, in the Bill Of Rights, you have the right to bear arms. It's up to people to govern yourself. You have to use common sense. And no government, nobody else can tell you that — you have to figure it out for yourself."
SLAYER guitarist Kerry King also shared his views on gun ownership, admitting: "I don't know [how I feel about it]. It probably depends what day of the week it is, and what kind of propaganda I'm paying attention to. At the end of the day, if you take guns away from everybody, only criminals will have guns. Is that better? I don't know. You know what I know is a problem? Police departments trying to be militant states. You can't have all these policemen shooting all these poor African-American people and nobody doing time or anything for it. They're gonna retaliate. I would."
But King was quick to add: "I wanna clear the air and say I've got nothing against the police force — I think they're heroes — but, Jesus Christ, something's gotta change."
A controversy arose last month when a photoshopped picture of Donald Trump and the members of SLAYER appeared on their Instagram account. Araya posted the image and later criticized fans who objected to the photo, saying that he "thought it was funny" and that anyone who disagrees should keep quiet.
The same image first appeared on the official SLAYER Instagram account on inauguration day, but was mysteriously removed before being reposted a few days later.
A SLAYER band representative told Rolling Stone that Tom took it upon himself to post the photo and stressed that the image was "not something the band would have posted if asked," insisting that such a picture "does not belong on a SLAYER social page." The representative added: "We all have our personal opinions, some of which we have voiced in the past, but SLAYER has never endorsed any political party or any candidate, and the band intends to keep it that way." SLAYER guitarist Kerry King also chimed in via his wife's Instagram account, saying that "my opinion is that our war of words should be with people who don't believe what SLAYER is about. NOT with our own fan base."