Daniel Brockman of The Boston Phoenix recently conducted an interview with SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On SLAYER's career-long ability to incite hysteria:
Araya: "We have always just done things that we think are cool — everybody else tags us as 'controversial!' Everything we do, everything we write, everything we create, we do because it has a cool factor. We just want to be heavier and more intense than anything. One of us will come up with something, and it might make us go, 'Fuck!' — but inside we'll be thinking, 'That is so cool, people are going to shit!' "
On how SLAYER's developed its early sound:
Araya: "We started up as a band, and within a few years we got an offer to do a song for the 'Metal Massacre' series [a compilation series of unsigned metal bands put together by Metal Blade Records founder Brian Slagel that also included first recordings by METALLICA and RATT]. So we got the previous 'Metal Massacre' album, and decided to write a song better than what we heard. We knew we could do something better, we wanted to out-do the other guys. So we went ahead and did that."
On SLAYER's "outsider art form" becoming more mainstream:
Araya: "Nowadays, people who would never have been into metal can 'get' SLAYER, and honestly it's because of the 'wow' factor. I think people have adapted to that, they've realized it's cool. People don't have to buy into any kind of message; someone can just go 'Wow, this is really cool,' and no one's gonna think 'Oh, you're a devil worshipper' or 'Oh, you're a Nazi.' Now, they'll just think, 'Okay, he thinks that this is cool,' and that's about it. Music has gone through an evolution; metal has evolved and become part of the scene, and it's accepted. We've become part of the fabric of America."
Read the entire interview from The Boston Phoenix.