SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya recently spoke with Gary Graff of Billboard.com about the band's future following the passing of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman in May of this year. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.On not making definite plans to return to the studio until they finish their current tour: Araya: "We're at a point where we're obviously going to have to do a lot of communication and figure out where we want to go. There are decisions the two of us need to make as a group. Three weeks after [Hanneman] died, we were back on the road; a lot of stuff was put together in advance, so we're meeting our contractual obligations, in a sense. We've never really had an opportunity to really sit down and discuss what we're feeling and where we are and where we want to go. Jeff was a big part of the band; some people are just now realizing that, but I've always known it. So Kerry [King, guitar] and I have a lot of thinking to do, a lot of talking to do and we haven't been in a place to do that yet." On whether Hanneman's final songwriting ideas will be used for the next SLAYER album: Araya: "The new record idea was brought up a few years back. I had injured my back and wasn't able to make the recording sessions that they had with Jeff, Kerry and Dave [Lombardo, SLAYER's now ex-drummer] and started to putting ideas together for a new album. Now we're basically at a point where, 'What are we gonna do?' with that stuff. And we won't know until we talk." On playing without Hanneman: Araya: "When we started back out, it was hard for, like the first week of the tour. Everything was fine until we would drop the banner; I had a tough time maintaining control at first. I mean, even though he wasn't part of our live performances for the past two years, there was hope. There was always the possibility and chance he'll be coming back — there was never any doubt he was coming back from my perspective. So when we got the call [that Hanneman had died], it was, like, 'Holy shit! It's permanent now.' And still, every now and then I have to remind myself that he's not gonna be back. This is how it is. I have to remind myself that he's not alive anymore. That's hard." Read more at Billboard.com.
To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends). To report any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, please send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details.