Metal Maniacs magazine (web site) recently conducted an interview with SLAYER members Kerry King and Tom Araya. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metal Maniacs: Kerry, you're notorious for keeping up with many of thew new extreme bands…
Kerry: "I like to know more about who we should be touring with and stuff like that. I'm very selective. There's a lot of good bands, but there's a lot of bands that sound just like everybody else. I like the ones that are unique. Without sticking my foot in my mouth, my favorite new band is DEMIRICOUS (audio samples), and they sound just like us. I love those guys. They're making up their own tunes, and yeah, they sound like us, but they're good songs. I saw them play and they're outta control! It was great."
Tom: "Kerry was praising them so I listened to them and I was thinking, 'Can we sue somebody for plagiarism?' [Laughs] I even asked my manager that. I was like, 'Can we sue someone for sounding way too much like us?' They're way too… way too SLAYER. [Laughs] I even played it for someone and they said, 'If I didn't know any better and you were singing, this would be SLAYER.' I'm not too hip on that."
Metal Maniacs: But can that kind of worship be flattering in a way?
Tom: "To me, it's not. Flattery is when someone creates something but it's their own. When you fucking sound just like the band you love, that's not flattery… that's copyright infringement. [Laughs]
"Kerry really pays attention and is aware of the up-and-coming bands and he's on top of the [heavy] music scene. I like all music. Kerry's really into the metal. I'm not always on top of all that. I only hear what people send to me, you know? Sometimes I get discs and they just sit there. I don't even put 'em on unless someone says to me, 'You have to listen to this.' If it's really groundbreaking and new, and it's something you hear from various people, eventually you take the time and go, 'I need to listen to this; there's too much talk about it.' Unless it's something recommended by a number of people, I won't listen to it. I like music in general. I listen to all kinds of music, and that has a big influence, I think, in how I write lyrically and what I like musically."
Metal Maniacs: Do you think you'll ever play another record in its entirety live like the band did with "Reign in Blood"? "South of Heaven" perhaps?
Tom: "It's becoming a trendy thing now. I don't know. We have some really cool albums, but I don't think we'll ever do that again."
Kerry: "Probably not. And I just don't like enough songs off 'South of Heaven'."
Metal Maniacs: Really? That's interesting.
Kerry: "I hate 'Cleanse the Soul'. That's one of the black marks in our history, in my book. I just fucking think it's horrible. [Laughs] I hate the opening riff. It's what we call a 'happy riff.' It's just like 'la-lala-la-la-la.' I can't see myself playing it, but after that, where it gets heavier, I like that section. If we ever did a medley, I'd put part of that in there. Like 'Reign in Blood' is short — 10 songs in 30 minutes — it desn't take up much of your set. I would consider 'Seasons in the Abyss', but that's a little longer, so you're alienating anybody that may hate that record. 'Seasons' is 40 minutes long. You'd have to cut out two other songs [from the set] and people might be like, 'Damn, I wish they would've played that. But now that we did 'Reign', so many people are doing the same thing we did. I heard DIO did one ['Holy Diver']."
Metal Maniacs: ANTHRAX is doing "Among the Living" on a few dates this summer.
Kerry: "Yeah, I heard about ANTHRAX. METALLICA did 'Master of Puppets'. I'm like, 'C'mon, man, can't you guys get some original fucking ideas?' [Laughs]"