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TOM ARAYA: SLAYER’s Lyrics Are ‘Just Words And They’ll Never Interfere With What I Believe’

Jenny Feniak of the Edmonton Sun recently conducted an interview with SLAYER frontman Tom Araya. A few excerpts from the interview follow:

On being «the most evil band in the world»:

«It’s all about the cool factor – that’s the main point. If something we find is really cool and gory and graphic, we’ll go with it.»

On being still at the top of its game 25 years after the band’s inception:

«Our vision of how we see the band has been the same; that’s never altered. We’ve never shied away from what we initially started this band as, but we have grown in all aspects of that.»

On the band’s early days:

«It sounded amazing, so I was in. It was easy as that. They [Kerry, Jeff and Dave] were into it; we knew the songs, you know. It’s kind of hard to find a group of guys that serious about that.

«We didn’t want to look like all the hair bands that were coming out at the time.

«We didn’t want to look like girls; we wanted to look like a bunch of guys putting on makeup like guys. That was a must.

«So we did everything completely opposite of that, which included the dark image, you know, that whole Satan vibe. And our first album being Side 6 Side 66, people were really freaking out over that.»

On possible issues between his Catholic faith and the band’s subject matter:

«Kerry‘s written some really far-out shit. If it’s a good song, I’m not one that’s going to go, ‘This sucks because it’s contrary to my beliefs.’ To me it’s more like, ‘This is really good stuff. You’re going to piss people off with this.’

«People have these heavy issues and ask, ‘Isn’t this a problem for you?’ and no. I’m well-rounded, I have a really strong belief system and these are just words and they’ll never interfere with what I believe and how I feel.

«People are not in good shape to where they have to question their own belief system because of a book or a story somebody wrote, or a SLAYER song.»

On the current metal scene:

«(Metal’s) like a serpent that comes up out of the water and you see all his ripples and his humps, and then he goes back down into the water to brood for a while and then he comes back up.

«I think right now it’s at its momentum. It’s above water and it’s cruising for awhile.

«Give it a couple years and it’ll go back down again and then it will become an underground thing, and then all the kids in the new generation will discover the bands that started it all, and then there’ll be reunions….»