intervju sa Jeffom:
Metal's Slayer knocks 'em dead
By GEMMA TARLACH
Journal Sentinel pop music critic
Posted: Aug. 9, 2004
The fans of heavy metal can be as brutal as the music.
Slayer's Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King (from left), Dave Lombardo and Tom Araya were drenched with fake blood on cue during the making of their live DVD.
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FYI: Event details
Headbangers will discard a band the moment they perceive weakness, the same way dogs smell fear.
To make a career out of metal without charges of selling out (Metallica) or descending into self-parody (Ozzy Osbourne), you have to be relentless. You have to be uncompromising.
You pretty much have to be Slayer.
Emerging in the early '80s in the vanguard of speed metal, Slayer has kept its credibility intact by playing loud and fast and angry and dark.
The 1986 album "Reign in Blood" - which the band recently performed in its entirety for a live DVD to be released Sept. 28 - is one of metal's all-time classics. Slayer's main stage slot Saturday at Ozzfest 2004 at Alpine Valley Music Theatre, featuring the original lineup of founding guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King, bassist and singer Tom Araya and drummer Dave Lombardo, will be one of the evening's highlights for sheer brute force and intensity.
Slayer has survived hair metal, grunge, nu-metal and charges of corrupting youth. Much like the Great White (the shark, not the band - please), Slayer keeps doing what it was designed to do: swimming through the murky metal waters unceasing, unchanging, unthreatened - and scaring the hell out of people.
We caught up with Hanneman recently by phone to find what it's like to be in the world's most scarily intense band.
Q. Why film a live performance of "Reign in Blood" now, 18 years after it was released?
A. We've been thinking about doing this for a while, ever since Lombardo came back to the band. We were actually planning on putting out an album, but (longtime collaborator) Rick Rubin and his label are changing distributors, so we had to wait. We thought we could put this out and tour behind it.
Q. Why not just record the album now and release it once the new distributor was in place?
A. We didn't want something sitting on the shelf. We're the type of band that's really spontaneous. We might not be sounding the same in January.
Q. The "Reign in Blood" DVD ends with the band getting doused with blood - during the song "Raining Blood," of course. Yet in the post-show photo your publicist sent, you're the only Slayer dude curiously unbloodied. What's the matter, Jeff, did you chicken out?
A. (Laughs) I was having guitar problems all night, and I totally was out of it. I missed my mark. After the big dousing, everyone was covered but me. I was waiting for that moment all night!
Q. What, aside from not getting covered in fake blood, is hell for you?
A. Hell for me is an airport. They're so (expletive) boring. Especially in Europe. We go from one airport to another to another. You play for an hour and then go back to the airport.
Q. What do you fear?
A. Not much. Electricity. My dad was a carpenter when he was young, so when I was growing up, he was always building (expletive) and there would be exposed wires all over and I'd be running around and would get shocked. Gaack, I hate that! I hate that feeling of being attacked by something unseen.
Q. How is the vibe different for you at a big festival such as Ozzfest than when you go out on your own to tour?
A. It's not. (With festivals) we usually play in the daytime. Slayer in the daytime just doesn't work. It seems kind of, I don't know, kind of silly. Otherwise, Ozzfest is a big party. . . . It's kind of like a big picnic.
Q. In the new book "Hell Bent for Leather: Confessions of a Heavy Metal Addict," author Seb Hunter says this about the band: "Slayer couldn't do a ballad if you sprinkled their breakfast cereal with Ecstasy and sleeping pills and locked them in a room with just harps. . . . Not only are they sounding more brutal than ever these days, but they actually look ten times scarier than they used to." Your reaction?
A. Wow. (pause) That's pretty good. I don't know if we're more brutal. It's not something I ever think about. But he's right about the ballads. We couldn't write a ballad if you put a gun to our heads.
Q. Does playing "Dead Skin Mask" and "Angel of Death" over and over, night after night, ever get old for you? Be honest.
A. No . . . they're exciting, they're fast and fun to play, and you've got to think about what you're doing. . . . That's what we live for, the songs, the crowd reaction. The rest of what we do is just traveling.
Q. When will you hang up the guitar for good?
A. We've always been a band that doesn't plan that far ahead. I think we've got at least another seven years. I guess if one of us was in a wheelchair. Or if I got on stage and something went pop! I'd be, "OK, that's it." Or after all this headbanging, if one of us needed a hip replacement. Or a neck replacement.
Q. What is Slayer's legacy?
A. We really don't think about that stuff. I don't know. Maybe, um, we did a good combination of metal riffs with punk intensity.
Q. That's not a very scary answer.
A. I know. Sorry.
Q. Ozzy has his reality TV show, Metallica has its warts-and-all documentary. Does Slayer have any plans to let someone film the band up close and personal?
A. You know, I don't know. We haven't had anyone come up to us and offer. (pause) Everybody stays away from us, for some reason.
E-mail Gemma Tarlach at [email protected]