Heavy music presenter Christina Rowatt of Soundwave TV conducted an interview with SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya earlier today (Saturday, February 23) at the Brisbane stop of this year’s Soundwave festival in Australia. You can now watch the chat below.
On the progress of the songwriting sessions for the band’s new album:
Tom: “They’re actually working on new stuff. And I’m hoping… well, now. We’re gonna continue working on stuff. [laughs] No comment! [laughs]”
On how the songwriting process in SLAYER works:
Tom: “Kerry [King, guitar] comes up with ideas, Jeff [Hanneman, guitar] comes up with ideas. They do a lot of home stuff. And then they’ll say, ‘Hey, there’s an idea. What do you think?’ And then we’ll listen to ’em, and if we like how it’s coming along, we keep ’em, and if we don’t,
On the health status of SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who is still recovering from necrotising fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease, which he is believed to have gotten from a spider bite:
Tom: “Jeff‘s just had a rough time coming back. That’s about it. I reach out to him all the time and tell him that everybody misses him. We miss him. I miss him as a bandmember, because he’s such a big focal point in the band. But we’re waiting for him to say, ‘OK, I’m ready.’ He’s actually working on material [for the next SLAYER album], so that’s something we’ve encouraged him to do. We said, ‘Listen, if you’re not gonna come out and perform, at least get your ideas together and we can work them out.'”
On SLAYER‘s current stand-in drummer Jon Dette:
Tom: “He actually played in the band [in the late 1990s] for, like, three years. It’s gonna be good. He’s matured and I’m sure he’s gotten much better on the drums. It’ll be exciting, and I think that’s just gonna pump everything up even more. I can tell you this: Jon‘s gonna have a lot of energy. He’s known to play very fast, and he’s gotten better at that.
On how they decided to hire Jon Dette to fill in for the Soundwave festival shows:
Tom: “It was just a name that we pulled out of our hat. [laughs] It was a huge fucking hat, and it had one name in it.”