SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya spoke to Revolver magazine about the progress of the recording sessions for the band’s eleventh studio album, due later in the year.
“We’re in kind of the beginning stages of the finishing stages, if that makes any sense,” he said. “We’re doing the mixing and mastering now, but we still need to sit down and figure out the album title, the album cover, the song titles, and the song list. We’ve recorded 13 songs for it; we’ll probably put ten on there, but who knows? Maybe you’ll get lucky and we’ll put all 13 on there!”
SLAYER‘s follow up to 2009’s “World Painted Blood” is due out later this year, and Tom Araya has revealed it will included a song recorded before the late co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman‘s death. The CD will be released on Nuclear Blast through the band’s own label imprint, closing out a 28-year relationship with Rick Rubin and American Recordings. It will also be SLAYER‘s first album without the group’s co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who passed away in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver. He is credited for writing many of SLAYER‘s classic songs, including “Angel Of Death” and “South Of Heaven”.
“The whole process of this album started three years ago, when Jeff was still a part of it,” said Araya. “There is one track on there that we recorded with him, that he did play on, which was completely done except we hadn’t finalized the vocals for it. So we were fortunate to have something that he had participated in.”
According to Araya, it’s been “just odd and strange” making the new album without Hanneman “because he’s never gonna be there again, you know?” he said. “Even when we were doing stuff without him while he was still alive, that felt strange. Yeah, I missed him during the process. But the way things turned out, I think he was definitely a part of it, even if he wasn’t there physically.”
EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt, who filled in on tour for Hanneman during his illness and after his untimely death, was invited to record solos for many of the tracks. “Kerry asked Gary to come in, and he shredded some leads on quite a few songs,” Araya recalls. “He came down and damaged his wrist. I’m serious! Well, he didn’t damage it, but his wrist was pretty sore—that’s what he claimed,” he laughs. “Gary gave it all—and he was a man about it, too!”
Lyrically, Araya says the album will cover “the usual topics—conflict, confrontation, religion. It’s all about the social ills that dominate humankind. It’s a SLAYER record, you know what I mean?” he laughs. “It’s gonna be a really, really powerful record, so let everybody know!”