SLAYER’s TOM ARAYA Recalls What Made Him And JEFF HANNEMAN Quit C*caine

Jeff Hanneman Tom Araya

In an interview with Metal Hammer, SLAYER frontman Tom Araya looked back on the band’s early days, quitting drugs, and more.

When the interview noted that “You’ve admitted that you and [guitarist] Jeff Hanneman were both rather fond of cocaine in the band’s early days,” Tom said: “Yeah, we used to do that stuff all the time. We stopped it when we were doing South of Heaven [1988], or in that timeframe anyway. It was pretty stupid… it was real stupid.

“We just looked at each other one day and we were like, [exhausted voice] ‘We can’t be doing that sh*t anymore!’, so me and him made a pact that we’d quit.”

Tom also addressed a picture of the band with a line of white powder in the inner sleeve of the [1985’s] Hell Awaits album: “That’s salt! A big line of salt. That picture was taken in Canada. A lot of stuff we did for a joke. Especially stuff like that, where people would see the picture and go, ‘Oh my God! Oh no! That’s real!’ [Laughs]

“I remember the first time we played in Europe. Our last show on that first tour was supposed to be held at a place near Rotterdam, somewhere in Holland. That show had got moved three times though, so we figured that no one was going to show up.

He continued: “When we drove up to the place, the venue we were playing at was just a little hall — it was some kind of community hall for I don’t know what. I remember looking at that place and thinking, ‘You know what? Nobody’s gonna find this place.’ So we got ripped!

“We got so f*ckin’ wasted thinking, ‘Hey, they won’t show, let’s get f*cked up. After all, it took us forever to get here, no one else is gonna come…’ But in the end, the place was packed. Packed! We were so f*cked up that day…

“Somehow the gig actually turned out OK, but we looked at each other right after the show and said, ‘We’re never gonna do that again. No more f*ckin’ off, or getting f*cked up, before a performance,'” he added. “Afterwards we were like, ‘That was so stupid — what were we doing?’ I suppose we were smart enough to think about what we’d done, at least, and change our ways.”

You can read full interview at Metal Hammer.

SLAYER played its final show of their farewell tour last November at the Forum in Los Angeles. One day later, Kerry‘s wife, Ayesha, said that there is “not a chance in hell” that the thrash metal icons will reunite for more shows.

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