Slayer set out to make rivals 'look bad'

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Tom Araya says Slayer still give it their all to outdo whatever band they happen to be sharing a bill with.

The frontman says that even after 33 years in the music business, Slayer remain motivated to always be the best band on any given night – and insists they’ve never been beaten yet.

Araya tells the All Purpose Show: “It doesn’t really matter who we play with – we’re gonna make you look bad. And that’s with anybody, that’s the attitude to have. And that makes for a great show because then everybody goes and fucking puts on 100% just to make the other guy look bad.”

Asked if fellow veterans such as Suicidal Tendencies have ever got the better of them live, Araya says: “Never, never, never.”

However, pushing themselves to the limit occasionally leads to mistakes – not that the fans would ever notice.

Araya adds: “We’ve had some major fuck-ups, but you know what, you play it off like it never happened. We could be in and out of a song and finish the song early because we don’t know how to fix it, and no-one would have a clue. They go, ‘Hey, you played that song different,’ and we go, ‘Yeah, we did.’”

Slayer guitarist Kerry King said last month that the band’s upcoming 11th album is almost complete. Araya adds that he likes what he’s hearing from the new material so far.

He says: “You hear stuff and you’re like, ‘Oh, that sounds okay.’ But when it starts coming together in the studio, that’s when you think, ‘Okay, this is great. This is gonna be a great song.’”

Meanwhile, Corrosion Of Conformity drummer Reed Mullin has recalled how Slayer got the band their first record deal. It came about after COC supported Slayer on the tour for their 1984 EP Haunting The Chapel.

Mullin tells AntiMusic: “Slayer got us our first record deal. We had known them from playing out in LA, and when they went on their first US tour, they played Baltimore, and they asked us to play. It was a great show. They knew we had put out our first album ourselves, and they mentioned getting us signed.

“We thought they were just being nice. Tom and Dave Lombardo said they were going to get us on Metal Blade. I gave those guys my parents’ business scoop; my dad had a fax machine.

“Sure enough, that Monday morning, there was a contract for Metal Blade Records.”