“Without me begging him, it wouldn’t have happened”: Wife of Slayer’s Tom Araya says she “harassed” him for over a year to reunite the band

Tom Araya onstage in 2019
(Image credit: Wagner Meier/Getty Images)

The wife of Slayer bassist/vocalist Tom Araya has said that the thrash metal band’s recent reunion “wouldn’t have happened” without her begging him to rejoin them.

The Los Angeles, California, four-piece previously retired in 2019, following an extensive worldwide farewell tour.

However, on February 21, the lineup of Araya, guitarists Kerry King and Gary Holt, and drummer Paul Bostaph announced their comeback for two US festival dates in September.

The reunited band will perform at Riot Fest in Chicago on September 22 and Louder Than Life in Kentucky on September 27.

Sandra Araya, wife of Tom, posted on social media Friday (February 24) that she “harassed” her husband for upwards of a year to get the band back together.

“Let’s clarify for the trolls,” she started (per The PRP).

“Tom was done with playing. I have harassed him for over a year. He agreed FINALLY. We shared that news with Slayer‘s awesome managers and they did the rest!

“So yes without Tom it wouldn’t have happened.. without me BUGGING HIM it wouldn’t have happened. But go ahead with your drama! I however will be enjoying a few shows and I’m thankful he loves me and the fans enough to do this.”

It has previously been speculated that Tom Araya’s dissatisfaction with the touring lifestyle led to Slayer’s 2019 retirement.

Former drummer Dave Lombardo told Let There Be Talk in 2019: “Tom has been wanting to retire [since] when I was in the band – he wanted to stop” (per Metal Injection).

“He had the neck issues [Araya underwent neck surgery following damage caused by years of headbanging in 2010]. He’s been wanting to retire for a long time now. So now that he’s got it, I’m happy for him, and I hope he gets what he wants out of life and his future.”

Another wife of a Slayer member, Lisa Holt, has also spoken out on social media about the reunion.

Defending the band against online trolls who accused Slayer of reuniting for monetary reasons or lying with their “farewell” shows, she wrote: “Yes, it’s true..and an exciting adventure for the band and fans !”

She continued: “To all the people saying ‘they are liars’ ‘they must have ran out of money’ ‘its not Slayer without so and so’ ..I have an idea for you all…DON’T GO.. and for all the people who did go to the final tour dates and enjoyed it…awesome!!

“This isn’t a ‘TOUR’ it’s some dates..and GREAT NEWS!!! And everyone that thinks they know all the inside info..you can’t possibly know. so just enjoy the fact that this amazing band will play some amazing shows this year…go or don’t..nobody cares!!!!!”

Slayer have not revealed any touring plans beyond the two September dates at time of publication, nor have they released or announced any new music.

Guitarist King will release his debut solo album, From Hell I Rise, via Reigning Phoenix Music on May 17.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.