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  • Slayer Stories from Pantera, Slash, Slipknot, Korn, Rob Zombie, Johnny Knoxville, Deftones, Gojira, and more

    Thu, 12 Sep 2013 07:44:49

    Slayer Stories from Pantera, Slash, Slipknot, Korn, Rob Zombie, Johnny Knoxville, Deftones, Gojira, and more - By ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino...

    Slayer Photos

    • Slayer - BOLOGNA, ITALY - JUNE 16: Kerry King leads the Slayer in concert at Estragon on June 16, 2014 in Bologna, Italy.
    • Slayer - BOLOGNA, ITALY - JUNE 16: Kerry King leads the Slayer in concert at Estragon on June 16, 2014 in Bologna, Italy.
    • Slayer - BOLOGNA, ITALY - JUNE 16: Tom Araya leads the Slayer in concert at Estragon on June 16, 2014 in Bologna, Italy.

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    Slayer Videos

    • Slayer - Hell Awaits
    • Slayer - Angel Of Death

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    Metal just wouldn't be what it is without Slayer.

    Scratch that, music wouldn't be what it is without Slayer. That even extends to pop culture. Slayer's impact is so powerful that it's impossible to imagine a world without them. They're one of the most important bands—ever. Everybody loves Slayer whether it's the white collar dude in a suit blaring Reign in Blood when his wife and kids aren't in the car, you're every day average metal head, those kids that play Dungeons & Dragons, Deadmau5 wearing a Slayer shirt to some awards show, or even hipsters who think Thom Yorke is Jesus [they even pay respects at the "Altar of Sacrifice"], you know a Slayer fan. You also know somebody who's a Slayer fan and you wouldn't expect it. They're just fucking Slayer, man…

    Given the band's immense importance, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino spoke to everyone from Slash, Philip H. Anselmo of Pantera and Down, and Rob Zombie to Jonathan Davis of Korn and Corey Taylor of Stone Sour and Slipknot to Joseph Duplantier of Gojira and Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch about Slayer's influence upon them.

    See what these musicians have to say below, catch Slayer on tour, and have a drink in honor of Jeff Hanneman today.

    What was your first memory of Slayer and what do they mean to you?

    Slash

    Slash: The first time I heard Slayer was either while I was in high school or right after. I remember there was this whole craze about Slayer going on at the time. It was this underground kind of thing—like a few kids were really into them. I was blown away at hearing Slayer for the first time because I had never heard anything like them though. It was so unabashedly in-your-face, quick, and fast. It was pretty unbelievable.

    Philip Anselmo of Down and Pantera

    Philip Anselmo: The first time I heard Slayer was on a compilation. It was probably one of the Metal Massacre records that Metal Blade used to put out, and the song was "Aggressive Perfector". My God, Slayer was definitely the most extreme band on that particular album. At the time, I didn't know quite what to make of it though. When Show No Mercy came out, it was good, and the songs were epic like "Black Magic", "Antichrist", and whatnot. Still, I didn't know what to make of it because, at the time, heavy metal production was going through so many changes. All of that went that by the wayside, when I heard the Haunting the Chapel EP and, of course, Hell Awaits converted me.

    Rob Zombie

    Rob Zombie: I don't necessarily remember the first time I heard them; I remember the first time I saw them though. It was back in the '80s some time that I heard them. The first time I actually saw them was when they played New York City on the South of Heaven tour. I thought it was amazing! It was such chaos. The crowd and everything was chaos. Danzig was the opening act. It was like Danzig's first show, and it was just a crazy night. I always love Slayer when I see them, and I've seen them about a zillion times. They're good guys. Kerry King is a good friend. When we did OZZfest '99 he would come on stage and play "Thunderkiss '65" with us ever single night. It was so fun!

    Jonathan "J Devil" Davis of Korn & KILLBOT

    Jonathan Davis: It was Hell Awaits. I loved the dark vibe of that. Slayer is one of those bands that are iconic and legends to me. They've been around so long. They do their own thing, and they're still here rocking. They're a band that I have mad respect for.

    Corey Taylor of Stone Sour & Slipknot

    Corey Taylor: Well, I remember being at Josh Rand's house [Stone Sour guitarist]. We've known each other since we were little dudes. I was crashing on his floor because I'd gotten kicked out, and he got the vinyl for Slayer's Hell Awaits. We're listening to it, and he goes, "Check this out!" You know the beginning of Hell Awaits where it's got the backwards message? We played that backwards, and the song started repeating, "Join us, Join us, Join us, Join us…" I thought, "Oh, my God." The hair on my arm stood up just thinking about it. I had to walk to the store to get cigarettes at two in the morning, and all I heard was, "Join us, Join us, Join us, Join us…" [Laughs] I was creeped out of my brain, man!

    Chino Moreno of Deftones, Crosses, & Palms

    Chino Moreno: I ended up listening to Slayer later on in life. I actually was into other metal music before that like Samhain and the early Danzig records. Everybody was quoting Slayer as an influence, so I went back and listened to them. It's cool because I got the older Slayer records like Hell Awaits, Show No Mercy, and stuff like that. I didn't get it right away. I did like rough-sounding music like punk at the time. Once I listened to Reign in Blood and Seasons in the Abyss, technically, they were just awesome. It's dark. I've always been attracted to dark movies and music, so I definitely loved it.

    Joe Duplantier of Gojira

    Joe Duplantier: I remember listening to South of Heaven in the bus on my way to school. I was inspired somehow listening to their old material. I have a lot of respect for them. We played with them this summer, and they've still got it.

    Ivan Moody of Five Finger Death Punch

    Ivan Moody: My older brother was the Slayer fan. South of Heaven was the first of their albums that I'd ever had. My brother had Hell Awaits, Reign in Blood, and all of those albums years before I got into them. I didn't jump right in with both feet; I grew up learning Slayer is a better way to say it. Pantera was really my first since I was younger than my brother.

    Matt Heafy of Trivium:

    Matt Heafy: I was in the back of our old drummer Travis's car. It was like a 1980s Dynasty town car. He'd taken out the backseat so he could put his drums in there. It was like hot molded plastic. I'd sit back there and he'd take me home from school because he was three years older than me. The first Slayer song I ever heard was "Killing Fields" off of Divine Intervention. I still remember the way it sounded. From then on, I started getting into extreme music. Slayer influenced black and death metal and a lot of extreme metal. I was really into black metal, and I saw that it came from Slayer. I got into Slayer and then I got into black metal after that.

    Max Cavalera of Soulfly and Sepultura

    Max Cavalera: I first heard Slayer on Haunting the Chapel. It was the EP that came out after Show No Mercy. We put it on, and we didn't know that it had to be played at 75rpm. We put it on 33rpm so it was Slayer. It sounded like Venom. We thought it sounded great [Laughs]. We were like, "This is like Venom!" My friend looked at the back of the album and said, "You guys are playing this wrong! You have to play it at 75rpm." We sped up the machine and couldn't believe how fast it was. I said, "Hold on, man, how fast are these guys playing?" We thought it was cool when it was slow. When we went to the fast speed, it blew everyone away. "Chemical Warfare"—what the fuck? It's unbelievable. Their precision is incredible. They're good players. It's not just fast. It's well-done and precise with killer fucking riffs and intricate parts. "Chemical Warfare" is a fucking epic explosive song.

    Alexi Laiho of Children of Bodom

    Alexi Laiho: I guess I first heard Slayer when I was like ten or eleven. The first thing that came to my head was, "Alright these guys have to be crazy for real—like mental patients and evil ones too," which of course I found very appealing. It's Slayer, what are you going to do, right? It's awesome. I think it was Seasons in the Abyss.

    J-Dog of Hollywood Undead

    J-Dog: The first time I heard Slayer was in a skate video that I saw when I was a kid. It was like some old-ass video [Laughs]. The song was "South of Heaven," and I was like, "Oh, what the fuck is this?" That guitar riff is incredible. It was one of the craziest riffs that I'd ever heard. I got that song, and I started listening to them. The last time that they played The Long Beach Arena or wherever the fuck it was, I had tickets and backstage passes. I was supposed to see them, but we had to record until like one in the morning. We were on a deadline so I actually missed the show, and I was pretty pissed off about it. It was all because of Charlie Scene too. He showed up late, that lazy fuck.

    Mike Hranica of The Devil Wears Prada

    Mike Hranica: Like so many, Slayer has been a definitive metal band for me. I remember "Reign In Blood" being one of my first guitar riffs learned, headbangin' and driving around in my friends' car, and the general unity Slayer brought to the community of heavy-music-listeners. They're an incomparable band that has continuously pushed the envelope, raised eyebrows, and set an unachievable standard for traditional metal and thrash. Coming from a newer, younger generation: I also have to mention that not only have I been directly inspired by Slayer, but also the undoubtable impact they have had on my favorite musicians (whom in turn further influence me). There aren't many bands that are creative enough to have an unmoving style passed from one generation to the next, but Slayer, by all means, is one of those bands.

    Ashley Purdy of Black Veil Brides

    Ashley Purdy: Dude, when I first went into High School from Jr. High, teachers would call me the "Kill your mother, Rape your sister kid" because I wore Slayer t-shirts to school every day! "South of Heaven"!

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt of Hesher, Inception, The Dark Knight Rises

    Joseph Gordon-Levitt: I listened to some Slayer for Hesher, but I didn't listen to them as much when I was younger. Slayer's cool!

    Hyro Da Hero

    Hyro Da Hero: The first time I heard Slayer, I thought, "Those motherfuckers are evil!" [Laughs] It was the most genuine heavy metal that I'd ever heard. They're fast, tough, and there's an undeniable groove. The best memory I have of Slayer is seeing them on "The Big 4" out where they have Coachella. The sun was going down, and it was the perfect time to see them. They tore through an amazing set that hit me hard. I love Slayer. Then, I got to hang out with the homie Kerry King at The Revolver Golden God Awards a couple years back. He did "Fight for Your Right" with The Beastie Boys. He needs to holla at me for a track now!

    J.D. Cronise of The Sword

    J.D. Cronise: The first time I heard Slayer was probably on MTV Headbangers Ball. I saw the video for "Seasons in the Abyss" in the early '90s. The video is awesome. The part where it kicks in and they're in the desert with the horsemen riding by is just sick. That's one of my earliest metal video memories. I always remember thinking that was one of the coolest videos. When I was 14- or 15-years-old, I bought more alternative rock and grunge records. I was into Jane's Addiction and Nirvana. I always liked heavy metal though. Sepultura was one of the more extreme bands I started listening to.

    Mike Portnoy of Winery Dogs

    Mike Portnoy: I've been listening to Slayer since Hell Awaits came out in 1985. My first thought upon dropping the needle on that record was that I was going to Hell...it was the most evil thing I had ever heard! They were musical equivalent of The Exorcist! Then of course with the release of the ultimate Metal Hat Trick of Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss, they cemented their legendary status as the kings of thrash/speed metal...and nobody has topped them since!

    Shaun Morgan of Seether

    Shaun Morgan: In South Africa, we didn't get much Slayer. I've only heard their music since I've been in The States. I've met a couple of the guys, and I do appreciate what they do. The Reign In Blood stuff and the Still Reigning DVD are incredible. They're just a phenomenal force to be reckoned with. I found myself at the NAMM convention one time standing within a couple feet of Kerry King, and the energy coming off of him was palpable. I have much respect for them. I know the first time I heard them was "Raining Blood", and we were doing a video with Dean Karr. He directed their DVD. This is why I remember the moment as well [Laughs]. He told us a story that while they were there playing Reign in Blood in Brazil, somebody came running up to the barricade and flung a head over it, which landed on the stage while "Raining Blood" is playing and all of this blood is literally raining down on the band [Laughs]. Dean Karr is kind of dark guy, but the fact that he was blown away by that was quite interesting. That's pretty much the craziest thing I've ever heard about.

    Cliff Meyer of ISIS & Palms

    Cliff Meyer: I was working as a dishwasher when I was like 14- or 15-years-old. Somebody played them. I think it was when South of Heaven came out or maybe Reign In Blood. Being downstairs in this shithole washing dishes, it gets you through the night.

    Destructo

    Destructo: That's an interesting question. I just heard Slayer all of the time throughout the years working with Rick Rubin. I was more like the techno guy, so Slayer was kind of off limits to the techno guy [Laughs]. I love them, but I don't think anyone in there thought that I would be associated with that. Rick always thought people who liked Slayer were going to like mental techno. We did the Tattoo the Earth tour with Slipknot and Slayer. We recorded that live record for the tour too. What can you say? It's fucking Slayer [Laughs]. I can't remember the first time I heard their music. I was just like, "What the hell is this? This is next level shit for sure!" It's more than one instance. It's deep.

    Phil Labonte of All That Remains

    Phil Labonte: So Slayer is Slayer. If you're in a metal band, chances are pretty good that you'll have a "Slayer influenced me in this way" story. For me, it was “War Ensemble.” That song was the perfect thrash song when I was 16 or 17. I saw Slayer for the first time on the Clash of the Titans tour—Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Alice In Chains opened. Anyway, when they played "War Ensemble" I remember the lawn just being torn up and thrown around over the pit. It was the pinnacle of heavy thrash to me—Amazing.

    Bill Gaal of In for the Kill, ex-Nothingface

    Bill Gaal: I discovered Slayer really late! It was on Seasons in the Abyss. I thought, "This is pretty cool! I dig this." Someone was like, "If you like that, check out Reign In Blood." They put that on, and I just said, "Holy shit! This is awesome!" I became a big Slayer fan at that point. I worked my way back from Seasons in the Abyss. It was cool to see them play every night on Tattoo the Earth. I met them briefly on that tour.

    Johnny Knoxville of Jackass:

    Johnny Knoxville: We love Slayer!

    Bam Margera of Jackass:

    Bam Margera: That goes without saying.

    Moose of Bullet for My Valentine

    Moose:I first heard them when I was 14-years-old, and I first heard Seasons in The Abyss. I was taken back as it was so evil sounding and couldn’t believe how powerful it sounded. The drumming, Tom's voice, and the guitar riffs—since that point I was a fan. To me they are the ultimate thrash metal band ever fuck yeah—Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer, Slayer.

    Rick Florino
    09.12.13


    When did you first hear Slayer and what do they mean to you?



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