guitarist Kerry King
recently voiced his opinion regarding the band's stance on continuing without late guitarist Jeff Hanneman
As King told LA Weekly
, the decision to carry on with the pre-scheduled touring itinerary was definitely a difficult one, but in many ways necessary.
"It's always a heavy decision to move forward with touring plans when something tragic happens,"
he explained. "At the end of the day, this is my job. I have to earn money for myself, my bandmates, and my crew."
When it comes to Hanneman's legacy, Kerry stressed that people remembering Jeff at the height of his musical prowess is of utmost importance. "There's been musicians historically that passed on and had a lot of stuff put out that was unreleased during their lives,"
he said. "But most of it was unreleased for a reason. I don't want the last thing for people to hear from Jeff be mediocre."
Singer/bassist Tom Araya
chipped in, describing his emotions during the band's latest tour. "I spent most of my time trying to compose myself to sing those songs,"
he said. "One year prior, I had always had hope that Jeff would come back and play. When we did that tour after his death, it was different because Jeff was never going to be a part of it again."
Finally, King remembered this year's Revolver Golden Gods
award ceremony and the speech he held the same day Jeff passed away. "I figured if I went, I might be able to relive some Jeff moments with all of the fans that have given us love and with friends like Zakk Wylde,"
he explained. "I went on-stage and just talked unconsciously. I was just kind of numb. It was a sad day, but I went out there and tried to give him a sendoff for the fans that he would have wanted."
In recent Slayer news, drummer Paul Bostaph pointed out
that continuing without Hanneman is the only proper way to pay respect to the late guitarist, while Tom Araya noted that the band's new effort has to be "extraordinary."