Thrash behemoths Slayer announced an end of their three-decade relationship with producer Rick Rubin, confirming they are label-free at the moment. Discussing the new album with Fuse, guitarist Kerry King said: "The funny thing is, we're not even signed to a record label right now. If we were on American, I'm sure Rick Rubin would be in the mix." Singer Tom Araya chipped in, "I asked our manager to reach out to him, but with no response or reply. Yeah, so that's kinda sad." King added, "Hopefully by the end of December we'll be signed with somebody and hopefully in January we'll be able to get in and start recording." Slayer management was quick to react, issuing an official statement to confirm that the band might return to American after all. "With Jeff's tragic passing and Slayer's eventual hectic touring schedule over the past several months, there has been a bit of mutual 'holding off' on jumping into any new long term recording commitment, but we would like to clarify the comments that Tom and Kerry made in the Fuse interview," the statement reads. "It is true that Slayer is currently out of contract, as they delivered their final required album to American Recordings some time ago. Rick Rubin began a new distribution agreement with Universal last year and American/Universal absolutely has made a significant proposal to re-sign the band. Both parties had been in substantial negotiation over that proposal at the time of Jeff's passing; and in fairness to everyone, a little space has been given on all sides in terms of closing any new deal. "We are excited about the possibility of re-signing with Rick Rubin's venture, and are also considering several other options that have been presented since the previous long term contract with American expired. The band has been taking much needed time to regroup and consider their various options for the future, and looks forward to a new beginning, wherever that may be."
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