Slayer Frontman's Tour Regrets

Slayer frontman Tom Araya can only stomach touring by counting the days until he gets home again.

Slayer Frontman's Tour Regrets
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Slayer frontman Tom Araya can only stomach touring by counting the days until he gets home again. The novelty of life on the road has worn off after 30 years, and now he's concerned with how much of his family life he's missed. And the message was hammered home to him when his 2010 neck injury forced him to remain at home for longer than he'd done for years. As a result, he says with a laugh, fans might be surprised to discover he doesn't enjoy touring as much as he used to. Araya tells Noisecreep: "I hate to disappoint you, but I've been doing this for 30 years. It's a long time. I hate leaving home. I've missed so much of my family life, my kids growing up. "My son turned 13 and I've missed almost every birthday he's ever had. I myself have never really spent a birthday at home." Araya, 51, was sidelined two years ago when a problem with his neck and back led to the insertion of a metal plate, leaving him unable to perform his classic headbanging move on stage. He says: "When I had my neck injury I was at home for three months. Things have happened to me physically that have put me out, but allowed me to spend time at home. I'm trying to make up the time it's a little too late. "But when I have to get on a plane to leave, I don't want to leave. It's part of my life I've missed. I get on the plane, and the minute I set foot wherever I am, I'm like, 'I can't wait to get home.' "The anticipation of going home is what gets me through. I wake up and I think, 'Ten more days,' 'Eight more days,' 'Five more days,' and that's what gets me through." Slayer have started work on a new album, with guitarist Kerry King reporting at least two tracks have been fully written. Work won't be completed until Jeff Hanemann has recovered fully from the near-fatal spider bite that's kept him off the road for over a year. Araya, a Catholic, says his faith doesn't prevent the band from writing songs that criticise religion although he doesn't write them himself. "A lot of the anti-religious stuff is written by Kerry," he explains. "I hate to say this, but some of the stuff he writes, wow, it's really good. The way I look at it is, 'This is going to make somebody mad'. "There's no room to judge. I'm not going to be the first one to throw stones. My type of Catholicism allows me to do that." Thanks for the report to ClassicRockMagazine.com.

46 comments sorted by best / new / date

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    Agent 00Awesome
    He seems really cool, and its really kind of sad. Can't blame the dude for wanting to be with his family.
    Megadethfan245
    As much as us fans love him, he doesn't owe anything to us. He's made some great music and done many tours. If he feels like it's time to start a newer part of his life than that's all up to him. Can't expect someone to do one thing forever, especially when they can't really enjoy it anymore.
    Firewind Raging
    I feel pretty sorry for him, he's had a great musical career but he's more concerned with how much family time he's missing. You can't really argue with that, all the money in the world wont bring that back. It sounds like he's almost ready to give it up.
    killektrika
    AnnihilationUK wrote: Pol-Pot-Smoker wrote: Araya is a really down to earth guy. I wish Kerry and Jeff were like him or Lombardo... They're all pretty down to earth.
    Yes. And from the interviews I've seen, Kerry's got an amazing sense of humour too. Pretty cool!
    rhythmkillingMo
    Just means the songs will be more fast and more brutal live because he wants to get to his family quicker. This rock and roll lifestyle must really take its toll, alot of people must be lying when they say they have no regrets, Tom regrets not spending time with his family, but one must provide.
    GuilT
    I don't go to concerts, I just buy albums. If Slayer could just throw an album out every year or so, I'd be fine if they didn't tour anymore.
    swave75
    Missing your kids birthday would suck. On the other hand....SSSSSLLLLLAAAAAYYYYYEEEEERRRRR!!!!!
    ne14t
    I love how Tom is Catholic, I am not a supporter or pusher of religion nor am I even religious but it just goes to show you that because someone performs metal or even listens to it doesn't mean they are some hedonistic anti-christ devil worshiper. Anywho after how long they have been doing this I think they have paid there dues to their fans and could stop touring if they really wanted to, just put out some bitching studio albums, kinda like a freedom 55 retirement plan, if they even exist any more!
    AnnihilationUK
    Pol-Pot-Smoker wrote: Araya is a really down to earth guy. I wish Kerry and Jeff were like him or Lombardo...
    They're all pretty down to earth.
    Plagueheart
    And here I am wishing that I could just tour the rest of my life, it's the only thing I've ever wanted.
    6-String_Madman
    My advice for Tom is this... pray for things to be alright and guide you through your life. I know He will listen, because as the famous signboard that I've seen on a DVD says, "God listens to SSSLLLLLAAAAAYYYYEEERRRRR!!!!!""
    MiseryMonster
    SSSLLLLLAYYYYEEERRRRR!!!!! lol, in all seriousness slayer is awesome. and im sure each one of them guys deserves some family time after touring there whole lives anyways
    G.N.
    It makes sense to me, to be honest. I think sometimes fans might forget that musicians have families and lives outside of performing, and to be frank it's only fair to keep a mindset like that. After all, it's not like Tom's actually come out and blasted tours or anything. With all that said, I do hope I get to see them one more time before they call it a career!
    Blargaha
    Now tell me again how you think musicians should live out of a suitcase so you can rationalize stealing their albums online.. Big respect for this man, one of the best thrash singers out there.
    queenslander47
    6-String_Madman wrote: I don't see Hetfield having a problem like this nowadays. Maybe before since he was struggling with alcoholism. There should be some way that he could fix this problem.
    Metallica never tour for more than 2 weeks at a time anymore. They've been doing that since Hetfield got sober and it seems to have made them all happier. Very, very few bands have enough money to tour that way though.
    pwrmax
    Eclectic Lizard wrote: Don't mean to double post but...why don't they just play Angel of Death and Raining Blood at each show, get them done in 10 minutes and finish the tour in a month or something?
    Because they also need to play Seasons in the Abyss
    Burnzyburns
    World Painted Blood was a hell of an album, and with Tom and Jeff's injuries I half-expected them to hang it up after some touring and not even doing another album. Slayer can do whatever they want and I'll salute it. I'm glad I get to see them at least one more time in a few weeks!
    guitar/bass95
    I know that some people here do not appreciate Slayer, but for me Araya has been the best Thrash singer there is. I have always respected his certain beliefs and he is one of the few musicians that I really look up to, not because of the musicianship but for his character and attitude. Hope you'll have the strength to carry on to finalnd, I'd hate to miss a Slayer show.
    Pol-Pot-Smoker
    AnnihilationUK wrote: Pol-Pot-Smoker wrote: Araya is a really down to earth guy. I wish Kerry and Jeff were like him or Lombardo... They're all pretty down to earth.
    Dunno, I admire them both, but sometimes they get into endless feuds with people and 80% of the time is because of some meaningless crap like "you're metal/you're false metal" shit. Other than that, I can't really remember of them being dummasses.
    Sparda93
    i`ve got big respect for Tom Araya, he`s a real dude, honest, but doesn`t abuse the honesty to piss people off, it`s more like a "huh, yeah, i`m catholic, what of it?" approach, and the touring, he could quit this second and i would only regret NOT seeing Slayer live, wouldn`t be angry at him for anything.
    bitchfist
    i've definitely heard of musicians bring their families/wives/girlfriends and kids on tour with them. but i understand its not the same
    boomershadow
    Take some time off then. It's not like Slayer's fanbase is going anywhere. Start touring again in early 2013.
    Wisthler
    Maybe they should take a whole year to rest, at least in my country, lot of bands did it and worked perfectly.
    Majin Gaara
    Firewind Raging wrote: I feel pretty sorry for him, he's had a great musical career but he's more concerned with how much family time he's missing. You can't really argue with that, all the money in the world wont bring that back. It sounds like he's almost ready to give it up.
    I agree with his point of view but how could you feel sorry for him? He chooses to go out and tour and be away from his family. I know that's what he loves to do but he's definitely financially stable enough to where he could live the rest of his life not being in slayer.
    6-String_Madman
    queenslander47 wrote: 6-String_Madman wrote: I don't see Hetfield having a problem like this nowadays. Maybe before since he was struggling with alcoholism. There should be some way that he could fix this problem. Metallica never tour for more than 2 weeks at a time anymore. They've been doing that since Hetfield got sober and it seems to have made them all happier. Very, very few bands have enough money to tour that way though.
    I see. So, that's why.. and the mere fact that some of Metallica members' kin (particularly James' and Lars') were able to join them on tour at times, prevented the homesickness and other emotional turmoils regarding touring.
    APerfectCircle9
    Well even if they do it call it quits soon, At least i'll be able to see Slayer at Mayhem fest this year. The guy has a point. if I missed all 13 of my kid's birthdays i'd be a bit upset and long to spend some time with my family.
    deathbycontrol
    He should probably take some time off. Like, maybe a few years even. A family being together is a little more important than playing music for a bunch of people who're too shitfaced to understand it anyway.
    Eruption1991
    I saw them at the Nova Rock festival in my country (Austria) a couple of weeks ago and I have to say, they still rock! \m/ And I totally understand Tom Araya when he says that he wants to spend more time with his family.
    HollowPoint423
    They are big enough and have been big enough to simply do a summer tour. 4 months out of the year. A few dates in the US, a few festivals in Europe, etc. Luckily I was fortunate enough to see them at Fortarock (backstage all day) and Graspop.
    LeakyFlask
    rhythmkillingMo wrote: Just means the songs will be more fast and more brutal live because he wants to get to his family quicker.
    This is an idea right here. They could do three or four crazy-ass half hour shows a day, leave everyone satisfied, and wrap up tour in a month! Or maybe they should just start making grindcore!
    westley23j
    Tom actually seems like a pretty cool guy. i think Slayer is incredibly overrated and i have no idea why they are as popular as they are. Kerry, OTOH, seems like a massive douche.
    MarkoakaNiggaK
    I think that Tom wiews those anti-religious texts as a good crittic that actually helps to improove the curch and open it up to the world.
    Anjohl
    Is he hurting for cash? Just stop, or do just a festival or two every summer. Is that economically feasable?
    RUSTDOGG666
    A suggestion would be take your family with you and maybe don't tour so far away from home. Just because you are a big band don't mean you have to go to everyone's house and play. Tell people to come to you and stay close to your family, take them to your shows so you can see them after you play, and have no regrets.
    Eclectic Lizard
    Don't mean to double post but...why don't they just play Angel of Death and Raining Blood at each show, get them done in 10 minutes and finish the tour in a month or something?
    6-String_Madman
    I don't see Hetfield having a problem like this nowadays. Maybe before since he was struggling with alcoholism. There should be some way that he could fix this problem.