Slayer singer/bassist Tom Araya recently discussed the band's new album, revealing that guitarist Kerry King will be calling most of the shots in the studio. Specifically, Araya noted that King's been writing heaps of new material he doesn't want to share with anyone yet. Tom added that he doesn't know whether anyone else in the band will be included in the songwriting process, calling it "Kerry's call." The singer also expressed uncertainty over the group's future, sharing a pessimistic stance on continuing without late guitarist Jeff Hanneman. "As far as songwriting goes, I can honestly say that - this is the part that really eats us - it's the hardest for me because me and Jeff collaborated on material," Araya told Loudwire. "We've collaborated on stuff openly. He would give everybody his music, he would have everything prepared." Tom then focused on King, saying, "As far as Kerry writing material, Kerry has been working on quite a few songs for the past year and a half. I guess almost two years now, he's been working on ideas for a while now. Usually, Kerry does his own stuff. He was working with Dave [Lombardo], but after Paul [Bostaph] hooked up with us, he went back and started re-working those ideas with Paul.
"But he doesn't present any of his ideas to anybody, he just kind of ... they're his songs," he added. "So, as far as me being a part of that, I don’t know. That’s basically Kerry's, at this point, call, as far as if he wants me to apply myself to any of the stuff, but Kerry's been working on ideas and putting songs together." When it comes to Gary Holt's studio involvement, the singer commented: "I don't know. I know Kerry has said some things in interviews and spoken to different people and brought up Gary's name on a few occasions. Like I said, on this tour, me and Kerry have a lot of communicating and talking to do just to see where everything stands as far as me and him moving forward. If anything does happen, it definitely will start after this fall tour." Finally, Araya got back to Hanneman, once again expressing a pessimistic stance on the current state of affairs. "Man, that's something that's a swirly mess that's running through my head, you know?" he said. "That's where I’m at. I mean, it's a constant ... it's just something that's always on my mind. I myself am at a crossroads. I myself don't even know what I'm going to do. That's where I'm at, that's me." He continued, "I guess people really don't understand that Jeff played a major role in this band. They don't really understand that. It's kind of hard for most people to figure that out that Jeff was like 90 or 95 percent of the band, musically. Because he wrote music and lyrics. He wrote everything, he helped in every aspect of songwriting." As previously reported, the band's new album will feature two Hanneman's previously unreleased songs.