Tom Araya Once Compared Working In Slayer to Selling His Soul

Tom Araya: Antje Naumann (AllSystemsRed), CC BY-SA 3.0, (Wikimedia Commons)
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While former band members Kerry King and Dave Lombardo remain active in their respective music careers, there has not been much noise coming from once Slayer vocalist Tom Araya. Whereas King was vocally upset with the band coming to an end, even going as far as to call their retirement “premature,” Araya may have had a different perspective on Slayer’s conclusion.

Back in 2019, during a talk with Dean Delray on Let There Be Talk, Lombardo shared that (as transcribed by Kerrang!):

“Tom’s been wanting to retire when I was in the band. He wanted to stop…He had the neck issues. He’s been wanting to retire for a long time now. So now that he’s got it, I’m happy for him and I hope he gets what he wants out of life and his future.”

Besides struggling with neck problems, Araya has been vocal in the past about one aspect of band life that he was not overly fond of, touring. During a 2015 conversation with Noisey, the former Slayer vocalist voiced how lackluster he finds touring life to be. Speaking about how touring has gotten to him over the years, Araya shared:

“After 33 years of traveling—actually more like 29 years of actual touring and traveling—after a while, it’s just tiring. And people are like ‘Oh it must be fun! You travel! You see blah blah blah!’ I’m like, man, if you were in my shoes you would think differently.”

The singer goes on to talk about how, when he’s in places like Paris or Stockholm, he’s actually spending much of his time in hotel rooms doing press. Elsewhere in the conversation, Araya continues to vent his frustrations, even going as far as to say “I’ve sold my soul for about a good four or five years” (in regard to the commitment he’d have to put in to support the release of Repentless at that time).

The interviewer expresses that there are “worse places” he could sell his soul, and the singer replies with the following:

“Yeah, that’s true, but I think it puts things into perspective when you tell someone that. They’re always talking about ‘You sold your soul!’ and in life, you kinda do. It depends on what it is you’re doing in life, but there are some things that require you to sacrifice a good portion of your life. That to me is selling your soul. You have to give up a good portion of your life in order to do what it is you’re gonna do. When I agreed to this album, I knew that I would have to do a record, and then follow it up with at least a good three or four years of touring.”

From the sound of this conversation, as well as comments made by his former bandmate, it seems like Tom Araya was more than okay with Slayer coming to an end. What do you think?

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