BW&BK's "Metal" Tim Henderson spoke in-depth to SLAYER frontman Tom Araya recently about a number of topics including the band's recent tour with MARILYN MANSON, rumours of his retirement, the worldwide state of heavy metal, the roots of Reign In Blood and the band's newly-released Unholy Alliance Tour DVD/CD. The final part (IV) of the chat is as follows:
What is Slayer's current business model - how will you survive with the death of the CD?
Araya: "It's talk - it's something the record industry has been aware of for a while. We actually move product - there are certain bands that don't. It would be different if they put our stuff out there and we sold most of it via the internet. Since the majority of our sales are in stores, the fans still keep the CD and the album in existence. There are people that still prefer to buy albums. The fans that we have, they are collectors of vinyl. Sony plans to do a lot with our stuff. But they are going to stick with CDs and albums. I do know that they are planning another box set - not of CDs. They are thinking of a special design, special vinyl. They are thinking of ways to generate revenue. That's what they are in the business of doing. We have one record left in our contract with Rubin. Then we'd have to sit down and discuss to see if he even wants to continue doing this with us. That's where the business aspect comes in."
Do you enjoy the business side of things?
Araya: "Not really. We have to be. What I enjoy most is the fact that I can bring such happiness - that's a way to say it - such happiness and joy to the audience we have. That to me is the best part of the whole thing. That's about the only thing I really, really enjoy about what I do. - stage time. I enjoy being creative, but in all honesty, this band has been a very unified, creative band up to Seasons (In The Abyss) and after that it fizzled. It kind of came back one Christ Illusion - you can hear it. You can tell it came back."
Anything brewing in terms of new material and the follow-up to Christ Illusion?
Araya: "I have ideas ... but I have to hear music to see if anything gels together. It's like putting yourself in a trance and see where that takes you. That's kinda how I write. I have ideas - some of them I have on paper, some I don't. So when I'm listening to the music I always try to get the groove and feel of the music. And the mood and the tempo and try to see where that takes me. Or if I happen to be glancing at my notes, I read something and it gels with something in my head. I'll grab my ipod, listen to the song and look at my lyrics and see if it sits well. You let it find you as opposed to you searching for it. If you search hard enough, you'll never find it. You'll never find it because you are looking for it. With things like that in the creative process, you need to let them find you. It's kinda like a philosophy in life - the harder you look at something, you'll never find it. What you need to do is relax, and you need to let it find you. You need to will it to you. Faith and destiny. I do know this, you let it find you. You will it to you and it will come. It's not immediate. You need o be patient and you need to be alert for the signs. Some people have a little person in their head talking to them. Those are the lucky people. The majority of time, things are shown to you - you just need to see them. You need to sit down, be patient because it'll come. And when it does, it'll be great (laughs)."
Are you the most spiritual in the band"
Araya: ""I think I'm the only one that approaches it that way."
What makes you approach life that way? Chilean culture, parents, background?
Araya: "My parents, they raised my Catholic so I grew up with religion in my life. I think that's a big part of it. It really makes me a better person. And I try to instil that in my kids believe it or not. To believe and to have faith - blind faith. Jeff (Hanneman - guitar) asked me once, 'can you explain that? How can you believe in something you can't see?' I looked at him and 'you just do.' You have to believe. You just do. I don't know how that was instilled in me. Because no-one ever told me that. That's just how I am and how I feel. That's just what I believe. Someone taught me that belief - I learned it from somewhere. But my parents never told me to believe in God. My parents never actually said, 'you have to believe in God.' My parents wanted me to learn about God, learn about Christ and all that stuff. I'm trying to in-still it on them, because to me it's been very helpful in my life. And it's allowed me to do what I do. To be successful at what I do. That blind faith."
Click here to read Part I, Part II and Part III.