These Crazy Slayer Stories Prove They Are One Of The Most Interesting Bands Ever
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These Crazy Slayer Stories Prove They Are One Of The Most Interesting Bands Ever

When the band Slayer announced their retirement in January 2018 after 37 years playing punk/death metal together, they signed off with a cheeky farewell post on Instagram: "Slayer, one of the greatest thrash/metal/punk bands of this or any age, is coming to an end." 

Originally formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and the late Jeff Hanneman along with drummer Dave Lombardo in Huntington Park, California, the band initially performed a lot of cover songs by Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. Vocalist and bassist Tom Araya joined soon thereafter, and the four played at local clubs and parties. By 1983, they had a record contract with Metal Blade Records and in the more than 35 years since the band has gone on to release 12 albums, with over 20 million albums sold. They are arguably one of the most influential bands in heavy metal history - and they clearly know it. But as of 2018, the group announced that they will be doing a farewell tour and that they do not plan on recording any additional albums. 

The life of Slayer is macabre, salacious, irreverent, and full of spicy stories from a group that wasn't afraid to make statements. Continue reading to learn more Slayer band facts and why MTV says that "Slayer's music was directly responsible for the rise in death metal."

  • The Band Was Sued After A Teen Girl Was Killed By Friends In What Was Referred To As A Satanic Sacrifice

    In 1995, 15-year-old Elyse Pahler was choked and stabbed to death by three acquaintances, Jacob Delashmutt, Joseph Fiorella, and Royce Casey. The teen boys then sexually assaulted the corpse repeatedly. Eight months after her murder and before her body was found, Casey confessed to the crime after converting to Christianity. He told investigators that Pahler's murder was committed as part of a Satanic ritual and that her death was done in hopes of making their band, Hatred, become successful. The boys also claimed that they were inspired to kill by listening to the band Slayer.

    Pahler's parents, David and Lisanne, filed a lawsuit against the band. They claimed that the songs "Postmortem" and "Dead Skin Mask" instructed the perpetrators on how to kill their daughter. The case was thrown out, and Pahler's parents filed yet another suit against the band claiming that Slayer knowingly distributed harmful material to minors. This case was also dismissed with the judge stating, "I do not consider Slayer's music obscene, indecent or harmful to minors."

  • Slayer's Song 'Jihad' Told A Terrorist's Point Of View And Caused Post-9/11 Controversy

    In 2006, the band released their album Christ Illusion with a single entitled "Jihad," which tells the story of the 9/11 terrorist attacks from a jihadist terrorist's point of view. The song enraged a patriotically charged America, and many were unhappy with the band's bold statement. In particular, because they'd previously released "Angel of Death," a similarly unpopular angle from a Nazi concentration camp. According to guitarist Kerry King:

    In America every band under the sun has written their 9/11 song. And that's why I didn't want to have any part of it, but this is really cool. It kind of has an 'Angel of Death' feel because it doesn't condemn anyone or say that anyone's right or wrong.


  • Band Brawls Sometimes Included Dissemination Of Bodily Fluids

    Band Brawls Sometimes Included Dissemination Of Bodily Fluids
    Video: YouTube

    In 1985, the Ultimate Revenge Combat tour happened, which is arguably the best metal tour that has ever taken place. The lineup was legendary, featuring Venom, Slayer, and Exodus. In February 2017, Decibel magazine interviewed several members from each band, including Venom drummer Anthony “Abaddon” Bray, Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, and Exodus guitarist Gary Holt. The three shared various stories about the tour, including an incident that took place between Tom Araya and Cronos, vocalist and bass player for Venom. 

    Lombardo explained the story saying that he, Cronos, and a few others were on the tour bus drinking when Araya entered the bus, asking where the bathroom was. The story then changes depending on whom you ask, as Lombardo insists that Araya pulled out his member and began urinating on Cronos, while Bray claims that Araya did not pee on him, but did tap him on the shoulder with his member.

    Whatever the case, Cronos jumped up and punched Araya in the face, causing a black eye and a bloody nose. Bray eventually separated the two and Araya had to continue the tour with an ugly black eye. 

  • There's A Hidden Message In The Song 'Hell Awaits'

    Ever since the invention of Rock n' Roll, there have been many who shunned the genre, thinking of it as "the devil's music." Unsurprisingly, rumors began about certain bands backmasking songs - that is, having a hidden message when the song is played backward - usually considered the work of Satanists to get young and impressionable teens to join the dark side. On Slayer's 1985 album Hell Awaits, the title track includes a backward message. Voices repeated the phrase "Join us," 45 times before saying, "Welcome back."

    However, Tom Araya has stated that the imagery on the album art was "solely for effect" and not for Satanic rituals

  • Gary Holt Responded To Kendall Jenner's Slayer T-Shirt With A Retaliatory Fashion Statement

    Like many celebs, Kendall Jenner has jumped on the bandwagon of wearing vintage band t-shirts featuring bands with which she is likely unfamiliar, but hey, it looks cool, right? In 2014, Kim Kardashian's half-sister hosted Canada's MuchMusic Video Awards sporting a Slayer t-shirt. Slayer guitarist Gary Holt was later seen wearing a t-shirt seemingly as a response to Jenner, which simply read: "Kill the Kardashians."

    In July 2017, Holt was interviewed by RockSverige and asked about his famous Kardashian t-shirt. Holt explained the shirt was made for him by a friend who "knows [his] deep, bitter, black hatred of them [the Kardashians]." He went on to add:

    It´s like… I don't begrudge them for their money; I just fu*king hate people that are becoming superstars for doing nothing. Kim Kardashian was a closet organizer and then she did a sex tape and became famous for it, and now they stick their name on products, and I hate their guts. So my friend Jack actually made the shirt for me first, and then we decided to start our own little merch company No Love Apparel and sold them, and it became like a huge viral thing.

  • The Band Showed Their Softer Side When They Rescued A Kitten

    In 2014, Slayer was on tour and staying in Indianapolis, Indiana. The band members went out to dinner at St. Elmo's Steakhouse. After the meal, the group was approached by a homeless man who was offering a kitten for $1. The freezing kitty was taken in by the band, and the assistant tour manager took care of the cat that night.

    The next night, a Facebook post made by the Old National Centre, an Indianapolis music venue, posted a photograph of the kitten explaining how Slayer had rescued it. The kitten was re-homed, and the new owner commented on the Facebook post thanking Slayer, explaining the kitten was doing well and that it had been named Gypsy.