Veteran heavy metal demi-gods Slayer return to Eugene behind their 12th studio album, 2015’s Repentless. And — besides a long and consistent output of some of the most diabolical and scorching heavy music in the game — what makes Slayer metal demi-gods are some truly metal life experiences.
For example, guitarist Jeff Hanneman (a founding member who has since tragically died) once contracted necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating bacteria — a terrible infection to have, but let’s face it, sounds pretty damn metal. And Hanneman’s replacement, Gary Holt, plays a signature guitar painted with his own blood.
The band even has its own holiday called the International Day of Slayer, honoring Slayer and all things metal.
All this might make one might imagine that while on tour, a band like Slayer gets up to all sorts of abominations in their downtime. But Holt tells EW what Slayer does on the road is not so different than everybody else.
“Mostly we sit around and play games on our phones,” Holt says. “And Tom [Araya, bassist] will usually have some music playing, a lot of blues rock stuff.”
Holt says that after all these years Slayer has retained some very loyal fans. “There’s been a huge influx of younger kids that support the band as well.”
But if you’re an older Slayer fan who perhaps hasn’t kept up, Holt has a special message for you: “I guess if you have aged out of going to shows any more, I would say stop fossilizing and get back out there.”
Slayer plays with Lamb of God and Behemoth 6:30 pm Friday, Aug. 11, at Cuthbert Amphitheater; $49.95 advance, $55 day of show, VIP packages available, all-ages.