Posts Tagged Tom Araya
LOS ANGELES – Kerry King aired his frustration about the lyrical direction of the next Slayer album in an interview on the Fuse Network today, stating that frontman Tom Araya won’t stop submitting song lyrics about retirement.
“Tom keeps writing all these lyrics that at first seemed weird and dark,” said the famously grumpy guitarist, “but now I’m not really sure what he’s really trying to say.”
“This early one, ‘The Final Sleep’, sounded cool and promising,” he continued, “but then he started handing in stuff that started getting way off-base.”
As King leafed through the stack of material, songs with titles like ‘The Charade is Over’, ‘End of the Line’, ‘How Much is Enough’, and ‘Let Me Rest’, were all visible, and the condition of the pages became visibly more ragged as newer entries were examined. Finally he arrived at the most recent submission, which was simply a cocktail napkin with the word ‘STOP’ written across it in black magic marker.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” asked King as he held up the napkin, “and look at this one – ‘401K’? What the hell? I originally thought it was another serial killer reference, but now I’m not so sure.”
Araya and the late Jeff Hanneman were known for collaborating on some of the band’s most memorable lyrics, and many fans had already voiced concern about Slayer’s direction in the wake of Hanneman’s passing.
When asked about the outcome of the next album, the lead axeman remained confident, stating, “I have written plenty of lyrics for Slayer, so it’s not like I can’t handle this myself. Tom’s welcome to contribute, but he’s going to have to give me something better than songs about driving an RV, fishing, or spending time with family.”
Tom Araya could not be reached for comment, as he was reportedly at home and watching television while stretched out on the couch.
Heavy metal rock band Slayer has come under fire over the past few weeks for allegedly using satanic imagery in many of their songs and on album covers. Several influential religious groups have recently discovered satanic references in the band’s work and are looking for answers. Barbara Weishaupt, the leader of Christians For Decency and So On and So On, has gone so far as to claim that Slayer actually makes several direct references to hell on the 1985 album “Hell Awaits”.
In a statement released by the band, lead singer Tom Araya denied that the band was referring to the mythical land of the dead where sinners are punished, but was, in fact, attempting to acknowledge famed Hungarian astronomer Maximilian Hell. Hell is best known for his patient, lifelong study of the surface of the moon. His work was so influential that several lunar craters are named after him.
However, not all of Slayer’s references to the devil can be so easily explained. For example, the band has been accused of referring to the dark prince of the underworld in the song Altar of Sacrifice when Araya screams “Enter to the realm of Satan!” In fact, in a 2006 interview with Boys’ Life Magazine, guitarist Kerry King claimed that the song is actually a reference to the final act of Shakespeare’s 1973 play “Macbeth”.
In the play, Seyton, Macbeth’s servant, bares witness to the decline and fall of the Scottish ruler’s empire. King, who recently portrayed Romeo in a Shakespeare in the Park version of “Romeo and Juliet”, is an avid fan of The Bard’s work and wanted the song to “reflect the realm of despair that Macbeth’s was in as he and his trusted servant dealt with news of their immanent demise.”
In the song “Skeleton Christ”, Slayer has been accused of using the expression “hail Satan” as an attempt to show their allegiance with the devil. This lyric, in fact, was written by Tom Araya during his conversion to vegetarianism and is actually supposed to be heard as “hail seitan”.
Slayer has also gone on record in the past in an attempt to clear up the misconceptions related to the song “Jesus Saves”. While some in the religious community have claimed the song to be a sarcastic dismissal of Christian values, it is actually meant to be in praise of Christians who are frugal with their money. The band’s original drummer, name withheld at the request of Kerry King, even went so far as to say that the band considered opening a bank called “Jesus Saves” in order to offer better interest rates to deeply committed members of the Christian faith.
Much of Slayer’s career has been filled with these false, libelous accusations. The album 2006 album, often incorrectly dubbed “Christ Illusion”, is actually supposed to be “Christ Allusion”, and is meant to be an indirect reference to famed German botanist and inventor of the fern Konrad Hermann Christ.
Many album covers are thought to be satanic themed drawings. Again, it’s merely an unhappy coincidence. Years ago, Kerry King asked his 7-year-old niece Wendy to draw him pictures of what she witnessed on her journey through the streets of downtown Cleveland, Ohio, promising her that the band would use the pictures as album covers. To date, every album cover has been taken from the drawings that little Wendy produced on her visit to East 55th Street on that fateful day.
The band has weathered the many storms of bad publicity and controversy due to the often deluded, utterly paranoid American public’s breathtaking ability to become wildly concerned about issues that have no impact on their lives, but it has come at a cost to their reputations. Things have gotten so bad that Kerry King has had to abandon his missionary work in Zanzibar because of all of the bizarre stories about the music.
Sadly, Slayer seems doomed to spend the latter part of their careers fighting off these irresponsible and inaccurate allegations made by a public hell-bent on removing satanic references from the minds of America’s young and impressionable future corporate employees.
The note under my door said “Meet at 3 AM in the parking garage behind the Waffle House.” I’d received notes like this before and, usually, they either led to great information or some guy in nothing but a trenchcoat asking me if I wanted to hold hands and whisper Carpenters lyrics into each other’s ears. Typically, these messages came from my high level contact in the CIA, a man who will only let me refer to him in public as Deep Thrombosis. He’s worked in The Company for many years and has put me onto some of the bigger stories Tyranny of Tradition has broken. He was the guy who tipped me off to Obama’s drumming on the first Overkill album and Nixon’s plot to assassinate the members of Black Sabbath.
I knew that a night meeting with Deep Thrombosis could be the thing that gets me that Pulitzer Prize I’ve been coveting all these years or even a date with The Great Kat. However, I was not prepared for the monumental significance of what he was about to tell me.
“Tonight, we are going to pull back the curtain,” whispered Deep Thrombosis while his shifty, beady eyes darted from side to side. “The information I’m about to give you could bring down the whole circus. If you print it, be warned, there is a good chance you will end up having a ‘boating accident’ or accidently hanging yourself while trying to install a garage door opener. And for godsakes, if you print this, you need to promise not to mention you got it from a source in the CIA! They’ll be able to track it back to me.”
“I will absolutely not mention how I got this information,” I told my CIA source. “I swear it!”
He proceeded to tell me the most outlandish story I had ever heard. A story of violence, intrigue and a CIA so out of control that it would go so far as to break up one of the great thrash metal groups of our time.
“The Company had heard some rumors that the next Slayer album was going to be all about drone strikes on Al-Queda bases. The thing was going to be called “South of Reason”. Typical longhaired hippie liberal propaganda. We’d have let Limbaugh handle them except they were going to reveal potential bombing coordinates, out some of our higher level agents, and really turn the metalhead public against the whole ‘secret murder of civilians who have had no trial’ thing. We couldn’t let it happen. So we took action.”
“The first part of the plan was to kidnap Kerry King and replace him with an actor who resembled Kerry King. We have a guy who has done some jobs with us in the past who was a dead ringer for King, a sort of grubby, misshapen fellow who slightly resembled a poorly shaven yeti. We scooped up the real Kerry and threw him into Guantanamo and told the guards he was actually Osama Bin Laden’s masseuse and to ‘not torture him’ until he gave us any information on the whereabouts of the secret terrorist training camps in Iceland.”
“The guy we are using as Kerry almost gave the thing away during the first show. He played three or four really great solos, which confused the audience. Luckily, one of our agents got ahold of him and told him to haphazardly move his whammy bar around really fast when it was his turn to solo and no one would know the difference. Things went fine after that.”
“We slipped a mind-altering substance into one of Araya’s drinks and, through the power of suggestion, convinced him to start listening to Asking Alexandria. We figured this would jam up any creativity that was flowing through his head. Then, we gave a copy of the band’s financial information to Lombardo. The rest is history.”
“The thing is, I’ve begun to realize that this sort of thing is dangerous. After all, if the CIA can destroy Slayer or overthrow the government of a foreign country or randomly kill civilians who happened to be in the same vicinity as people we believe to be terrorists without the consent of the American people, then what is the point of even calling our country a democracy.”
“I started thinking of what a soulless, unaccountable beast like the CIA could do if it really put its mind to it. Forcing Exodus to do a ska album? Getting Testament to hire Michael Bolton as their lead singer? Letting Janick Gers write all the songs on the next Maiden record? The possibilities were too horrible to consider.”
“So, I have chosen you to help put a stop to this. Publish this article tomorrow and remind America that in a democracy, the government needs to be accountable to the people or else they have ceased being a democracy. That transparency is the only thing that can keep us from becoming a nation capable of any atrocity in the name of opening new markets and exploiting new sources of human capital. That America should stand for something greater than the principal of bending other, weaker nations to our will. And that Slayer should start writing stuff that sounds more like it did before Divine Intervention, because honestly, the new stuff hasn’t been all that impressive. Except for God Hates Us All. That was pretty cool.”
I heard the sound of a car door slam in the corner of the garage and turned to look at it. When I looked back, Deep Thrombosis was gone.
Posted by Keith Spillett in Articles I Probably Shouldn't Have Bothered Writing on April 12, 2012
In Slayer’s song Blood Red, singer Tom Araya bellows forth a challenging and powerful lyric that cuts to the core of today’s debate between a managed, centralized economy and a free market system where the “invisible hand” balances the wants and needs of the consumer against the production capabilities of the market. When he shrieks “Honest validation of unfair cheese” at the 41 second mark of the song, it is clear that he is undercutting a basic free-market premise posited by thinkers the likes of Milton Friedman and Frederick Hayek. The words are enlightening and deeply meaningful, particularly for an electorate on the cusp of deciding what sort of financial decisions it plans to make as it marches forward into a new millennium.
In order to understand the meaning behind Araya’s lyric, it is first critical that we understand the meaning of “unfair cheese”. Nothing is more disappointing to a lover of cheese than when, upon returning from the supermarket, a shopper finds moldy, poorly preserved cheese in their bag. Who is supposed to ensure the consumer is safe from a flood of this “unfair cheese”? If the supermarket is left to its own devices, it might well sell all the out of date cheese it could possibly get away with. After all, as Buddy Holly said in his 1981 hit song “Who is watching the detectives?” In this case, maybe we need someone to even watch the people who are watching the detectives. Or, it is possible we may need to hire detectives to watch the detectives who are watching the detectives.
Back to the cheese thing. If it weren’t for the Better Food and Cheese Act of 1938, under the esteemed and underappreciated Presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt, humans would be consuming pounds upon pounds of rotting, vile cheese. The Act empowered the police to arrest and jail any store clerk found selling “unfair cheese” for a period no less than five years in prison. Higher quality cheeses began to appear. Productivity flourished. It was during this period that Gorgonzola cheese was first produced in a laboratory. It was originally meant to be used as a weapon against the Soviet Union, but later it became appreciated for its velvety texture and tangy flavor. In the preceding two hundred years, America’s cheese growers had not produced as much as a single new breed of cheese.
So, when Araya asks for “honest validation of unfair cheese”, he’s really questioning whether a purely free market can produce the quality goods needed in a modern economy. Sure, it’d be nice to believe that the market is such a perfect force that can correct itself and keep the desires of its members in line, but it’s this sort of utopian thinking that caused the Great Wall of China to fall in 1990.
We cannot simply rely on market forces to purify the market. Human nature tells us that humans, in a perfect state of nature, will do some really unnatural things. In short, only a neutral arbitrator with no stake in the outcome can possibly make decisions that protect the consumer.
Only when the positions of these regulators are depoliticized and not influenced by corporations or individuals with expensive cars will we truly see an “honest validation of unfair cheese”. Only then will children of all races and all creeds, of all nationalities and all socio-economic backgrounds, of all hair styles and all blood types be able to sit down at the table of friendship together and eat the same safe and healthy cheese. Only then will we truly be free.