Today is a sad day for metal. In some incredibly shocking news, SLAYER have announced a farewell tour slated for 2018. As of yet, tour dates have not been announced for their final run as a band, nor has the scope of this final tour been fully seen, though it promises to be a “world tour.” The video features a compilation of media throughout the group’s career, ranging from early posters to recent shots of the band, footage from every era. SLAYER is rumored to be planning to hit the road in North America this summer, with support from LAMB OF GOD, ANTHRAX, TESTAMENT and BEHEMOTH. The run of dates is expected to be officially announced later this week.
The band has been going strong since 1981, and this year marks the group’s 37th year together as a group. While we are extremely shocked at this revelation, there have been clues that the band would be ending soon. Lead singer Tom Araya has not shied away from speaking on his mind on not being as interested in touring as of late. He said: “At 35 years, it’s time to collect my pension. This is a career move.” He continued: “I’m grateful that we’ve been around for 35 years; that’s a really long time. So, yeah, to me, it is. Because when we started off, everything was great, because you’re young and invincible. And then there came a time where I became a family man, and I had a tough time flying back and forth. And now, at this stage, at the level we’re at now, I can do that; I can fly home when I want to, on days off, and spend some time with my family, which is something I wasn’t able to do when [my kids]were growing up. Now they’re both older and mature. So now I take advantage of that.” Araya added: “Yeah, it just gets harder and harder to come back out on the road. 35 years is a long time.”
Tom also revealed another reason for his diminished enjoyment of the touring life. He said: “There’s things that have gone on in my life that have made me change how I play as a bass player. I had neck surgery, so I can’t headbang anymore. And that was a big part of what I enjoyed doing what I do — singing and headbanging. I liked knowing that I was one of the fucking badass headbangers. That played a big part. Now I just groove with the music, which is cool, because I’m grooving with the music and the feel of the songs, so that’s changed a little for me.”
A few months later, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King told Germany’s EMP Rock Invasion that Araya was “very unclear” about his plans for the band’s future. “That’s just how he is,” Kerry said. “I don’t know if he likes holding his cards in his pocket or what.” He continued: “I mean, I don’t have an answer as to what the future holds for SLAYER. I’m holding off a lot of things I wanna do at home, just ’cause I don’t know if I’m gonna be working in two years. I’m gonna be working, hopefully in SLAYER. Yeah, dude. What else am I gonna do? I came out of high school and fucking went on tour.” Pressed about whether there was any end in sight for SLAYER, King said: “Not for me. Not for me, man — especially on such a good record (2015’s ‘Repentless’).” When the interviewer said that he was looking forward to another 35 years of SLAYER, Kerry said: “Well, I don’t know about that. I’ll take another record or two.”
What about a new SLAYER album? Kerry King noted that they still have eight completed songs leftovers from the last album recording sessions. King announced he even wrote a song about Trump for the next album, one of probably the most anticipated metal releases of this year. It looks like King is moving full speed ahead, even though frontman Tom Araya has expressed some reservations about recording new music.
SLAYER has been touring in support of its latest album, “Repentless”, which was released in September 2015 via Nuclear Blast. That effort marked the band’s first release since the death of SLAYER‘s co-founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman.
Watch SLAYER‘s farewell tour announcement video below.