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Tom Araya Talks About Slayer's 12th Album
Jenn Selby , February 6th, 2012 07:17

Slayer name ideal producer for 12th album

Slayer have revealed details about their 12th studio album for the first time.

“We’ve had a few draw-backs, but we are attempting to work on the new material,” Tom Araya, bassist and vocalist of the thrash metal pioneers, told The Quietus last week.

“Kerry [King] and Dave [Lombardo] have been doing that. And me, because I’m sick, I don’t want to fly out and make everybody sick, so my joining in the process is going to be on pause until I get better. But there’s something there.”

While Araya wasn’t keen to give away too much about the sound and possible theme of the album, describing it only as “raw” and telling us “there are definitely some good bits”, he did confirm that Jeff Hanneman, who has been recovering from a near-fatal flesh eating skin disease called necrotizing fasciitis, is finally working and writing with them again.

“Jeff is recording and writing with us on the album,” he continued. “He can still play, and he is rehearsing with us. It’s just that he needs to get his chops up before he joins us live again.”

Araya also revealed who would be producing the record.

“All four of us have agreed that the guy that we want to record our new record will be the same gentleman who recorded our last album [World Painted Blood], Greg Fidelman. We just had a really great experience with him last time, loved the sound, and, if we can make our timings match up, we would love to record with him again. We’ll probably bring him in towards the end of the writing process, which is what we did last time.”

When asked when we could expect the band to enter the studio, he said: “We are aiming to have something down by May [2012], before the touring kicks off [over the summer].”

To mark the anniversary of their classic 1986 album Reign In Blood, the band will play the record in its entirety at ATP's I'll Be Your Mirror on the May 25 at Alexandra Palace in London. And there is a possibility that Hanneman could be better in time to rejoin the band for the landmark event, too.

“We’re always optimistic. It would be fucking awesome. That’s what we want. But we have to take it one day at a time. He has the ability to play, but he needs to really work at it. So we have to make sure he’s at his best before he comes out and tours with us. But yeah, we want him out and on the road with us.”

However, fans are warned not to expect to see Araya head banging on stage any time soon – and instead to prepare themselves for some Willow Smith lyrics.

“I just can’t head bang, I just can’t do the things that I’d normally be doing on stage, you know, going crazy, flipping my head. Like, what Will Smith’s daughter says? ‘I whip my hair back and forth, I whip my hair back and forth!’ After the [back] surgery it was a bummer, but I got over that. I like to think that I’ve improved as a singer and as a player and I focused more on that and making sure my performance is 100 per cent.”

Visit ATP Festivals to get I'll Be Your Mirror tickets