An Open Letter to Slayer Fans Pissed Off at Tom and Kerry



Dear Pissed Off Slayer Fans,


It’s time you and I had a discussion. Jeff Hanneman’s death upset us all, and it left you angry. I don’t blame you for being angry. It’s a natural reaction when somebody dies as young as Hanneman. And as Slayer fans, being angry goes with the territory. You wouldn’t be smashing into each other at concerts while screaming along about bone crunching, blood spilling and Satan if you weren’t angry to begin with. The problem is, you’re angry at Tom Araya and Kerry King. When really, you should be angry at yourselves, for even beginning to entertain pissed off thoughts at Tom and Kerry.


Since Jeff’s death, I’ve read your comments about our vocalist/ bassist and remaining guitarist. And man are they full of hate. You’ve taken it upon yourselves to call them everything from sellouts to cashgrabbers to a duo without any sense of loyalty. You’ve thrown away 30 years of their taking to the road to bring you a ferocity that never dies, even as they’ve passed middle age. And your blame couldn’t be more misplaced.


You’ve taken Tom and Kerry to task on a number of fronts. It’s high time I defend the two. I’ll take your fronts one at a time.


Jeff was the heart and soul of Slayer. With him dead, Tom and Kerry should pack it up.


If ever a band was more than the sum of its parts, it’s Slayer. While most thrash bands go through members in a series of interchangeable parts (Testament, Exodus), Slayer made two changes in 27 years, and those were changing a drummer, and then going back to the original. Yes, Jeff wrote or co-wrote most of the classics. But Kerry has written a number of classics himself, and Tom has been a strong influence as a writer. Slayer’s black heart and soul belonged to three men, not just Jeff.
Kerry had mean things to say about Jeff after his death.


Yes, King called Jeff’s commitment to Slayer into question, even as Hanneman was fighting for his life. But let’s be honest, folks. Kerry King is kind of a dick, and always has been. He’s insensitive on a grand scale, and he loves confrontation, sometimes with his own bandmates. It doesn’t excuse his behavior, but you really should have expected it from him. And if you think he didn’t love Jeff, I say you’re wrong.
They fired Dave Lombardo over $$$. Screw them.


You want to blame Kerry again. You say he screwed Lombardo over money, and has no sense of loyalty. Folks, this is not the first time Slayer has fired Lombardo. Nor is it the first time his commitment to the band has been called into question. If you feel he’s a better drummer than his replacement, Paul Bostaph, that’s one thing. But if you think he’s a victim of greed, you should realize that he might not be the innocent you think he is. And speaking of Bostaph…
Slayer is only half-Slayer now. You’re only getting ½ the act.


I could see this argument if Tom and Kerry had brought in any other drummer. But Bostaph was the only person outside of Tom, Kerry, Jeff and Dave ever to play on a Slayer album. Four, in fact, and those four albums filled up an entire decade’s output for the band. He’s paid his dues, and I’m thrilled he’s once again an official member of Slayer. As for Gary Holt, he’s been touring with the boys for three years in Jeff’s absence. Though I haven’t seen him live yet, every Youtube video I’ve seen proves he shreds it nobly in Jeff’s stead. I recently saw an interview where Tom said Jeff suggested Gary as his replacement. If Jeff gave Gary his blessing, you should too. Tom and Kerry couldn’t have done a better job reconfiguring Slayer.
Slayer’s just in it for the cash now.


Tom Araya should tear your flesh off and gouge your eyes for even thinking to profane Slayer like that. If ever a band had integrity, it’s Slayer.

Slayer’s past their prime. With Jeff dead and Dave cast out, they should pack it in.


Not on your coffin as Lucifer pulls your wretched soul down to the fiery pits of Hell. I’ve heard every one of them- including Hanneman himself-  say if they ever get to the point where they’re going through the motions, they’ll pack it in. It hasn’t happened yet, and I hope it never does.


Sadly, I fear that Slayer will pack it in, now that they’re getting such an outpouring of negativity from the very fans who’ve gone to them for rage and hatred for over 30 years. Tom and Kerry are not young men anymore, and Jeff’s death may just be the death knell of the band. Which is an atrocity, really. And if they throw in the towel and disappear back into the shadows, you pissed off fans have only yourselves to blame.


But that’s a story for another day. In two weeks, I’ll be on the floor, anxiously awaiting Hell at the hands of one of my favorite bands. You can stay home and miss out. Pissed off fans be damned.


\m/ and GFY to the haters,


Phil Fasso

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