Do You Really Know What Band You Are Wearing? Part 1: Slayer

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One can’t help but wonder if people actually know anything about the bands they are sporting on their chests. Over the past few years, band shirts have become a highly sought after fashionable trend. In 2015, Kendall Jenner was seen wearing Slayer and Megadeth shirts to Coachella. Do you think she’s ever listened to one of their songs? More than likely, the answer is no, especially after she tweeted “I don’t get how some people can listen to heavy metal.”

Guitarist Gary Holt responded by wearing a “Kill The Kardashians” tee. Let’s be clear. He does not wish to kill or bring any physical harm towards them. His message is simply hating people’s obsession with the family.

"People have nothing better to do in their day than to watch TV shows or read about them and follow them on Instagram or Twitter or whatever and stare at their selfies and looking how fabulous they are. Don't you have something better to do?…And I wanna kill that. I don't want to kill them. I just wanna kill their careers. I know that's not gonna happen,” Holt said in an interview for WRIF.

Nowadays, you can find band tees in Forever 21, social media ads, Walmart and everywhere in between. In the past, you actually had to attend a show, buy merchandise from the official band website, find it in your parents’ closet or get your mom to take you to Hot Topic. “It’s weird and it’s just odd that so many people outside the metal genre are sporting Slayer shirts. I don’t know if they’re fans or not fans, but I’m pretty sure half of them aren’t,” said Kerry King in an interview for B.C. Rich Guitars.

Band tees are now plentiful, so why not learn more about the musicians behind the iconic logos? We kick off this series with thrash metal band Slayer. Here is a quick profile and fact sheet to show your friends how knowledgeable you are. Now, it won’t disguise you for long, but it will give you some insight on just how legendary this band is. It might even encourage you to check out their show because you will never have the opportunity to so do again. Slayer announced last year that this will be their final world tour.

Genre: Metal/Thrash/Punk

Band Name: Slayer

Current Members:

Tom Araya - Vocals and Bass

Kerry King - Guitars

Gary Holt - Guitars

Paul Bostaph - Drums

Previous Members:

Jeff Hanneman – Guitar (1981–2013; died 2013

Dave Lombardo – Drums, Percussion (1981–1986, 1987–1992, 2001–2013)

Jon Dette – Drums, Percussion (1996–1997; touring member 2013)

Year Established: 1981

Birth: Huntington Park, California

Topics of Interest: War, Satanism, religion, serial killers, death, hell, rebellion, government, Nazism, history

Last Show: Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018 at Jäähalli, Helsinki, Finland

Next US Show: Thursday, May 2, 2019 in Phoenix, AZ, Ak-Chin Pavillion

Next show closest to Atlanta: Saturday, May 10, Tampa, FL, Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Best Known For: Slayer is one of the four bands that pioneered thrash metal alongside Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeath. They heavily influenced the subgenres of death metal, black metal, and extreme metal.

Landmark Album: Reign In Blood (1986) was their third studio album. This was the album that set the stage for Slayer’s signature sound and thrash metal.

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Interesting Facts:

  • Five time nominated and two time Grammy Award recipients. Slayer won in 2007 for “Eyes Of the Insane” and in 2008 for “Final Six” from the album Christ Illusion.

  • Gary Holt doesn’t like the Imagine Dragons, but then again, I might be the only one that does.

  • Slayer began using Satanic themes and lyrics to scare people and to separate themselves from Hollywood glam bands. It was their way to mess with people.

  • In 1984, Kerry King played Megadeath’s first five shows alongside lead guitarist Dave Mustaine.

  • Slayer’s other band name choice was Wings of Fire.

  • Slayer, Run DMC, and The Beastie Boys were all in the studio at the same time with Def Jam producer Rick Rubin. Rubin produced Reign in Blood which became Slayer’s first album to debut on the Billboard 200.

  • The Slayer Mobile Amp tC by Scion debuted in 2014.

  • Repentless (2015) is the only album ever recorded without late guitarist, songwriter and lyricist Jeff Hanneman. Hanneman was one of the founding members that passed away in 2013 from a skin eating disease contracted from a spider bite. He is regarded by Decibel Magazine as “arguably the band’s creative nexus during their best years.”

  • In 2017, Slayer released a three comic book series, Repentless, through Dark Horse Comics based off their music videos for that album. “We’re telling the story that we’ve always told about society and how humans treat each other, " said Tom Araya for

  • “Raining Blood” is probably the one song that they have played at every show since it was written.

  • Their music has been featured on various shows, games and movies such as South Park, Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Spawn The Album and Blair Witch Two: The Book of Shadows to name a few. You can also see how creator Tom Kapino pays homage to Slayer in the show Californication by using their album titles as book titles.

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Jessica Vega

Vega is a California native with an Atlanta heart. She is a writer at Bullet Music with a background in production and event management. She is a people person, taco lover, and a dual degree recipient.