After storming through Europe on the Big Four tour with fellow thrashers Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, the members of Slayer say they're ready to do it again -- though bassist Tom Araya notes that "in some ways it's not really in our control."
"I thought it was odd when it first came up; 'Let's see how these shows do, and maybe we'll think about doing it elsewhere,' " Araya recalls. "I'm like, 'You need to see how these shows are going to do? I don't. I think it's gonna be awesome'... We didn't need to think about it back in 1990, when it first came up. I knew it would be big back then. Twenty years later it's twice as big."
Still, Araya and guitarist Kerry King were both heartened by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich's recent comments predicting that the four bands could join forces again in 2011 and 2012 to tour other parts of the globe. "When we were out there, any time I got a chance to talk to Lars I was like, 'Dude, we've got to do this more. We've got to go everywhere! It's so cool, everybody deserves to see it," King says. "Everybody had such a good time, but I know Metallica toured a shitload on ['Death Magnetic'], so I don't know when it's going to happen. The toughest thing is the logistics of it all; if everybody is on board, I think it'll happen."
Slayer is hardly wanting for things to do in the interim, however. The quartet is currently in Europe before launching its 10-week American Carnage Tour with Megadeth and Testament on Aug. 11 in Glens Falls, N.Y. As on its recent Canadian Carnage run, the group will be playing the entirety of its 1990 "Seasons in the Abyss" album which, combined with Megadeth playing its entire "Rust in Peace" album hearkens back to the original 1990-91 Clash of the Titans tour featuring both bands.
"That was something Megadeth had been doing," Araya says. "They wanted to know if we'd jump on board and do [an album] also, and we were like, 'Sure, we'll take one for the team.' And especially that album, we've played a lot of the songs live. It's a really great album."
King adds that, "To come back 20 years later and see how important those records were, still are, is cool -- weird, but cool. If I had to pick a second record to do after 'Reign in Blood,' this was definitely the one I wanted to do."
King says Slayer is starting to think about a follow-up to 2009's Grammy Award-nominated "World Painted Blood," although no formal plans have been made yet for recording. "I've got some titles left over from the last time we were writing and...some very beginning ideas, musically," he reports. "When we were off for six, seven months earlier this year [when Araya was recovering from back surgery] and had nothing else to do, I said, 'I should take this time and do something,' but sure as shit I didn't pick up a guitar for four weeks! But I think about [the next album] all the time, so we'll get into it soon enough."