Tom Araya

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Tom Araya
14-06-08 RiP Slayer Tom Araya 1.JPG
Tom Araya performing live with Slayer in 2014
Background information
Birth nameTomás Enrique Araya Díaz
Also known asTom Araya
Born (1961-06-06) June 6, 1961 (age 57)
Viña del Mar, Chile
Genres Thrash metal
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, bass guitar
Years active1981–present
Labels American, Def Jam, Metal Blade, Nuclear Blast
Associated acts Slayer
Website slayer.net

Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz (Spanish pronunciation:  [tom aɾaʝa] ; born June 6, 1961) is a Chilean-American musician, best known as the lead vocalist and bassist of the American thrash metal band Slayer. Araya is ranked fifty-eighth by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time.

Slayer American thrash metal band

Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California. The band was formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and vocalist and bassist Tom Araya and. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax. Slayer's current lineup comprises King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt. Hanneman and drummers Dave Lombardo and Jon Dette are former members of the band.

Hit Parader was an American music magazine that operated between 1942 and 2008. A monthly publication, it was a general popular music title until the 1980s, when its focus turned to the genres of hard rock and heavy metal. The magazine reached its peak during the 1980s as heavy metal music achieved high levels of popularity and commercial success.

Contents

Araya was employed as a respiratory therapist in the early 1980s and used his earnings to finance Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy . Much of Araya's lyrical content is about serial killers, a subject he finds interesting; his first credited lyrical contribution was the vampire-themed track "At Dawn They Sleep" from 1985's Hell Awaits .

Respiratory therapist health profession

A respiratory therapist is a specialized healthcare practitioner trained in pulmonary medicine in order to work therapeutically with people suffering from pulmonary disease. Respiratory therapists graduate from a community college or university with a certification in respiratory therapy and have passed a national board certifying examination. The NBRC is the not-for-profit organization responsible for credentionaling the seven areas of Respiratory Therapy.

<i>Show No Mercy</i> 1983 studio album by Slayer

Show No Mercy is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on December 3, 1983 by Metal Blade Records. Brian Slagel signed the band to the label after watching them perform the song "Phantom of the Opera" by Iron Maiden. The band self-financed their full-length debut, combining the savings of vocalist Tom Araya, who was employed as a respiratory therapist, and money borrowed from guitarist Kerry King's father. Touring extensively promoting the album, the band brought close friends and family members along the trip, who helped backstage with lighting and sound.

A serial killer is typically a person who murders three or more people, usually in service of abnormal psychological gratification, with the murders taking place over more than a month and including a significant period of time between them. Different authorities apply different criteria when designating serial killers. While most set a threshold of three murders, others extend it to four or lessen it to two. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) defines serial killing as "a series of two or more murders, committed as separate events, usually, but not always, by one offender acting alone".

Early life and career

Tomás Enrique Araya Diaz was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, but his family moved to the US when he was five. He grew up in Maywood, California, in what he described as "a bad neighborhood that was pretty gang-oriented." [1] His older brother, Cisco, played guitar. This inspired Araya to pick up bass at age eight. The two played Beatles and Rolling Stones songs, which he would later cite as an influence on his own music. [2]

Viña del Mar City and Commune in Valparaíso, Chile

Viña del Mar is a city and commune on central Chile's Pacific coast. Often referred to as La Ciudad Jardín, Viña del Mar is located within the Valparaíso Region, and it is Chile's fourth largest city with a population of 324,836. Viña del Mar is also part of the Greater Valparaíso area, the country's third largest metropolitan area, after the Metropolitan areas of Santiago and Concepción. The Greater Valparaíso Area is home to five municipalities: Valparaíso, Viña del Mar, Concon, Quilpue and Villa Alemana.

Maywood, California City in California

Maywood is a small Gateway city in Los Angeles County. At 1.18 square miles (3.1 km2), Maywood is the third-smallest incorporated city in Los Angeles County. It is bordered by the cities of Bell on the south, Vernon on the north and west, Huntington Park on the southwest, and Commerce on the east. It is the most densely-populated city in California, and has the highest proportion of Latinos, immigrants, and undocumented immigrants in the county.

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The line-up of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr led the band to be regarded as the foremost and most influential in history. With a sound rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to the evolution of pop music into an art form, and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated elements of classical music, older pop forms, and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and in later years experimented with a number of musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As they continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they came to be seen as embodying the era's sociocultural movements.

In the early 1980s, Araya's eldest sister suggested he enroll in a program to become certified as a respiratory therapist. Araya's father insisted he either find a job or enroll in the course. Araya enrolled in a two-year technical course, learning about air mixture ratios, drawing blood, and how to intubate. [2]

Venipuncture process of obtaining intravenous access

In medicine, venipuncture or venepuncture is the process of obtaining intravenous access for the purpose of intravenous therapy or for blood sampling of venous blood. In healthcare, this procedure is performed by medical laboratory scientists, medical practitioners, some EMTs, paramedics, phlebotomists, dialysis technicians, and other nursing staff. In veterinary medicine, the procedure is performed by veterinarians and veterinary technicians.

In 1981, Araya was approached by Kerry King, who asked Araya to join his band, Slayer. Araya accepted, using his earnings as a respiratory therapist to finance the band's 1983 debut album Show No Mercy. [3] Araya requested time off of work from his employer, the Brotman Medical Center, [4] for Slayer's first European tour in 1984 and was denied; "'We need you to come in today.' They'd call me at 5:00 in the morning and wake me, 'Someone's not coming in, we need you to come in to work.'" After a month of sporadic attendance, his employers threatened termination; Araya replied "Well, I guess I'm fired." [2]

Kerry King American musician

Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known as a guitarist and songwriter for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and has been a member ever since.

In 2006, Araya underwent gallbladder surgery, which disrupted The Unholy Alliance tour. Originally set to launch on June 6, the tour was postponed to June 13. Araya was also unable to finish the vocals for a song entitled "Final Six," which was to be included on Slayer's 2006 album Christ Illusion ; later released on the special edition of the album. [5] Araya brought his children on the tour stating "it's kind of cool to expose them at such a young age. My first concert, I was, like, 17." [6] "We [Slayer] have been fortunate- fortunate enough to have lasted as long as we have because a lot of bands don't last that long."

Gallbladder organ in humans and other vertebrates

In vertebrates, the gallbladder is a small hollow organ where bile is stored and concentrated before it is released into the small intestine. In humans, the pear-shaped gallbladder lies beneath the liver, although the structure and position of the gallbladder can vary significantly among animal species. It receives and stores bile, produced by the liver, via the common hepatic duct and releases it via the common bile duct into the duodenum, where the bile helps in the digestion of fats.

<i>Christ Illusion</i> 2006 studio album by Slayer

Christ Illusion is the tenth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on August 8, 2006 by American Recordings. It was the band's first album to feature original drummer Dave Lombardo since Seasons in the Abyss (1990), and also marked the first time since Divine Intervention (1994) that they recorded songs in D# tuning. The songs "Jihad", "Flesh Storm", "Catalyst", and "Consfearacy" were recorded in D# tuning, while "Catatonic", "Eyes of the Insane", "Skeleton Christ", and "Supremist" were recorded in Drop B tuning and "Black Serenade" and "Cult" in C# tuning.

On January 7, 2010, Slayer announced on its official website that back surgery had been scheduled for Araya and that the planned tour would be canceled through April of that year. The site assured fans, "Slayer camp working hard to reschedule dates for later this year." Araya is known for his aggressive headbanging and began experiencing back problems while the band was on tour in Australia/New Zealand/Japan in October 2009. Araya had an Anterior cervical discectomy and fusion. "The surgeon opened up my throat from the front," he explained. "Apparently it's easier that way. They pushed my oesophagus over to one side and did the repair work. It seems to have done the trick but I can't headbang anymore." [7]

On March 12, 2010, Metal Hammer magazine published an interview with Slayer's Dave Lombardo about Araya's recovery. The drummer stated, "He's recovering extremely quickly and really well. He is just moving forward and doing all the treatments and post operation stuff that he has to go through. He's doing good." [8] On May 20, 2010, Slayer confirmed that they would play two songs on TV for Jimmy Kimmel Live! [9] As a result of his surgery, Araya has significantly tempered his once aggressive on-stage movement and headbanging; now remaining relatively still during performances. On June 3, 2011, Araya received the keys to the city of his birth, Viña del Mar, Chile. [10]

In 2014, Araya made a cameo in the heavy metal horror film Hairmetal Shotgun Zombie Massacre: The Movie, directed by Joshua Allan Vargas.

Lyrics

Tom Araya at Nova Rock 2014 20140613-057-Nova Rock 2014-Slayer-Tom Araya.JPG
Tom Araya at Nova Rock 2014

Araya's interest in serial killers serves as inspiration for many of his lyrics, including the songs titled "213" about Jeffrey Dahmer and "Dead Skin Mask" about Ed Gein. [11] [12] "I'm trying to see where these guys are coming from so maybe I'll understand. It's always kind of intrigued me…" [2]

Araya wrote the lyrics for the Grammy Award winning song "Eyes of the Insane" from Slayer's 2006 album Christ Illusion. The lyrics were inspired by an article in the Texas Monthly about the casualties of war and the experiences of soldiers coping with physical and psychological trauma. Araya states "At points in their tour of Iraq, they need help and the military tends to ignore that, they kind of brush it under the mat and hopes it goes away. They try to make everything seem hunky dory and fine and dandy, when in actuality there is a lot of stuff going on that people can't handle. There's a lot of soldiers coming home with mental anguish. And the sad part is, we heard about post-traumatic stress after Vietnam and the first Gulf War and the military seems to want to wipe the slate clean with every new war." [13]

Personal life

Araya has a brother, Juan "Johnny" Araya, who currently plays bass in the melodic death metal band Thine Eyes Bleed. He also roadies for Slayer from time to time.

Araya resides in Buffalo, Texas, where he owns a ranch with his wife Sandra Araya and two children, daughter Ariel Asa Araya (b. May 11, 1996) and son Tomas Enrique Araya, Jr. (b. June 14, 1999). [6] He and his wife run a family ranch that includes 60+ head of cattle among other ranch animals. Araya reports that he sings country songs to help keep his "singing chops up." [14] Araya and his wife enjoy horror films such as The Amityville Horror and The Texas Chain Saw Massacre . The two allowed their children to watch horror films, but made it clear to them that it is just a movie when they asked "Is this real?" [15] His children are homeschooled. [16]

Araya is a supporter of English soccer team, Manchester United FC.

Religion

Tom Araya is Catholic. [17] In an interview, Araya expressed his belief that " Christ came and taught us about love, about doing unto others. That was his preach: Accept each other for who we are. Live peacefully, and love one another." When asked if he believed in God, he replied "I believe in a supreme being, yeah. But He's an all-loving God." [18] Araya explained that he has a "really strong belief system," and Slayer's images and words will "never interfere with what I believe and how I feel People are not in good shape to where they have to question their own belief system because of a book or a story somebody wrote, or a Slayer song." [19]

Araya commented about the misconception of the band labeled as Satan worshippers, "Yeah, yeah I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions towards the band, but next to that just the fact that we're normal." If guitarist King writes a good song, Araya puts his beliefs aside, "I'm not one that's going to go, 'This sucks because it's contrary to my beliefs.' To me it's more like 'This is really good stuff. You're going to piss people off with this.'" [19]

In 2016, Araya further explained that the main reason Slayer used satanic imagery was to scare people, in particular, the "Hollywood people." They wanted to separate themselves from the Hollywood crowd. They didn't want to be a part of that so Slayer took the image they have now. [20] Neither he nor any of his bandmates has any association with Satanism.

Guest appearances

Equipment

Tom Araya playing his ESP signature bass in 2012 Ursynalia 2012, Slayer, Tom Araya 01.jpg
Tom Araya playing his ESP signature bass in 2012

Araya endorses Marshall amplifiers and ESP-guitars which are currently marketing Tom Araya signature bass guitars. [21] He was one of the first bassists to have a signature ESP bass series.

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References

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  2. 1 2 3 4 Tom Araya (January 4, 2005). "Interview With Slayer Vocalist/ Bassist Tom Araya". KNAC.COM (Interview). Interviewed by Brian Davis. Seattle: KNAC. Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  3. "Live chat with Tom Araya of Slayer". ESPguitars.com. Archived from the original on May 9, 2006. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  4. Stingley, Mick (August 21, 2009). "Rockstar Energy Mayhem Fest Special! Part 2: Platinum Records, Staying Mellow and Michael Jackson: Interview With Tom Araya of Slayer". KNAC . Retrieved February 19, 2016.
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  7. Barton, Geoff: "The Big Four reunite"; Classic Rock #148, August 2010, p19
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  9. "Jimmy Kimmel Tonight". slayer.net. May 20, 2010. Archived from the original on May 23, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
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  16. "Slayer". Kids Interview Bands. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2016.
  17. "TOM ARAYA: SLAYER's Lyrics Are 'Just Words And They'll Never Interfere With What I Believe'". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. July 9, 2006. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  18. Tom Araya (July 2004). "Slay Ride" (Interview). Interviewed by John La Briola. Archived from the original on August 3, 2004. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
  19. 1 2 Feniak, Jenny. "Slayer likes bad-boy image". Jam.com. Archived from the original on May 24, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  20. Loudwire. "Slayer's Tom Araya - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?". YouTube. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  21. "The ESP Guitar Company: Tom Araya Signature Series". Espguitars.com. Archived from the original on November 2, 2010. Retrieved November 11, 2010.