|Birth name||Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz|
|Born|| June 6, 1961 |
Viña del Mar, Chile
|Origin||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz (Spanish pronunciation: [tonaˈɾaʝa] ; born June 6, 1961) is an American musician, best known as the vocalist and bassist of thrash metal band Slayer. Araya is ranked 58th by Hit Parader on their list of the 100 Greatest Metal Vocalists of All Time. Before Slayer was disbanded in 2019, Araya, along with Kerry King, were the only members who stayed in the band since its inception.
Araya was employed as a respiratory therapist in the early 1980s and used his earnings to finance Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy (1983). 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 .
Tomás Enrique Araya Diaz was born in Viña del Mar, Chile, but his family moved to the U.S. when he was five. He grew up in Los Angeles.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.
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.
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 . "'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." Along with King, Araya was one of the two original members to remain in Slayer for the entire length of the band's career, from 1981 to 2019.Araya requested time off of work from his employer, the Brotman Medical Center, for Slayer's first European tour in 1984 and was denied;
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.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." "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."
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. He 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."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 March 12, 2010, Metal Hammer magazine published an interview with Slayer's Dave Lombardo about Araya's recovery. Lombardo 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."
On May 20, 2010, Slayer confirmed that they would play two songs on TV for Jimmy Kimmel Live!
On June 3, 2011, Araya received the keys to the city of his birth, Viña del Mar.
In 2014, Araya made a cameo in the heavy metal horror film Hairmetal Shotgun Zombie Massacre: The Movie, directed by Joshua Allan Vargas.
From May 2018 to November 2019, with the last show being in their hometown Los Angeles, Slayer embarked on what they called their final world tourand eventually dissolved.
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."I'm trying to see where these guys are coming from so maybe I'll understand. It's always kind of intrigued me…"
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 stated, "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."
Araya has a brother, Juan "Johnny" Araya, who currently plays bass in the melodic death metal band Thine Eyes Bleed. He has also occasionally worked as a roadie for Slayer.
Araya resides in Texas, where he owns a ranch with his wife Sandra Araya and two children, daughter Ariel Asa Araya (b. 1996) and son Tomas Enrique Araya Jr. (b. 1998).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". 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?" His children were homeschooled.
Araya suffers from sleep apnea and uses a CPAP machine regularly at home and on tour.
In 2010, Araya underwent neck surgery after years of headbanging. The operation went well but he could no longer perform the dramatic motions he used to display, which was something he really missed doing.While on tour, his brother made a special "weight belt" for Araya to play the bass without straining his neck. After the recovery period ended, he reverted to using standard bass straps.
Araya is a practicing Roman Catholic. … 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." 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."In an interview, he expressed his belief that "
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.'"
In 2016, Araya further explained that the main reason Slayer used satanic imagery was to scare people, in particular, the "Hollywood people", wanting to separate themselves from the "androgynous Sunset Strip metal scene of the 1980s".
Araya endorses Marshall amplifiers and ESP guitars which are currently marketing Tom Araya signature bass guitars.He was one of the first bassists to have a signature ESP bass series.
Slayer was an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California formed in 1981 by guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, drummer Dave Lombardo and bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. Slayer's fast and aggressive musical style made them one of the "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. Slayer's final lineup comprised King, Araya, drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt, who initially joined as a touring member in 2011 before joining the band permanently after Hanneman's death in 2013. Drummer Jon Dette was also a member of the band.
Kim Bendix Petersen, better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Danish rock musician. As a vocalist, he is known for his powerful and wide-ranging countertenor singing voice, in particular his far-reaching falsetto screams. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for both Mercyful Fate and the eponymous King Diamond. He also plays keyboards and guitars on studio recordings but uses live shows to focus solely on his vocal performance. Diamond is renowned for his dark lyrical content and his story concepts. He is also known for his distinctive shock stage persona. He has been an influence for other rock and metal artists, including Metallica, Slayer and Cradle of Filth.
Reign in Blood is the third studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on October 7, 1986, by Def Jam Recordings. The album was the band's first collaboration with producer Rick Rubin, whose input helped the band's sound evolve. The release date of the album was delayed because of concerns regarding the lyrical subject matter of the opening track "Angel of Death", which refers to Josef Mengele and describes acts such as human experimentation that he committed at the Auschwitz concentration camp. The band's members stated that they did not condone Nazism and were merely interested in the subject.
South of Heaven is the fourth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer. It was released in July 1988 on Rick Rubin's label Def Jam Recordings. The album was their band's second album produced by Rubin, following Reign in Blood (1986). Given the innovative speed metal pace of Reign in Blood, Slayer deliberately slowed the tempo on South of Heaven and used undistorted guitars and toned-down vocals.
Kerry Ray King is an American musician, best known for being the co-lead guitarist and songwriter of thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and was one of two members to stay with the band for its 38-year existence, along with lead singer and bassist Tom Araya. After Slayer's disbandment in 2019, King went on to pursue a solo career, with his first album intended for a 2024 release.
Show No Mercy is the debut studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released in December 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.
Hell Awaits is the second studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released in March 1985 by Metal Blade Records. The band's 1983 debut Show No Mercy became Metal Blade Records' highest-selling release, and as a result, producer Brian Slagel desired to release a second Slayer album. To that end, Slagel financed a recording budget and recruited several experienced producers to help in the studio.
God Hates Us All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on September 11, 2001 by American Recordings. It was recorded over three months at The Warehouse Studio in Vancouver, and includes the Grammy Award-nominated song "Disciple". Guitarist Kerry King wrote the majority of its lyrics, taking a different approach from earlier recordings by exploring topics such as religion, murder, revenge, and self-control. Stylistically, the album shows a return to Slayer's classic thrash metal sound. It was the Slayer's last album to feature drummer Paul Bostaph until his return on their 2015 album Repentless.
"Angel of Death" is the opening track on American thrash metal band Slayer's 1986 album Reign in Blood. The lyrics and music were written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman. They detail the Nazi physician Josef Mengele's human experiments at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II.
Undisputed Attitude is the seventh studio album by American thrash metal band Slayer, released on May 28, 1996, by American Recordings. The album consists almost entirely of covers of punk rock and hardcore punk songs, and also includes two tracks written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman in 1984 and 1985 for a side project called Pap Smear; its closing track, "Gemini", is the only original track. The cover songs on the album were originally recorded by the bands the Stooges, Minor Threat, T.S.O.L., D.R.I., D.I., Dr. Know, and Verbal Abuse, whose work was prominently featured with the inclusion of cover versions of three of their songs.
David Lombardo is a Cuban-American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of American thrash metal band Slayer. He currently plays drums with Fantômas, Dead Cross, Mr. Bungle, Empire State Bastard, and Misfits.
Paul Steven Bostaph is an American drummer, best known as a member of the thrash metal band Slayer, initially from 1992 to 2001 and again from 2013 to 2019. His drumming career began in 1984, when he was 20 years old, and other than Slayer, he has worked with other bands such as Forbidden, Exodus, Systematic, Testament, and BlackGates. Metal-Rules.com describes Bostaph as "a true professional and one of the best drummers on today's metal music scene".
Jeffrey John Hanneman was an American musician, best known as a founding member and guitarist of the thrash metal band Slayer. Hanneman composed both music and lyrics for every Slayer album until his death in 2013. He had his own signature guitar, the ESP Jeff Hanneman Signature model.
Haunting the Chapel is an extended play (EP) released by American thrash metal band Slayer in 1984 through Metal Blade and Enigma Records. Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy became Metal Blade's highest-selling, leading to producer Brian Slagel wanting to release an EP. Recorded in Hollywood, the recording process proved difficult when recording drums in a studio without carpet, although it resulted in drummer Dave Lombardo meeting Gene Hoglan who was to become an influence in his drumming style and speed. It was during the recording of this session that Lombardo first had the double bass added to his kit. Hoglan, working for Slayer at the time, sat at the kit and played a double bass for the first time. Lombardo was impressed and although Hoglan never gave him lessons, he did give him tips regarding the use of the double kick drum.
Still Reigning is a live performance DVD by the thrash metal band Slayer, released in 2004 through American Recordings. Filmed at the Augusta Civic Center on July 11, 2004, the performance showcases Slayer's 1986 album, Reign in Blood, played in its entirety with the four original band members on a set resembling their 1986 "Reign in Pain" tour. Still Reigning was voted "best live DVD" by the readers of Revolver magazine, and received gold certification in 2005.
Gary Wayne Holt is an American musician from the San Francisco Bay Area. He is the guitarist, bandleader, and main songwriter for thrash metal band Exodus and was a member of Slayer from 2011 to 2019, replacing Jeff Hanneman on a temporary guitarist due to an illness in 2011, and on a permanent guitarist after Hanneman's death in May 2013.
Headbanging is the action of violently shaking one's head in rhythm with music. It is common in the contemporary rock, punk, heavy metal music and dubstep genres, where headbanging is often used by musicians on stage. Headbanging is also common in traditional Islamic Sufi music traditions such as Qawwali in the Indian subcontinent and Iran.
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 featuring all four original members in over sixteen years. Slayer's drummer, Dave Lombardo, performed with the band for the first time since Seasons in the Abyss (1990).
"Jihad" is a song by the American thrash metal band Slayer which appears on the band's 2006 studio album Christ Illusion. The song portrays the imagined viewpoint of a terrorist who has participated in the September 11, 2001 attacks, concluding with spoken lyrics taken from words left behind by Mohamed Atta; Atta was named by the FBI as the "head suicide terrorist" of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center. "Jihad" was primarily written by guitarist Jeff Hanneman; the lyrics were co-authored with vocalist Tom Araya.
"Eyes of the Insane" is a 2006 song by the American thrash metal band Slayer, taken from their 2006 album Christ Illusion. The lyrics explore an American soldier's mental anguish following his return home from the second Gulf War, and are based on an article entitled "Casualty of War" in Texas Monthly magazine. "Eyes of the Insane" was written by vocalist Tom Araya during pre-production for the album. The song was generally well received by critics, and also peaked #15 on the Danish singles charts.