Kerry King Cuts Off Contact With Tom Araya: ‘Not Even A Text’

In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Kerry King discussed the fallout with Tom Araya, revealing they haven’t spoken since Slayer’s final show in 2019, sparking questions about potential reconciliation.

King disclosed that there has been a complete lack of communication between him and Araya, saying:

“Not even a text. Not even an email.”

Conditional Openness To Communication

Despite this, the musician mentioned he has been in touch with other band members through various means of communication:

“I’ve talked to everybody else from the band on the phone, text or email. If Tom hit me up, I’d probably respond. It probably depends on what he hit me up for, but I don’t wish him dead at this moment.”

Still, King reflected on the possibility of sharing a brief moment with Araya over their mutual appreciation for tequila:

“Am I going to hang out with Tom? He likes tequila a little bit, and I’m a big tequila-head, so I’ll have my shot with him, and we’ll part ways. We’re not going to hang out or anything because we are very different people. And together, we made great music and a great live show.”

The Reasons Behind The Split

Reflecting on the reasons behind Araya’s decision to step back from the band, King speculated:

“I think just the wear and tear of the road. I think he wanted to be home. None of us are real spotlight seekers, but he’s certainly not. And when [late Slayer guitarist] Jeff [Hanneman] was around, he was like a hermit. He did not want fame. I tolerate fame. Somebody’s got to be that guy.”

Following Slayer’s extensive final world tour, which concluded in November 2019 at the Forum in Los Angeles, discussions about a possible reunion were quickly shut down by King’s wife, Ayesha, who asserted that the band would not be reuniting for live performances.

Araya had previously hinted at his readiness for retirement in a 2016 interview, citing the challenges of balancing life on the road with family time as a primary concern. Additionally, health issues, including a neck surgery that prevented him from headbanging, impacted his enjoyment of performing live.