I am not an atheist; I believe in God. But my religion ends there. I have my own personal belief system that is so strong it allows me to do what I do. I don't have to worry about going to Hell because of Slayer, you know? Everyone has a personal belief system and believes in life somehow.
I was born and raised Catholic, so it's in my blood. I don't go to church... I was born and raised Catholic, which is about the extent of my religion. My parents made one request: that I have my first Holy Communion.
Yeah, yeah I think that's one of the biggest misconceptions towards the band. The biggest one is that we're Satan worshippers, but next to that just the fact that we're normal.
When you're in a club or a theater or even an arena, yeah, you want visuals, you want a good light show. But Slayer has always been about the sound. We have to sound good. It has to be tight.
When this genre of music started in America, Metallica was up north in California, we were in Southern California, Anthrax was on the East Coast. We each developed our own metal music, and after 30 years, we're still playing our metal music.
Slayer fans are unforgiving. Early on in the career, if something changes, it's accepted. But 30 years down the road, in my opinion, they would rather see us do a three-piece than even try to replace Jeff, in a sense.
To fans in a festival setting it's like a picnic. You want to have a good time with your friends in that crowd. And in the background you hear the band play, 'Oh, that's my favorite song!' everyone is there to enjoy the afternoon and that's about it.
I read a book recently by a psychiatrist who was able to interview a few serial killers and she had a thesis on how you could figure these people out. And she thinks that there are things that could tell you whether someone has the potential to do that.
When I heard the idea of a Slayer wine, I tasted the wines they suggested for us. To be honest, I was a bit skeptical at first before I tasted it, but once I tried it, I thought, 'You know what? This is actually really good. A really fruity and round type of flavor for a red wine.' It's very flavorful and tasted awesome!
Besides Slayer, which is a full-time job, I raise animals. I have a ranch in Texas. My wife takes care of the animals when I'm on tour. When I get home, I become a ranch hand.
We just bought a new house, so my wife's been doing all the moving and other stuff, so I would like to go home and just sit and enjoy all that for a couple months before I gotta start playing again.
After that I didn't listen to music as much because '70s music just wasn't... I remember all the songs, but it wasn't because I was into them, you know what I mean?
I read true crime books, and I read when people do case studies of stuff. I'm into books like that. Case studies or forensics or murder - all that good stuff.
I went to school for about 2 years on a technical course, and I learned a lot. I learned about air mixture ratios and all the stuff; I learned how to draw blood.
That was the reasoning behind learning to play bass, and then after that it was more like it was neat to play songs together - for me to play bass and for him to play guitar.
Our album 'Show No Mercy' came out in late '83, and we did three or four shows in San Francisco after the release. That was our first experience with stage-divers, crowd-surfing, people walking on people across an entire crowd.
Growing up, my dad drank a lot of wine, so I got a taste for, and learned how to enjoy it. He spoke a lot about flavors and differences in tastes of wine. Also, our manager, Rick Sales, is a big wine drinker; he goes to a lot of wine-tasting classes, and he's taught me about the qualities of wine.
I recommend anybody go to a bookstore, go down the self-help or new-age section, and just walk those aisles. See what book jumps out at you; there's a good chance it's a book you need in your life. That's basically how I find the books that I read.
I would have to work on the song and figure out how they wanted the song done, because they're such high-intensity songs. We figure that out first, then I go back and listen to it and go over and rehearse stuff with it and try to get a feel for the words.
Sometimes I'll sing the same verse through the entire song, because the other verses aren't clicking. And when they do come to me, I'm in the middle of that same verse!