We got mATT HEAFY and ALISSA WHITE-gLuz to­gether to chat about why Slayer will live for­ever.

Nei­ther Triv­ium nor Arch En­emy would ex­ist with­out Slayer. We got front­peo­ple and life­long Slayer fans Matt Heafy and Alissa White-Gluz to dis­sect the thrash icons’ legacy

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - Words: stephen hill • piC­tUres: Jeremy saf­fer & Kevin nixon

it’s not just us fans that have been moved by the news about the end of one of metal’s all-time great icons. The mu­si­cians of our world have been, too. We sat down with Alissa White-Gluz of Swedish melo-death leg­ends Arch En­emy, and Matt Heafy, a true heavy metal en­cy­clo­pe­dia and leader of Triv­ium, as they mourned the thrash ti­tans and re­mem­bered their legacy.

Alissa: So you guys ac­tu­ally co-head­lined with Slayer, right? That’s crazy.

Matt:

“Yeah, it was freak­ing in­sane. The

UK was our ter­ri­tory, and we came out in

Manch­ester [in 2008], where we had head­lined be­fore, and

I heard some boo­ing.

So I said, ‘Ev­ery­one who loves Triv­ium make some noise!’

And about 75% of the crowd cheered. And then I said, ‘Ev­ery­one who hates Triv­ium make some noise!’ And the other 25% re­ally screamed! Ha ha ha! And I said, ‘Ha! I even got the peo­ple that hate us to do some­thing for me!’ But it was great, I can’t be­lieve we got to co-head­line with Slayer! One of the great­est bands in the his­tory of metal, a band with­out which none of the sub-gen­res of metal would even have ex­isted! It was an amaz­ing tour, when you look at that line-up: Slayer, Triv­ium, Mastodon and Amon Amarth! If you did that tour now, it would be at least twice the size that it was then... and it was pretty big then! Crazy for us… I mean, I still re­mem­ber the smell from the first time I heard Slayer! It was that pow­er­ful to me.”

Matt: When did you first hear Slayer? Alissa:

“I’m not sure I can re­mem­ber the ex­act date, or even the song, but I do re­mem­ber that I was young and was still pre­dom­i­nately lis­ten­ing to punk rock rather than metal at that time, and they just seemed to fuse both of those things. It took me back a lit­tle, I was kind of shocked – the power, the fe­roc­ity… they were just this force of na­ture.”

Matt: “I was in [for­mer Triv­ium drum­mer] Travis Smith’s car, this beat-up, old rick­ety thing – it was like some­thing from Break­ing Bad! I was sit­ting in the back but he didn’t have any seats, be­cause they had all melted away, so I was just sit­ting on this moulded plas­tic and he said, ‘Hey, do you wanna hear some­thing?’ and he put on Killing Fields from [1994’s] Divine In­ter­ven­tion and cranked it all the way up. That was the first time I’d ever heard Slayer. I can still re­mem­ber be­ing hap­pily pul­verised. I had never heard any­thing like that be­fore. They’ve been such a big in­flu­ence on ev­ery­one in metal.”

Matt: How have they in­flu­enced you?

Alissa:

“I don’t know if I’m in­flu­enced by them lyri­cally or vo­cally – although I think Tom is a re­ally in­ter­est­ing vo­cal­ist – be­cause I tend to write more with a melody or a vo­cal pat­tern in mind, and Slayer are so much more about just this beat pat­tern. A kind of, if you’ll ex­cuse the pun, re­lent­less pun­ish­ment.”

Matt: “Yeah, It’s just a lit­tle bit more evil than stuff like Me­gadeth or Metal­lica.

It’s funny, be­cause peo­ple con­sider Slayer an ex­treme band, and they def­i­nitely are, but it’s not got those Cookie

Mon­ster vo­cals. De­spite that,

I think Tom’s voice is just as ex­treme as some­one like Corpseg­rinder from Can­ni­bal Corpse.

Be­cause it’s lit­er­ally just yelling, it’s so strange, but it just works. The in­flu­ence they have had on me is that what­ever part of their mu­sic you hear, you know it’s

Slayer – the voice, the gui­tar tone.

It’s amaz­ing that the gui­tar tone lit­er­ally couldn’t be any­one else. A Slayer solo can only be a Slayer solo! Which is such a dif­fi­cult thing to do. It’s so cool, that’s why they’re great.”

“I was hap­pIly pul­verIsed by

Killing Fields”

matt heafy

Alissa: “Yeah, I love Kerry, I don’t want to come across as bi­ased when it comes to my favourite mem­ber of the band, but I know Kerry and his wife and we hang out a bit. And he’s such a great guy, and such an icon as well. Like, peo­ple that don’t know about metal know about Slayer, and they know who Kerry is.”

Matt: “Yeah, just the crazy Slayer guy with the tat­toos on his head.

Even his head tat­toos are more fa­mous than some bands! I mean, I couldn’t pos­si­bly pick out one guy from that band as

a favourite mem­ber.”

Alissa: What’s your favourite Slayer al­bum?

Matt:

“As ob­vi­ous as

it might

sound, it has to be Reign In Blood.

I mean, that record is only 29 min­utes long! For one of the big­gest metal records of all time, that’s just a crazy fact. I went in a weird way get­ting into Slayer; I got into metal in 1999 and I got [1994’s] Divine In­ter­ven­tion first and then I got [1998’s] Di­a­bolus In Mu­sica. But when I got Reign In Blood, that is what re­ally got me into Slayer, be­cause it was just so dif­fer­ent to Metal­lica, Pan­tera and Me­gadeth. And it re­ally doesn’t mat­ter if you’re into Power Trip or Can­ni­bal Corpse or Em­peror, you can find some­thing on that record that re­lates.”

Alissa: “I re­ally love [1988’s]

South Of Heaven. I think that would have to be my favourite record. I ac­tu­ally think there is some­thing re­ally won­der­ful and very in­ter­est­ing about the pro­duc­tion on that record. It re­ally has a creepy, fright­en­ing and bru­tal qual­ity to it. The ti­tle track pretty much speaks for it­self in terms of leg­endary metal songs, but then it’s also got stuff like Read Be­tween

The Lies on it, too, which doesn’t get spo­ken about as much.”

Matt: “You know, I ac­tu­ally re­ally loved Re­pent­less as well. If that’s how they’re go­ing out, then that’s a great record to end on. I love that it has

Gary Holt on it, who is such a per­fect fit for them, since his work in Ex­o­dus did so much to shape the sound of thrash metal as well, and it felt like a re­ally great cap­sule of ev­ery­thing Slayer ever did.”

Alissa: “I’ve ac­tu­ally not heard it that much, and I have no idea if it is a fan-favourite, but when I heard it I thought it was good. It had a lot of the punkier and faster stuff in it that you don’t of­ten hear from bands of their age. That’s im­pres­sive. You’re right about Gary Holt; ob­vi­ously it was a tragic, ter­ri­ble thing when Jeff passed away, but they haven’t dam­aged their legacy at all by con­tin­u­ing.”

Matt: “And Jeff has taken on a life of his own in many ways. You now see peo­ple wear­ing the ‘Han­ne­man’ t-shirts at Slayer shows; he’s not been for­got­ten, he’s be­ing re­ally cel­e­brated more than ever be­fore.

The songs he wrote for that band can’t be un­der­stated. So, they’re do­ing right by him. Although, the self­ish part of me hopes that this isn’t re­ally the end, that we will see some more Slayer shows pop up in the fu­ture.”

Matt: Do you think we’ll see more Slayer shows?

Alissa: “Even if we don’t, they have be­come such a huge part of heavy metal, for­ever now. They never com­pro­mised, they al­ways stuck to their guns, they al­ways re­mained Slayer, re­mained ex­treme to the end.”

Matt: “That’s the thing – I love bands that ex­per­i­ment and try new things. I love Load and Reload and

I feel like Metal­lica needed to do that. But, there is also some­thing amaz­ing about a band who just go, ‘Nope.

This is us. Take it or leave it.’ And Slayer sound­ing like Slayer is just… right! That’s why peo­ple feel so de­voted to them; that’s why their legacy is un­touch­able. There are two things you hear at ev­ery show shouted by the crowd now: ‘Free­bird’ and ‘Slayer’! Skynyrd and Slayer are the last two con­stants in mu­sic!

That’s some legacy!” TRIV­IUM’S THE SIN AND THE

SEN­TENCE IS OUT NOW VIA ROAD­RUN­NER. ARCH EN­EMY’S WILL TO POWER IS OUT NOW VIA CEN­TURY ME­DIA

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