Slayer recently sat down with FUSE to provide insight into the new album, including returning drummer Paul Bostaph and fill-in guitarist Gary Holt’s involvement in the recordings. However, the biggest bombshell they dropped was that Slayer isn’t signed to a record label at the moment. Furthermore, Tom Araya even states that “I asked our manager to reach out to him, but … no response or reply. Yeah, so that’s kinda sad.” Kerry King adds that they hope to be signed to someone by the end of December so that they can actually start recording by January.
This is a surprise for numerous reasons. First off, Slayer has had a long and well-documented history with the eccentric producer and his label (starting with Reign In Blood, and even transitioning from Def Jam to American Recordings when Rubin made the switch). And second, even before Jeff Hanneman’s passing and the drama surrounding Dave Lombardo, King revealed that Rubin’s trouble with distributors was a factor for the new album’s delay. With the second point in mind, maybe the writing was on the wall about the label split (and maybe it’s for the best). While there’s a chance American Recordings could still resign them, Slayer have now become the hottest free agent in metal. Let the bidding war begin?
Watch Slayer discussing the new album and recent label issues with FUSE below.
UPDATE: Slayer’s manager has since issued a statement clarifying Slayer’s status with American Recordings.