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Slayer, Rob Zombie make beautiful metal music together

for Journal Register Newspapers

Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

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Slayer and Rob Zombie know that some in the heavy metal world might see their summer Hell On Earth Tour pairing as “awkward,” according to the former’s singer-bassist Tom Araya. But it makes perfect sense to the musicians.

“I think it works,” says Araya, 50. “We’ve been building a really good reputation as far as our (live) performances, and Zombie is very visual and theatrical and provides some good entertainment. I think people are going to get their money’s worth from both bands.”

Zombie (ne Rob Cummings), noting that he’s “been friends with Slayer for a long time,” concurs. “You’ve got to find that perfect balance where there’s enough difference in the bands that it isn’t an entire evening of the same thing but it’s not too varied so the fans don’t match,” Zombie, 46, explains. “You want it to be similar enough vibewise so you can present a whole evening of entertainment together.

“It worked for us and Alice Cooper, and I think it works the same way for us and Slayer.”

Slayer is soldiering on despite the absence of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who’s battling necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacteria inflammation likely contracted from a spider bite. Gary Holt of Exodus, which is also on the Hell On Earth Tour, is filling in. Zombie, meanwhile, has said he might still be doing some casting for his upcoming horror film “The Lords of Salem” while he’s on the road. Might Araya and his bandmates angle for a part?

“Oh, if he approaches and says, ‘Hey, I got a role for you,’ I’d give it a try. Why not?” Araya says with a laugh. “What’s it gonna hurt? Let’s face it; everybody wants to be in a movie. It’s worth a shot. All they can tell you is that you’re no good — and they’ve said that since we started our band, but that didn’t stop us from doing what we do.”

Slayer, Rob Zombie and Exodus perform at 7 p.m. Friday, July 22, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $39.50 and $29.50 pavilion, $15 lawn with a $44 lawn four-pack. Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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