EVERYBODY LOVES TOM ARAYA
At age five, Tom Araya left Chile with his family to come to America. Fifteen years after that, he joined the then-fledgling band Slayer. Thirty years after that (i.e., now), Slayer enjoys acclaim only shared by Iron Maiden in consistency and intensity. And as Maiden is fronted by the greatest metal singer of all time, Slayer has Araya, metal’s most compelling, visceral screamer. Two notes are all he needs. I’d attend NASCAR if he were the announcer; if he were a salesman, I’d buy used toilets from the dude.
Word of Araya’s skillz (and cuddly-bear disposition) seems to have reached authorities in Chile, as Friday he was granted the key to the city of Viña del Mar, his birthplace. Araya said:
I’m kind of speechless; I don’t what to say. They’re probably gonna change the locks [once] they give me the key [laughs]. It’s an honor. I think it’s great. You see other people receive rewards like that, but it’s usually people of political status or someone that’s really done something for the community or done something important. I’m excited. All I can say is, thank you.
I’m no Tom Araya, but shit I lived in my hometown way past the age of five and the only recognition I’ve got so far was when they named Dead Whore Ravine* after my makeshift dumping site for strangled prostitutes. That’s gratitude for ya. On a side note: Man, Slayer shows in Chile are terrifying (above). Flaming mosh pit FTW.
Slayer’s world tour continues Thursday and Friday in Brazil. Full dates here.
*Actually, it was more of a gulch.