For nearly four decades, Slayer has served as a gold standard for metal, an ironclad symbol of the genre’s disregard for institution and authority. And then this happened.
Frontman Tom Araya wasn’t nearly so complacent when Barack Obama became president. Though he called him a “smart guy,” he was also weirdly critical of the public’s response to that election. In an interview with Blabbermouth in 2008, Araya said, “Can you explain to me why people here in Vienna would be happy that Barack won, that he won the presidency? Or what would give them reason to celebrate. Everybody around the world celebrated that he won, but nobody can tell you why they celebrated. You have to have a reason to celebrate something . . . I found that very strange. The whole world is celebrating [that] this guy [won], and nobody knows him.”
In comparison, his laissez faire attitude towards Trump is odd, but telling. Especially when you compare it with subsequent comments made by Araya, which sound plucked from an alt-right Twitter account.
In his final comment thus far on the thread, Araya denies ever supporting Trump while asserting “the picture did exactly what I thought it would do…piss some of you off.”
There’s a difference between provocation and an outright disregard for the disenfranchised.