Rick Rubin No Longer Working With Slayer

by Mike Lawrence on December 12, 2013


Long time Slayer producer Rick Rubin is apparently moving on from the band.  The band has been on Rubin’s record label Def Jam/Def American since 1986.  Rubin produced arguably the bands three biggest albums Reign in Blood, South of Heaven and Seasons in the Abyss and has executive produced all of their releases in the 1990’s and 2000’s, so he had a big part in helping to create Slayer’s current style and sound.

The band has been without a record deal throughout 2013 as their deal with Def American expired.  The band has said all along that they were looking to resign with Rubin.  However, in a recent interview lead singer and bassist Tom Araya said this will not be happening: “I asked our manager to reach out to [Rick Rubin],”  but [Slayer got] no response or reply. Yeah, so that’s kinda sad.”

RickRubin_slayerThe band had been planning to write and record new material in 2014, but this kind of puts a wrench in things. With this being such a successful teaming of band and producer, one has to wonder what the reasoning is here.  Is it because Rubin feels that the band won’t be the same creatively without original guitarist and writer Jeff Hanneman?  Is he just tired of working with them or is it something else entirely?  Who knows, but I agree with Araya’s sentiment that this is “kinda sad”.

Update 12/13/2013:

Slayer’s manager, Rick Sales, has released a statement that seems to fly in the face of what the band had to say about no longer working with Rubin.  Sales says that the band is still negotiating with Rubin and a couple of other record labels.  It’s tough to say what the real truth is here.  However if there are other labels involved in negotiations with the band, it would seem that there definitely is some trouble with Rubin and the record label that the band has been a part of since 1986.  Perhaps the band didn’t like Rubin’s initial offer or maybe there’s even more to it than that.  Where Kerry King is involved, anything is possible and the truth is usually somewhat of a gray area.  Here is Sales’ official statement:

“With Jeff’s tragic passing and Slayer’s eventual hectic touring schedule over the past several months, there has been a bit of mutual ‘holding off‘ on jumping into any new long term recording commitment, but we would like to clarify the comments that Tom and Kerry made in the Fuse interview. It is true that Slayer is currently out of contract, as they delivered their final required album to American Recordings some time ago. Rick Rubin began a new distribution agreement with Universal last year and American/Universal absolutely has made a significant proposal to re-sign the band. Both parties had been in substantial negotiation over that proposal at the time of Jeff’s passing; and in fairness to everyone, a little space has been given on all sides in terms of closing any new deal. We are excited about the possibility of re-signing with Rick Rubin’s venture, and are also considering several other options that have been presented since the previous long term contract with American expired. The band has been taking much needed time to regroup and consider their various options for the future, and looks forward to a new beginning, wherever that may be.”

What do you think of this development?  Will this hurt the band or allow them to venture into new sounds?  Leave a comment and let us know.

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