Apr 21, 2013
Road Crew Books have posted a new interview with Slayer guitar tech Johnny Araya.
When asked how he got started with the band, Johnny responded:
"I started my career with Slayer way back in 1983. I’d hang out in the garage and watch the guys practice. They were always practicing and writing; and since I was always around, they’d let me come along and help schlep gear. I was 13 years old and ordering beer at Gazzari’s and The Roxy. When we started the Reign In Blood tour, I knew it was big time. I had to step up my game. We had a semi and carrying full production. We had a professional drum tech for Dave, a professional guitar tech for Kerry, and me taking care of Tom and Jeff. I was not a professional guitar tech."
Q: What do you consider to be the hardest part of your job as a guitar tech for Slayer?
Araya: "The hardest part of my job is making sure that Tom’s stage tea is not too hot. They are the best guys to work for. Sometimes I forget to hit the mute switch on his rig. I’ve missed the ‘Seasons In The Abyss’ cue a couple of times."
Q: Do you ever perform any other jobs on the road such as tour manager, production manager or stage manager?
Araya: "Well, Kerry’s tech Warren Lee and I sometimes do the occasional production/stage manager takeover. It’s only when local production is subpar. Being the production manager for Slayer is a tough gig, but I’m happy with what I do because I do a great job, and my job is to make sure that Tom is happy with his gear."
I'll always remember Johnny in the band Bloodcum. Him and Jeff's brother Joey Hanneman (although some later claims suggest the later is not related to Slayer axeman) wrote some of the best comedy metal ever dubbed on a cassette.
Here's my fave, "Doorknob".