Slayer have split with producer Rick Rubin for the release of their first album without Jeff Hanneman.
They’ve signed to Nuclear Blast for the upcoming title, ending a relationship with Rubin’s American Recordings that started 28 years ago with the launch of 1986 classic Reign In Blood.
Before the death of co-founding guitarist Hanneman last year, colleague Kerry King had said Rubin was behind delays to their next studio project. He reported: “The hold-up now, as with everything we ever do, it seems like Rick Rubin changes distributors. We’re left in limbo until he lands somewhere.”
At the time King wanted to keep working with the eccentric deskman, who’d previously been identified as a source of frustration for ZZ Top, Slipknot and Crosby, Stills And Nash.
Now Slayer frontman Tom Araya says: “Rick has played a huge role in our career – we've made some great albums with him.
“But today is a new day. Record companies don't play the kind of role they once did, and we really like the idea of going out on our own, connecting directly with our fans; and Nuclear Blast is fired up about taking on that challenge with us.”
The band – completed by stand-in guitarist Gary Holt and full-time drummer Paul Bostaph – have just released Implode, their first studio track in five years.
They’re expected to complete studio duties later this year, after an appearance at Sonisphere in July. The album will be launched via their own imprint, yet to be named.
In 2011 ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons hailed Rubin’s work on what would be their album La Futura, but admitted: “The band is wondering, ‘When is this thing? When do we hear it?’” Graham Nash accused the producer of ruining an abandoned CSN album and Slipknot’s Corey Taylor said he’d never work with him again.
Tony Iommi spoke highly of the production on acclaimed Black Sabbath comeback album 13 but said of Rubin: “What a strange guy!”