Earlier this week, Dimitris Kontogeorgakos of Greece's Metal Kaoz conducted an interview with SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On how it feels playing with SLAYER again:
Bostaph: "It feels phenomenal. It feels really good. It feels like being home. I've always loved playing this music. I grew up on it… Just coming back to this, it's been really good. It's kind of like going back and playing with old friends again. I mean, Kerry [King, guitar] and I were really close and we still are, and I'm close to Tom [Araya, bass/vocals]. And I know Gary [Holt] from EXODUS [who is filling in for late SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman] — I know Gary very well. The only bittersweet part of it, obviously, is that Jeff is not with us anymore. And I was looking forward to that, to playing with him again. But other than that, other than Jeff passing, it's been really good."
On his decision in December 2001 to leave SLAYER and how things are different today:
Bostaph: "Well, it's funny… I was different back then. The way I looked at things was different — right or wrong. And now I've had the time to kind of… Sometimes they say you don't know what you have until it's gone. And I think over the years, just seeing the guys and playing with different bands [since I left SLAYER], I kind of realized that playing with these guys is that there's a way that they do things that… In terms of… I don't know… It's hard to explain. There's a work ethic that appeals to me within this band. I think there's just a feeling of loving the music. First and foremost, and the primary thing out of everything, I couldn't find a band that could do what this band does. And that's the bottom line, really."
On whether he was the first and only name on SLAYER's list of possible replacements for the band's original drummer, Dave Lombardo, when Dave parted ways with SLAYER earlier this year:
Bostaph: "Honestly, I don't think so; I don't think I was the first and only [name on the list]. I mean, there's probably some other guys [that were being considered as well]. But I'm the guy that's here now. It made sense [for me to return]. I mean, you can't think anything for granted and think it's just gonna work. You have to try it out and see how things feel. It's been over [ten] years [since I left the band], and I'm sure they wanted to see how it felt playing together again, and being in a room together, you know what I mean?! You just don't make a snap judgment like that and [assume] that it's going to work. And they didn't. And we got together and we felt it out, and it felt really good, and here we are."
On how different it feels being in SLAYER without Jeff:
On October 9, Peter Atkinson of Metal-Rules.com conducted an interview with SLAYER bassist/vocalist Tom Araya. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal-Rules.com: Are you interested in seeing people's reactions here to the new SLAYER, the new old SLAYER, or whatever people think it is?
Tom: [laughs] I don't know. They've experienced SLAYER with Gary [Holt, guitar], and everybody's experienced SLAYER with Paul [Bostaph, drums] because Paul was part of the band for quite a few years, so it'll be time for everybody to get reacquainted with Paul and acclimated to this lineup. Gary has been playing with us for two years now, if you can believe that. People have seen the various pieces, just not all together. Paul's always been a friend. When he left, it was on his terms, and it was no bad feelings at all. Paul felt he needed to move on and it wasn't on bad terms and to have him back and playing in the band is awesome. It's like we're taking up where we left off with Paul and he's amazing. He's full of energy, he's excited to be back and he's excited to be part of SLAYER again. So it makes for very energetic shows and very exciting times. This is gonna be good. Like I said, everybody is going to be reacquainted with Paul and everybody knows Gary has been filling in, now it's just a whole different circumstance knowing that Jeff [Hanneman, guitar] has passed. I'm sure everyone will enjoy it. Paul is very energetic and excited, which makes everybody else excited. It'll be good and it will allow closure for everybody.
Metal-Rules.com: How is Gary dealing with all this. He's in odd position — plus there's still EXODUS and I wonder if he's itching to get back to that, since it's his baby?
Fan-filmed video footage of SLAYER's June 23 concert at Tvornica Kulture in Zagreb, Croatia can be seen below.
The band's setlist was as follows:
01. World Painted Blood
02. Hallowed Point
03. War Ensemble
04. Hate Worldwide
05. At Dawn They Sleep
08. Mandatory Suicide
09. Chemical Warfare
10. The Antichrist