SLAYER frontman Tom Araya says that the United States Of America has become “a nation of crybabies” following the election of Donald Trump as president, with many of its citizens unable to “even laugh at themselves” because they are “mad” that “they didn’t get their way.”
Araya drew criticism from some SLAYER fans in January when a photoshopped picture of Donald Trump and the members of SLAYER appeared on their Instagram account. Araya posted the image and later criticized fans who objected to the photo, saying that he “thought it was funny” and that anyone who disagrees should keep quiet.
The same image first appeared on the official SLAYER Instagram account on inauguration day, but was mysteriously removed before being reposted a few days later.
A SLAYER band representative told Rolling Stone that Tom took it upon himself to post the photo and stressed that the image was “not something the band would have posted if asked,” insisting that such a picture “does not belong on a SLAYER social page.” The representative added: “We all have our personal opinions, some of which we have voiced in the past, but SLAYER has never endorsed any political party or any candidate, and the band intends to keep it that way.” SLAYER guitarist Kerry King also chimed in via his wife’s Instagram account, saying that “my opinion is that our war of words should be with people who don’t believe what SLAYER is about. NOT with our own fan base.”
Now, in a brand new interview with the Chilean radio station Futuro, Araya spoke out about the controversy surrounding his decision to post the Trump photo, saying that he was “taken aback by the response” to the image and insisting that he “didn’t realize that [he] was gonna piss so many SLAYER fans off.”
Referring to the public outcry that following his Instagram post, Tom said (hear audio below): “That’s what America has become. It’s become a bunch of people that… because they didn’t get their way, they’re mad. I shared a picture that I thought was funny. They can’t even joke. They can’t even laugh at themselves. They can’t even have fun. And that just is amazing that it’s come to that. We’re a nation of crybabies. [Laughs]”
Regarding how he came to post the picture in the first place, Araya said: “Someone has sent it to my wife on her page. She showed it to me. I laughed. I thought it was funny. And I thought it was funny because of all the rhetoric that Donald Trump is getting and how everybody hates him. And I decided to post the picture. I knew that some people wouldn’t like it. You have to do that, though, you know what I mean? I’m in SLAYER [laughs], and being in SLAYER, sometimes you do stuff like that just to piss people off. [Laughs]”