“It wasn’t going to help anybody to cancel what they were doing,” says Sokol, who also books acts like Bullet For My Valentine, Mastodon, Halestorm, Keane and Robyn. “The band likes to go out there and play. Not that I’m a counselor, or anything, but I think part of the way they deal with things is to do what they love. And they love to go out there and do their thing.”
Do you think Slayer’s live show changed much since Gary Holt joined the band to replace Jeff Hanneman?
I don’t think they’ve really missed a beat there. There’s no replacement for Jeff. Gary doesn’t replace Jeff, who is a legend unto himself. But Gary Holt, to a degree, is also that. He’s just a little different stylistically. Brian Johnson and Bon Scott are different frontmen for AC/DC, but both are legendary in their own right. So in some way you could look at it like that.
Is Slayer planning any kind of tribute to Jeff Hanneman during the upcoming concerts?
I believe during the European shows they have a picture or some footage, and they play a bunch of songs that were Jeff’s favorites or that he was heavily involved with. But that was done a little bit on the fly, because all of the touring and Jeff’s passing were coming so close together that they did what they could do in the short amount of time that they had. In the U.S., I think you’re going to see something different and much more thought out, simply because they have the time.
Is Slayer working on any new music?
They’re definitely working on new music. More things will be revealed in the coming weeks.