Tom Araya is an Chilean-American musician. Since 1981 Araya has been the lead singer and bassist in the thrash metal band Slayer.
Tom’s full birth name is Tomás Enrique Araya Díaz, and he was born on June 6, 1961 in Vina del Mar, Chile. At the age of five his family moved to America and settled in the Los Angeles area. In his early 20s, Araya trained and worked as a respiratory therapist, but eventually had to leave his steady job when things with Slayer began to take off.
Araya’s zodiac sign is Gemini.
Araya is a Catholic. (1) This may come as a surprise to many as Slayer is known as a hardcore thrasher band with songs about murder, death and satanic themes. “My type of Catholicism allows me to do that,” Araya explained in a video interview.
He explained how other Catholics have issues with his music and his faith. ” ‘This is the way it is! This is the way it’s got to be! You’re wrong!’ My Catholicism says that I can be this way.”
Watch the video below to see more of what Tom had to say.
Going even further, Araya once said about the controversy other religious people have about his band and their music, “People have these heavy issues and ask, ‘Isn’t this a problem for you?’ and no. I’m well-rounded, I have a really strong belief system and these are just words and they’ll never interfere with what I believe and how I feel.” (2)
Tom has been asked several times if he or his Slayer bandmates practice or believe in Satanism. His answer has always been no, and that Slayer used the dark themes and imagery to look and sound different from other music acts.
“We didn’t want to look like all the hair bands that were coming out at the time,” Araya explained. “We did everything completely opposite of that, which included the dark image, you know, that whole Satan vibe. And our first album being Side 6 Side 66, people were really freaking out over that.” (2)
While Tom Araya is very liberal in some of his beliefs, he doesn’t align himself with any mainstream political party. Does that make him a libertarian, or even an anarchist?
Take for example what occurred in January 2017. Araya posted a Photoshopped picture on his band’s Instagram of Donald Trump standing with Slayer bandmates. By just posting that fake image, it caused Slayer fans to speculate — was Araya saying he supported Trump, or was he poking fun at the President?
“Someone has sent it to my wife on her page. She showed it to me. I laughed,” Araya said of the social media incident. “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?”
He’s said that “I don’t even support [Donald] Trump. I didn’t vote for Trump and I didn’t vote for Hillary [Clinton]. Those are two people that are the furthest from… that I would ever vote for.” (3)
Araya has homeschooled his children, something he said he did because of the teachers at his son’s school not liking his child wearing shirts with skull imagery on them. This could give further circumstantial evidence that he leans towards libertarian beliefs.
Araya likes horror films and macabre subject matter like serial killers. He teaches his children the difference between the fantasy presented in a scary movie versus real life, but he seems to believe in the supernatural to some extent.
In response to a question about what scared him when he was a child, Araya answered, “The movie that really creeped me out was The Exorcist. It was kind of based on an actual event, and those to me are scary to think that things like that really happen, I sing and write about stuff like that, but to know that it has happened is kind of scary.” (4)
Since Tom is a Catholic, he likely believes in the existence of Satan and demons, which is precisely the subject matter that The Exorcist goes into.