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Slayer Consider Retirement As Record Deal Nears End

July 23, 2008 10:50 AM ET

With nine albums in the tank and a tenth set to be recorded next year, thrash metal forefathers Slayer are considering life after their contract with Rick Rubin expires, says singer/bassist Tom Araya. "Let's put it this way, this is the final record of our commitment with Rick Rubin. When we first signed a deal with him back in 1986, we never sat down and said, 'How long do you guys want to keep this together?'" Araya tells Thrash Hits. The band still has another album to record, which they'll begin after their Unholy Alliance tour ends. After that, the future is unclear. "Once we've put together new material, we can get together and discuss our future plans," Araya said. Retirement is an option, as the band is "maybe" financially secure enough to pack it in. Plus, "Seeing a 50-year-old man headbanging on stage would make me cringe. If I was watching that, I'd think, 'Dude, you're a little too old for that, aren't you? You're gonna fall off!'"

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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