You wouldn’t necessarily expect Rachel Maddow to be a metal fan, and she probably isn’t. That doesn’t mean the MSNBC talk show host hasn’t spoken about extreme metal in the past. When she was covering the 2012 Republican national convention back in 2012, she mentioned that Tampa, where it was being held, was a death metal capital and played some Deicide. Friday, she was back at it again, talking about Slayer for a good three minutes in reference to Donald Trump’s fiery inaugural speech.
So how do we know that Maddow isn’t necessarily a Slayer fan? Well, before we knew where this was going, she centered the story of Slayer around their bassist and frontman Tim Araya. Tim? Doesn’t she mean Tom? Yes, but she mentions “Tim” quite a few more times, talking about how he needed to get surgery on his vertebrae back in 2010, postponing their tour. Eventually, she connects the dots, saying that the tour that was canceled was the American Carnage tour. In Trump’s short inaugural speech, the President painted a bleak picture of our country, eventually stating “the American carnage stops here.” While Maddow might not have known Araya’s actual name, at least she or one of her writers was aware enough of the tour to for her to open her show talking about it. Here’s the full text of what she said on her show Friday:
“I have somebody to introduce you to on this fine inaugural Friday. His name is Tim Araya [sic]. Tim Araya is the bass player and lead singer for the band Slayer. And being the lead singer of the band Slayer is a job — actually, being anybody in the band Slayer — it’s a job that has specific requirements that don’t apply to all that many other jobs in life. One of the things you have to do if you’re in the band Slayer is you have to really wang your head around a lot — all the time, every time you play in public, any time you shoot a video, everything.”
“You know, it’s one thing if you’re, like, in a metal band for a year in high school and you’re 16 and you’re basically made of rubber, right? But the guys in Slayer have been doing this for a very, very long time. They’ve been doing this for decades. They’re a very successful band. They haven’t gone away. But the guys in Slayer are now old guys. And there are just these seven little vertebrae in your neck, in all of our necks. And once you’re no longer in high school, and you’re an awesome metal dude who has started to turn gray, and you’re still wanging your head around as part of your day job, those little vertebrae in your neck don’t like it when you do that for decades. And so, in January, Tim Araya got cervical radiculopathy, which is a bad thing. And in order to deal with his cervical radiculopathy, he had to get surgery on his neck. And that was a drag for him. It was also a drag for a bunch of other aging metal dudes in his band and in other bands. It was also a drag for their fans, because him having to get surgery delayed the mega-metal all-star tour that was due to start in January 2010.
“This was an incredible tour. This was not just gonna be Slayer — this was gonna be Slayer and Megadeth and Testament all playing the same concert, all playing the same night. This was an incredible tour. And because of the surgery, the whole tour had to get postponed, because the Slayer guy had to get an anterior cervical discectomy to deal with all the consequences of all of his decades of vigorous headbanging. And nobody knew if the show would be able to go on. But lo and behold, it turns out the Almighty smiles even on bands named Slayer, and Tim Araya recovered and we did, in the end, get — this is the important part — look at the top there [on the tour poster], see the red banner at the top there, it’s kind of a bloody background. That’s right — the ‘American Carnage’ tour. You can still buy posters, you can still buy commemorative posters from the ‘American Carnage’ tour. It’s funny, by the time they got to their Canadian dates, they changed it to the ‘Canadian Carnage’ tour, but when they were in America, it was the ‘American Carnage’ tour. As you see on the poster there, it was a meeting of metal titans — Slayer and Megadeth and Testament. Even though it had been in doubt, it had to be delayed, it did happen, and for a certain generation of metal fans, that was metal heaven on earth. Slayer and Megadeth same night. And before today, if you were looking for ‘American Carnage’ in our national cultural life, that is what it was — it was when Slayer and Megadeth toured together in 2010 after the Slayer guy had his neck surgery and nobody knew if he would be able to make it. That was ‘American Carnage’ before today. Now, as of today, ‘American Carnage’ will be forever known as the theme for the inaugural address of the 45th president of the United States.”
[Transcription via Blabbermouth]