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Slayer Reveal Highly Unexpected Elton John and Paul Simon Fandom

Very few music lovers are narrow-minded enough to focus strictly on one genre, but we often find it hard to imagine that our favorite artists are open-minded too, so it can be surprising to learn how eclectic their tastes are. Take, for example, the members of Slayer.

Vocalist and bassist Tom Araya, guitarist Kerry King and drummer Paul Bostaph recently sat down with Fuse for a discussion of some of their favorite music, starting with the artists that interviewed them way back when they were just wee little metalheads. “I grew up listening to metal from the ’60s and early ’70s,” recalled Araya, who listed Jim Morrison of the Doors as a formative songwriting influence and credited King with introducing him to the music of Iron Maiden.

King was definitely drawn to British metal growing up — he name-checked Dio, Maiden vocalist Bruce Dickinson and Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford as some early favorites — but he was also fond of American rock acts, including the Eagles, Boston, Foreigner, the J. Geils Band and Van Halen.

Asked about the current contents of his iPod, Araya chuckled “Everything,” proceeding to run down a list that includes classic country, Chilean folk music and “Paul Simon and … Arkunfel. You know that other guy, Larry? Used to sing with Paul? But his ‘Graceland’ album, I think, is a f–ing amazing album. Sting‘s ‘Dream of the Blue Turtles’ album, I could listen to that forever.”

King’s listening habits are much more homogeneous — he said his iPod contains “90-95 percent metal” — but that other five percent includes the soothing piano of Elton John. As he put it in the interview, “Who doesn’t like Elton John?”

Next: Top 10 Paul Simon Songs

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