The great irony of Slayer fandom is that it has long become more of a cultish devotion. Head to any metal festival, even one that Slayer are not playing; and you’ll see humans with Slayer flesh carvings, humans yelling “SLAAAY-ARGH," and many more humans wearing Slayer t-shirts.
Online, this fervor turns ugly as ‘fans’ create shit-fights for any attention that may come from the seminal thrash band.
It’s That Fucking Slayer Gang try harder than most. The group have devised a hand sign that, at one point, even Slayer members Tom Araya was regularly seen throwing on stage. But then Tommy, seemingly on the advice of his wife, Sandra Araya, decided FSG were terrible people.
Spend two seconds on the FSG page and it emerges as a hotbed of comical Photoshopping, adolescent drama, and ex-members furiously trying to have any memory of their membership stricken from the record. These people are not hormonal young firebrands, either. Slayer’s been around for almost 35 years. These men (and women, sometimes) are mostly middle-aged, blue-collar workers from middle America.
Forty-six-year-old truck driver, father of two, and FSG founder Johnny "Rot" Kastl fits that description well. After talking to a litany of current and former FSGers, he got wind of it and came forward, lamenting, “Slayer have been part of my life since I first saw them back in ’83... All I ever do is promote the awesomeness of Slayer. But it's all tainted now.”
Noisey: How does someone get into FSG?
Johnny Kastl: It's by invitation only. The main qualifications today are to love Slayer, have a twisted sense of humor, and of course support the sign. In the beginning all you had to do was throw up the sign. The actual FSG page has never had more than 130 members. It's much smaller now.
What’s with the different gang chapters?
Even Finland has one. [Laughs] The chapter thing is a joke. There's no gang and only 23 true members.
What happened to 130 members?
We kick them out or they leave, because they don't understand what it's about.
It seems dramatic.
People around us make it dramatic. There are actually three pages, all led by ex-FSG members against us. One group actually tried to steal the sign [laughs], which was just ridiculous. People spread rumors and lie about us all day. Sandra Araya is one of the biggest perpetrators of this nonsense. A week or two before Tom came out against us, Sandra gave completely different reason for it.
She was an FSG member for two or three months, [but] didn't participate much. She always says people use her because she's Tom's wife, yet she's constantly on Slayer sites. Seeking attention, I guess. I called her out on [all of the allegations Tom made]—the bullying and threats to the Araya’s—two weeks ago publicly. She contradicted herself left and right and deleted all of her comments. She thinks that just because she is Tom's wife that I'm gonna kiss her ass.
Were there threats?
There are none. Her example of bullying was members of FSG standing up and saying, “Fuck the hatred." It's all bullshit. All we ever do is praise Slayer. Sandra Araya has led a witch-hunt to remove FSG members from the biggest Slayer community on the net, and told people to unfriend me if they wanted to be her friend. I think at the bottom of all of this a contest for control of a huge Slayer site.
Haunting the Chapel. FSG built it. When FSG started, HTC was small. All the biggest players in HTC were FSG. Sandra runs it now, and she’s made it a personal vendetta to remove all FSG from HTC. The guy who ran it was very ill and wanted to hand it over to someone else. He decided to have a contest to see who would take over control of the site. It was between me, Sandra, and another FSG member, Dhua. Sandra and I were fine up until then. Sandra has gone around trying to slander all of FSG for no reason. Especially me.
Yup. Because I either ran against her or because I had her removed for throwing a tantrum in HTC, claiming the guy who ran HTC was using her ties to Slayer to legitimize HTC. Oh by the way, the guy she was bashing and claimed used her gave her the site the next day and she accepted.
What did this contest involve?
It was just a winner by majority vote, one that either I or Dhua would have won. From then on Sandra started getting weird. When I confronted Sandra about it she said to stop bringing drama into her life, and there was no mention of bullying or threats. A week later she's all of a sudden fearing for her safety? I'm pretty pissed at her, but I have no desire to fight with her. I make no claim to know why she is on a rampage against FSG. It's all speculation on my part.
You do seem to have a lot of ex-members. They keep asking FSG to take down pictures of them.
Those are the people that tried to steal the sign and make it their own and then we would just laugh at them ‘til they felt stupid and gave up.
How does someone "steal" the sign?
It's all because of one guy who wanted to have control of FSG, so he went around for months lying about me and telling people what an evil person I was.
Sandra Araya (above) declined to comment for this piece.
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