Where Are They Now? Daniel “SLAYERRRRR” Schler
Back in 2003, Slayer released a live DVD called War at the Warfield featuring their 2001 performance at the Warfield Theater in San Francisco. RIAA Gold-certified, the live DVD featured tracks from the then-fresh God Hates Us All like "Disciple," plus older classics like "Raining Blood" and "Hell Awaits." It also featured a short clip of one particular fan, Daniel Schler, briefly composing himself before erupting with the classic, almighty SLAYERRRRR exclamation.
Anyone who's been to a Slayer concert can expect to be greeted in the most fitting and friendly of manners: having the name of the headlining band shouted at you indiscriminately. The appropriate response isn't a retort; rather, it's reciprocation. You're supposed to blow out your lungs in return to signify that, yes, I'm here to see Slayer, too, potentially one of the greatest metal bands of all time, or at least one of the most iconic.
Chock it up to a name as short and sweet as Slayer. Or, chock it up to the fandom generated by the band's overwhelming popularity, but also their penchant for the extreme. You can't just say "Slayer," you have to belt it out of your chest with as much air pressure as your lungs can generate. To that end, Schler nailed it beautifully, memorializing all the meaning the band has for fans in that one simple, outrageous expression.
We had a quick chat with Schler to see how he's doing nowadays.
The first question I feel compelled to ask: do you still feel the same way about Slayer?
I still have excitement for Slayer, but obviously it's a little different now over the years. It was 2001 when I was asked to be on the Slayer DVD, and a lot has happened with the band over those years. The biggest being the death of Jeff Hanneman -- RIP. I think Slayer stayed true to METAL under all circumstances. So yes, for the most part, I believe I still feel the same way about Slayer, especially when you're at the show and those lights drop and the intro music begins! You know you're about to get your ass kicked! SLAYERRRR!!!!
Did you expect to receive such lasting notoriety from your interview on the Slayer DVD now that 17 years have passed?
I still have people recognize me from the DVD. They ask me, "you that guy from the Slayer DVD -- War at the Warfield?" or, if they do recognize, me they simply yell "SLAYER" as if they were asking for approval. It's crazy! Originally, I did not want to do the interview because I hate being in front of the camera, but some friends talked me into it.
Do you still feel the urge to shout "SLAYER!" at fellow Slayer fans?
EVERY FUCKIN' TIME!
Will you be attending a show on their farewell tour?
Absolutely! I'm thinking about heading to one of the California shows in May and then flying out to their last US date wherever that might be. Slayer have not announced a Phoenix date yet, but I'm sure they will and I will be there.
Do you think anyone will ascend to Slayer's place in metal royalty?
You never know, but nothing will ever be comparable to Slayer. Sure, there are great bands, but the iconic ones like Slayer will forever reign!
Any final thoughts?
I remember the first time I heard Slayer's music in late 1980s, and I was fuckin' scared! Everyone told me I would be going to hell if I continued to listen to this band. However, I could not get enough of this band, and the first time I saw them live... I knew then that I wanted to be SLAYTANIC! I've seen Slayer live so many times that I lost count, and I've met the band several times. I have some great stories. Slayer is a big chapter in my life. I respect their decision for laying down the sword, but in my opinion, they are going out in style. Yes, it sucks, but that's life.