Being a true metal head, takes great dedication! It means attending a lot of shows, profuse sweating, an occasional bruise or two and plenty of whiplash! So what is the payoff? The experience of hearing the music, screaming guitars and of course, there is the mosh pit. However, for one woman it would be the place where her life would be changed forever.
Sandra was a native Texan from Houston and a huge SLAYER fan. She bought her ticket to the “Divine Intervention” tour. Once, inside she pushed her way to the front of the crowd, just like any other dedicated fan…….
Q- So where did you and Tom meet?
Sandra– “I was front row at a Slayer show. He noticed my smile and told security to pull me out of the crowd and see if I was interested in meeting him. After that show, he had to fly to Australia and the tour ended in Hawaii. He asked me if I’d come to Hawaii with him and on our third day together, he told me that he had searched the world for me, and that he was in love with me. He asked me if I would go home, pack all of my stuff and spend forever with him. And that’s what we are doing. We’ve been together ever since.“
Q- How long have you and Tom been together?
Sandra– “We’ve been married 20 years as of September 6, 2015. I had no idea we were going to get married. I was making coffee for us and he said ‘Hurry up and get dressed. We‘re going to be late!’ I was like, ‘Late for what?’ He said ‘It’s a surprise.’ We got married a few hours later.”
Q- With SLAYER having millions of record sales, is it hard being the wife of the front man of one of the biggest metal bands in the world?
Sandra– “Nope! Because that’s not my Tom. That’s y’alls Tom. My Tom is a wonderful man, husband, father and most importantly, he is sincerely my best friend!”
Q- Does SLAYER represent your musical preference, as well?
Sandra– “My first 2 concerts were Slayer. I’ve always been a huge fan. My first introduction was to ‘Seasons in the Abyss’, so I backtracked from there. Being the front man, Tom has always represented Slayer to me. However, my music range is wide VERY, VERY WIDE. Actually, my all time favorite 3 performers are Elvis Presley, Joan Jett and Slayer. They aren’t listed in any particular order but, each has a deep meaning to me.”
Q- Outside raising two beautiful children and holding down the ‘Araya’ household, what other interests do you have?
Sandra– “I’m very proud of all of my accomplishments in martial arts. I am certified in karate and will be testing in April for weapons. I’ll be certifying for the Bo, Sai, Kama and Tonfa. My main style is all Okinawa Shorin~Ryu Karatedo and Kobudo Federation, under the guise of Grandmaster Fusei Kise. I am a NiDan, (second degree black belt) in empty hand karate and Kobudo (weapons). I am also a 2 KYU level in Tuite which is joint locks, manipulation and breaks. When eligible, I plan on certifying in Tuite as well. I’ve been training in this style since 2007.”
The second art I picked up about 2 years ago and it is a blend of Kali/ Silats/ JunFan arts. I hold the rank of yellow belt instructor level and have been running my own dojo for about 2 years now. I was asked to join the instructor program by Guro Ray Parra. I’ve been going to his seminars for years but, he’s located quite far from me, so training with him is hard. I expect my progression will be slow, but I’m more into the knowledge verses the belt anyways. Everything comes in due time.”
Q- What are your views on life in general ?
Sandra– “I‘m an ordained minister with heavy Buddhist influences. Buddha himself said ‘Buddhism is not a religion but, a way of life.’ I feel that many religions believe life is harder than it needs to be. According to my own personal beliefs, I believe in being a good person, keeping your thoughts positive and healthy, being kind, and helping others. In the end when you meet your maker, whomever or whatever that may be, I think you should be fine, because if we were meant to be PERFECT, we would be! Being ordained was a way for me to tell myself and the powers that be, to COUNT ME IN! Not only do I promise to be the best human being I can be, but I will also go out of my way to help and touch other peoples lives.”
Q- If you could change one thing, what would it be and why?
Sandra– “Nothing! I believe everything happens for a reason. If you could go back and change something… Would it affect something else? It’s best to just leave things as they are and keep on moving forward. I see no point in trying to set paths. Life does what it wants and my job is to enjoy it.”
Q- What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?
Sandra– “My biggest accomplishment is my life! I’m blessed with a wonderful husband who is my best friend, two wonderful children, a grandchild on the way, awesome parents, and wonderful brother and sister… I have taken in many animals on the ranch who fulfill my life. It’s very hard to pick one thing, it’s the whole beautiful picture!”
Q- What / who pushes you to progress as far as you have?
Sandra– “I push me. I always have. I’ve never been good at half-assing anything, so if I’m going to “do it”, whatever “it” may be I’m going ALL or nothing.”
Tom and Sandra are both looking forward to becoming newfound grandparents. Congratulations to the entire Araya family on this blessed event!
And so.. as Tom and the rest of SLAYER continues selling out venues to their loyal fans, Sandra continues to pursue her dreams and live life with a smile on her face and a SLAYER song in her heart!
Best Wishes to the expecting parents and grandparents to be!
ROCK ON TOM & SANDRA!