Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph has shouted down the suggestion that Slayer are reaching the end of their career.
The band have endured a difficult year after firing original sticksman Dave Lombardo in February, then losing founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman when he died in May after ill-health had kept him off the road since 2011.
Frontman Tom Araya recently speculated that the thrash giants might not continue after their current tour, saying: "Kerry King and I are going to sit down and talk as far as how we want to move forward – if we want to move forward."
But Bostaph – who first replaced Lombardo between 1992 and 2001, and later played with Slayer's stand-in guitarist Gary Holt in Exodus – tells Metal Kaoz: "Every single one of us has put over 40 years into music and gone through a lot of crap to get to this point. You just don't look at your career and just pack it in.
"And I don't believe Jeff wanted this band to end. What do we do? Do we honour what the band is by quitting, or do we push on and do what this band is supposed to be doing?
"I know this: there's more fans that would be happy if this band stayed together than there would be fans that don't want this band to be together. There's still life left in this band."
The drummer accepts some fans have been speculating that the current tour represents a form of closure for Slayer – but he responds: It's not every fan that's saying it's over. It's some fans. But the fans that are saying that aren't in this band; they love the band, but they're not in this band."
But he adds: "The bottom line is, it's up to Kerry and Tom. I'm here – I want this to continue. I wouldn't be honouring Jeff by saying, 'We're done.' That's not how I feel about it. I feel when we go out on stage from now on, we're honouring him and we're honouring what Slayer is.
"And even though Dave is not here, I'm honouring him as well."