Araya's older brother played the guitar. This inspired Araya to pick up the bass at age eight.
In 1981, Araya was approached by Kerry King, who asked Araya to join his band, “Slayer”. Araya accepted, using his earnings as a respiratory therapist to finance the band's 1983 debut album “Show No Mercy”.
On June 3, 2011, Araya received the keys to the city of his birth, Viña del Mar, Chile.
Unlike most of his “Slayer” bandmates who are nonreligious, Araya is Catholic.