backstory: the guy who was lined up to interview Slayer for Reax Magazine
isn’t exactly the biggest Slayer fan on earth. So I was asked if I could maybe come up with a few questions for the band. I did and they actually got asked. So, while I did not actually perform this interview they are my questions. The interview is in the current issue of Reax so if you live in the Bay area go grab a copy.
You can read the original here.
Interview with Kerry King
Words: Michael Spadoni and Bryan Childs <—–THAT’S ME
Photo: Josh Rothstein
February 23, 2007
House of Blues Orlando
Thrash Metal gods, Slayer are visiting the House of Blues in Orlando for a highly anticipated show with Unearth on February 23. Their latest offering, Christ Illusion, marks a milestone in their career by showcasing the talents of recently reunited Dave Lombardo on drums with the rest his historic band mates. Having entered the Billboard 200 charts at number five and a surprising Grammy nomination, they have once again proved that are masters of their craft. Reax was able to speak with Kerry King before a sold out audience in Oklahoma where he gave us some insight on where Slayer has been, where they are going, and his thoughts on Metallica.
REAX: Playing Oklahoma tonight what has it been like touring for this album?
Kerry King: Its cool; weve had four shows out of six sell out
so we cant argue with that.
REAX: So, Slayer on Jimmy Kimmel
who would have thought? How was that experience?
KK: I havent seen it yet. I totally forgot to set my TiVo. We were going to play Jihad as the main song, but the day before they decided that about forty percent of the song wasnt cool. So, we were like, bleep us. That would be the total Slayer way to do it. They said no and they would edit the parts out of the song so it just wouldnt make any sense. I saw Jimmy for about five seconds, he shook my hand and left. I dont know if hes a dick or anything, but he had this chick on the show that night so maybe he was just spending time with her.
REAX: Slayer sold the place out in a couple of hours
KK: It was the fastest ticket giveaway that theyve ever had. We had no other show in Los Angeles so thats the only way people could come see us. We played six songs compared to the eighteen songs we usually play at a show on this tour.
REAX: Are you pulling from any specific albums or are you playing songs from your whole career?
KK: Definitely the whole career
but there are some absentees at the moment. We arent playing anything from Hell Awaits, Divine Intervention, Diabolus in Musica, or Undisputed Attitude. Everything else is covered including four new tunes off of Christ Illusion.
REAX: A lot of people have praised “Christ Illusion” as the return of Slayer’s brutality. How much of that do you feel is true? And, how much would you credit Dave’s return to the band with that?
KK: I think God Hates Us All definitely went down that road. It was a very angry record. Dave plays with such reckless abandon that it translates to the music. Once Dave came back, everyone was asking if he was going to play on a record and we said it was up to him. When he decided he was into it we took it from there.
REAX: Christ Illusion earned a Grammy nomination
[laughs] did you hear the chuckle in my voice? Who decided that? If they go by longevity, yeah, were going to win. If theyre going for somebody new, then it will probably be Mastodon or Lamb of God. It would be cool to have a Grammy sitting on my shelf just so I could say, Look at what the fuck I won
howd I do that? Its not really meaningful to me because its not the fans picking it, its generally people who have no idea what we sound like. Its people in the industry picking the winners, but if you dont like metal and youre just going by who youve heard of
chances are its going to be us. I am nominated, so I can vote. When I got the hip-hop area, I knew Little John, so Im like, Yeah, pick him!
REAX: You have had some well-publicized feuds with other bands over the years and were recently quoted referring to Metallica as “a sinking ship”. Has there been any blowback from those statements?
KK: I dont think there is anything to say back to that. What are you going to say? I wasnt lying. They could start taking pot-shots, but realistically there is nothing good about their last record. If you took the whole album and took riffs from there and there, you would probably have one good song. Thats not just talking smack, thats how I really feel.
REAX: Do you think there is any hope for a band like Metallica to return to what they once were and do you think Rick Rubin can help them do that?
KK: Rick is a very hands-off producer so I dont know if its a good marriage or not. When he passed up doing Christ Illusion and decided to do Metallicas record
it better be the best fucking thing theyve done since the Black Album. It would be bad for both of them.
REAX: While some bands seem to be becoming a caricature of their former selves, how is it that Slayer has managed to maintain your relevance in the metal scene over all of these years without ever compromising your integrity?
KK: I definitely keep my finger to the pulse of whats going on. If there is a metal show coming through town, Im always there. I go to the Anaheim House of Blues so much that people dont even want my autograph anymore.
REAX: How do y’all feel about all of the old 80’s hair bands trying to make a comeback like the Van Halen / David Lee Roth reunion?
its just a moneymaker. Theyre doing it because if you take one piece out of the puzzle, the puzzle isnt cool any more. People realize that even though Van Halen was gigantic with Sammy Hagar. Maybe its giving fans something theyve been dying for
realistically David Lee Roth was cool in the seventies, but now hes just a fucking old man, a little bit fucking creepy too. Eddie is out of his fucking mind. I just got the last Guitar World where he is on the cover with the DVD and I couldnt wait to see what he had to say because that guy is nuts.
REAX: In a recent article in Maximum Ink, they said Slayer has become more than a band that you have become a right of passage. Did you ever imagine that Slayer would become such cornerstone of metal?
KK: We just kind of roll with it and when youre not rolling, you have to stick your head up and see whats going on. Ive heard from one of our fans, I just went to church, I just saw Slayer and that was church. I thought to myself, wow, thats pretty cool. What I like to do
I dont do in a preaching kind of way. I got fed up with all the fucking religious-heads around that I had to write songs about it. Usually Ill throw out an idea where ten kids will hear a song and they will get ten different ideas about it. I like to raise questionable issues, throw them out there and let people know what I think. Kids are so impressionable that you have to be straight up. I want to let people know what I think, but dont think the same way because I said so. Make up your own mind.
Slayer – Dead Skin Mask
Slayer – Fleshstorm