Kerry King Interview
Kerrang! Magazine, May 2006
Kerrang!: Slayer are preparing to release their first new album in five years.the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 2001's 'god hates us all' is the bands debut for new record label Warners and is the first album featuring Slayer's four original members - bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and drummer Dave Lombardo - since 1990's 'Seasons In The Abyss'. It was recorded in Los Angeles with producer Josh Abraham (Velvet Revolver) and Rick Rubin, who has worked with Slayer several times in the past, acting as executive producer.
Kerrang ! caught up with Kerry King to get the lowdown on the band's 10th studio album...
WHAT'S THE VIBE LIKE IN THE SLAYER CAMP?
"Anxious! Well, anxious for me, I can't wait! We've rehearsed and recorded our songs and it's basically just been the music for the longest time, but it's been pretty painless. I'm very excited to get it out. I want to get some opinions on it, which don't really matter, but it's always interesting!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE NEW ALBUM?
"Sonically, it's pretty bad ass. Josh Abraham told me it was the best sounding record he's ever done! But it's not so polished that it doesn't sound like Slayer. It's funny because he ran into Dave [Lombardo] years ago and said, 'Someday, i'll be working on one of your records!'."
HAVE YOU GOT A TITLE YET?
"No. It's the only thing we don't have, but the song titles are all done."
SHARE SOME WITH US, THEN...
"I'm just picking the ones i wrote because i know what they're about. There's one called 'Skeleton Christ' and that's about people who think that when they find God they become born again and their lives are going to change. I wrote one called 'Flesh Storm' that's about society - the first verse is written from the perspective of being in a fox hole and all this shit's going down around you. Then there's another one called 'Cult', which is just bashing organised religion. I've got that part down!"
HAVE ANY WORLD EVENTS AFFECTED THE WRITING OF THIS RECORD?
"Not really but Jeff [Hanneman] wrote a song called 'Jihad' that's supposed to be about the 9/11 events. Instead of the US perspective, he wrote it from the terrorist's perspective, though, which i think is really cool and unique. In America every band under the sun has written their 9/11 song and that's why i didn't want to have any part of it, but this is really cool. It kind of has an 'Angel Of Death' feel because it doesn't condemn anyone of say that anyone's right or wrong."
THAT'LL PROBABLY LEAD TO SOME TROUBLE FOR SLAYER...
"Oh yeah! Well it's been a while so we have to shake things up again!"
WHICH TRACK DO YOU THINK WILL SURPRISE FANS THE MOST?
"Maybe 'Jihad' because of what it's about or 'Supremist' because it's all over the place. It starts out pretty quick, but the ending before the vocal break is the fastest on the record and the part after the vocal break is the slowest bit of the record. There's all kinds of riffs on this record. As a player, I went out of my way to pay more attention to leads than i have in the past."
WHY WAS THAT?
"Because unfortunately we can't have Dime [the late Pantera/Damageplan guitarist Dimebag Darrell] ripping our faces off by playing guitar anymore. So i kind of put it upon myself to make it more memorable when i'm playing lead. I'm not trying to fill Dime's shoes, i'm trying to fill a void that's left now he isn't there."
HOW IS IT HAVING DAVE LOMBARDO BACK?
"It's great and i think you'll hear that on the record. It's like perfect chaos! When he's playing it sounds like it's ready to be derailed at any time, but it never does."
YOU'RE PLAYING THE CARLING WEEKEND FESTIVAL IN AUGUST. ARE YOU LOOKING FOWARD TO IT?
"Of course, but it's not Download, which is more of heavy rock thing. But at European festivals i've been on the same stage as Alanis Morissette, so it's something i'm used to! We come back to Europe in October and November for a full tour."
ARE YOU AWARE THAT THERE'S A CAMPAIGN ON THE INTERNET TO MAKE 06/06/06 THE NATIONAL DAY OF SLAYER?
"Yeah, I saw that! The National Day Of Slayer as opposed to the National Day Of Prayer. It's a big day when you put it in perspective! The day of the anti-Christ comes around once every thousand years and we're all here to be a part of it. That's pretty cool."