"Currently, we're taking a break, but I am very excited by the way it's all turning out so far," King said. "I've worked up three songs with Dave, and they're sounding really refreshing and energetic. I'm certain that I'll have three more ready to go when we return to action. And then there's the stuff that Jeff will also bring to the table."
He added, "One thing I can tell you is that the songs are shaping up in the classic Slayer style. You won't be hearing us doing acoustic stuff. [laughs]"
Kerry is hoping that Greg Fidelman, who co-produced 2009's "World Painted Blood" with Rick Rubin, will be at the helm for the new album. "That's the idea, anyway," Kerry said. "But it all depends on his availability. . . I don't think we'll spend long in the studio this time, either. We're gonna do it old-school style and get things done fast. In fact, we are already ahead of schedule. The album will be ready for a summer release. But whether it's put out at that time is down to the record label. They might have other plans. But we want it with the fans during the summer."
King also spoke about Hanneman's current state of health. Jeff in January 2011 contracted necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite, and has been undergoing surgeries, skin grafts and intense rehab since. Not only did this effectively put him out of action for the whole year, it came close to killing him, Thankfully, he's making a good recovery.
"Yeah, we could go onstage right now with him and do 'Mandatory Suicide'," Kerry said. "If that was the only song in our set, Jeff would be fine. But he's slowly getting back to full fitness and by the time we're ready to tour, he'll be right back onstage with us."
He added, "We always said we'd never entertain the idea of doing an album without Jeff. But there he is, getting those riffs ready!"