Slayer: We Could Thrash Out Two More Albums If We’re Fast Enough . . .

Recent reports that Slayer are preparing to hang up the spiked arm band, may have been a little premature, says Kerry King to John Doran backstage at the Hammersmith Apollo. All pictures Philip Mount.

While interviewing Kerry King for a Pulling Focus feature in The Stool Pigeon music paper, we were party to some very interesting news indeed. That Slayer have another two albums left in them. At least.

Earlier this year singer/bassist with the thrash metal titans, Tom Araya, told Superman’s Dad Jor El McIver, a music journalist writing for Thrash Hits that he found the idea of 50-year-old men headbanging "cringe" worthy: "Seeing a 50-year-old man headbanging on stage would make me cringe. If I was watching that, I’d think, ‘Dude, you’re a little too old for that, aren’t you? You’re gonna fall off!’" This was taken to mean that the band, all in their mid to late 40s, only had one album left to release.

However, King maintains that if they get their MASSIVE BOOTS on, this could mean another two albums at least. Confused? Then you’re probably as old as Slayer but not as AWESOME! Get some go-faster stripes tattooed down the side of your head and GET WITH THE PROGRAMME!

The master shredder, King explained: "We’ve only played together for the first month in thirteen months of not playing together recently so I had the first vacation of not playing in my life you know. We’re talking of going in the studio next February and getting the next record out so if we do things in a timely manner I don’t see there’s any reason why we can’t have more than one album out. So if we do get a record out next year – and everything’s pointing to yes – before the summer time when we tour that I’d want to start working on another one because we’re all having a good time. I think the time’s gonna come when somebody just says: ‘I’m done. I don’t wanna do this any more.’ Because we’ve been doing it more than half of our lives. [starts laughing] But I’m having a blast! You saw the show yesterday – I had a blast yesterday. I’m going to have more of a blast today because I’m more familiar with the set we’re doing."

New song ‘Psychopathy Red’

Saying that if the band did split up he could pretty much play with "anybody who is anybody" but he wouldn’t consider becoming a producer or working with another band at the same level as Slayer: "I don’t have the patience to be a producer. I don’t know how those people do that because I’ll get it really close to good, and it sounds great, but I know it’s not good enough really. I mean I get tired of playing the songs so I would also get tired of telling someone to play it again. I would say ‘Fuck it. Get the fuck out of here. We’re done.’ [laughs] You know, I’d be the asshole producer! But I’ve got so many friends in this business – more than any one else [in Slayer] because I hang out more so I’ve got a lot of options and I could just about play with anybody who is anybody. I wouldn’t have to start over but I’m certainly not going to start another career as long as this one."

When asked if it was harder not just physically but psychologically to get in the zone and get, well, Slayerized before a gig, he replied: "The only hard thing about it is the beginning of the tour – we’re only on the fourth show – and stuff hurts. You’ve got to get your neck happening, you’ve got to get your back happening, you’re gonna get leg cramps from having to stand in that way. Even in practice you’re not standing like you would in a full on show. Last night was the first night that didn’t hurt and it felt good. Now I can stop worrying about saving stuff up for tonight because it’s not going to hurt tonight."

He shrugged off suggestions that particular songs, such as ‘Angel Of Death’ and ‘Necrophobic’ were harder to achieve: "Our whole set is based on speed except for a heavy song here or there. It’s just about having enough time to prepare yourself for the assault that is the stage, y’know?"

He also said that he and Jeff had not been jamming together so much despite the fact that they were working on new material: "We don’t really do that any more. We haven’t done that so much recently because we all live so far apart. It’s not like when we used to be in Tom’s garage all afternoon with one of us playing drums and the other one playing guitar. A lot of the time when we see each other we’ve finished the songs. You know, if I’m stuck on something I’ll say ‘Hey, I can’t finish this.’ and he does the same thing. And sometimes I’ll be playing a riff in rehearsals and he’ll say ‘What’s that?’ and I’ll be like ‘Something I have no idea what the fuck to do with.’ and he’ll do something with it. That’s how he got the intro to ‘Bloodline’. It was just a riff I was playing and he put it together with another song and it was done."

Eyes Of The Insane

King conceded that audiences for his band weren’t as rough as they used to be in the 80s adding: "Maybe there is more looking going on. They want to see the spectacle of Slayer going on. And I think they pick and choose their songs – it really depends. Yesterday, there was a lot of people watching then I think we did ‘Raining Blood’ and there was a gigantic tornado of people going on. So I think maybe they just waited for the song that they wanted to go off for. But there’s no rules out there and the cool thing is that Tom will never tell people what to do. He just says ‘Have a good time’ and that’s it. He doesn’t say ‘Form a circle pit right now’ or ‘I need to see all the people over there go like this’ or cheerleading as I call it. I think people are there to see us do what we do not to have us tell them what to do."

He concluded that the cameraderie of the fans was as strong as ever however and that the infamous "Slayyarrrghhh!" roar could be heard in some strange places: "You hear it at random show where we’re not playing. A buddy of mine took his daughter to see Britney Spears and he heard someone shouting ‘Slayer!’ in the middle of it! They’re a strange bunch!"

So I said ‘Minehead? Is that south of Devon?’

To read the entire interview with King pick up a free issue of The Stool Pigeon out soon.

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