Earlier this week, the metal world exploded in a haze of tribal tattoos and wailing guitar riffs, as ex-Slayer guitarist Kerry King finally unveiled the details behind his solo project. We got to hear the first single, we got to learn who’s in the band, but perhaps just as importantly was the information that the boys in Slayer are no longer alright.
In fact, in the Rolling Stone interview that accompanied the single’s release, King stated that he hasn’t talked to bassist/vocalist Tom Araya since the band’s final show in 2019. Oh and Dave Lombardo is “dead to me.” But in that same interview, King let loose another revelation about his experience in Slayer that may shock fans — King actually played all the bass parts in every one of the band’s releases since the early ’90s, not Araya.
Just in case there’s any confusion or you want to jump in the comments to say “bullshit, Hesher there’s no way he said that,” read ’em and weep. Straight from the Rolling Stone interview, where interviewer Kory Grow said “I was surprised you had a second guitarist. I thought you would have played all the guitar and bass yourself.”
“I have done that. Not on this, but since the early Nineties I’ve done all the rhythm guitars and all the bass [on Slayer records]. I’ve always done bass because my guy [Tom Araya] really didn’t.”
And thus, it was as if millions of metalheads voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced… Could it be that the dynamic people assumed existed in Slayer wasn’t exactly how things went down? We haven’t heard any sort of rebuttal from Araya and company, so it definitely sounds like King’s account of things is accurate.
As for the decision to hang it up as a band, King’s been vocal about how he wasn’t ready to call it quits. You know who was, though? King says it was Araya.
“We were on tour and some kid was interviewing [Araya], and he said something about, “I’ve got to get together with Kerry and talk before we talk about the next record.” He should have just said, “I’m probably not going to do another record,” or had that conversation with me before he mentioned anything like that.”We were on tour and some kid was interviewing him, and he said something about, “I’ve got to get together with Kerry and talk before we talk about the next record.” He should have just said, “I’m probably not going to do another record,” or had that conversation with me before he mentioned anything like that.
“I was just assuming, “Oh fuck, what’s this going to be?” And it was, “I’m done.” Not what I expected. But if you made that decision, I’m not going to try to talk you out of it because your heart’s not going to be in it anyway.”
When asked why he thinks Araya wanted a way out, King said it was likely the toil that touring and whatnot takes on a person.
“I think just the wear and tear of the road. I think he wanted to be home. None of us are real spotlight seekers, but he’s certainly not. And when Jeff [Hanneman] was around, he was like a hermit. He did not want fame. I tolerate fame. Somebody’s got to be that guy.”
With his comments on some of his former bandmates and the fact that he’s got a solo project going, I think it’s pretty safe to assume we’re never getting a Slayer reunion — or at least it won’t be for some time still. Either way, if you liked the tail end of Slayer’s output, then you’ll likely enjoy Kerry King’s solo work since it sounds like Repentless 2.0.
From Hell I Rise will have 13 new tracks and will be released on May 17, but you can pre-order your copy today.
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