SLAYER guitarist Kerry King was interviewed on the November 1-3 edition of Full Metal Jackie’s nationally syndicated radio show. You can now listen to the chat using the audio player below. A transcript of the question-and-answer session follows.
To see a full list of stations carrying the program and when it airs, go toFullMetalJackieRadio.com.
Full Metal Jackie: SLAYER, of course, has the North American headlining tour [coming up at the end of October], the band’s first in two years. It runs through the end of November. You guys have been touring all summer [in Europe] with Paul [Bostaph, drums] and, of course,Gary Holt [guitar, also of EXODUS]. At what point over the last five months did you know that this lineup of the band was ready to go into the studio, or work on new music?
King: Well, realistically, as soon as Paul got with us, I started teaching him new stuff, because I’ve got probably thirteen, fourteen songs [written for the next record]. So when we didn’t have any touring schedule that we had to learn stuff for, I was, like, “Well, let’s take this time to get your and my chops up together to work on this new stuff so when the time comes, we’ll already have 90 percent of the work under our belt.”
Full Metal Jackie: Kerry, metal fans around the world were terribly saddened by the death ofJeff Hanneman. Will his style and what he brought to the band continue to influenceSLAYER’s legacy even after he’s gone?
King: I think so, because, I mean, when you play guitar opposite somebody — Jeff with myself or myself with Jeff — I think our styles infused a bit. I think in some of the things I write, I think people are gonna say, “Wow, that sounds like Jeff would have wrote it,” and stuff he would have wrote, had he written anymore, people would have said, “Man, that sounds like something Kerry wrote.” But, you know, we’ve been together so long that we kind of infused ourselves into each other. So I think it’s going to be business as usual going forward, [but] just one member less, which sucks for everybody.
Full Metal Jackie: This is the first full-blown SLAYER headline tour in quite a few years. What are you looking forward to the most about it?
King: Yeah, this is the first one in at least six or seven years. Every time we’ve come through the States, it’s either been on [Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival] or on SLAYER / [MARILYN] MANSON tours or SLAYER / MEGADETH tours, so we might have maxed out [with our time on stage] at an hour and five [minutes], an hour and ten [minutes], but on this one, we get to play an hour and thirty [minutes], an hour and thirty-five [minutes], which we haven’t been able to do in the States in a very long time. I enjoy doing full headline sets, because if you’re the actual last person playing, most people spent their money to come seeyou. So I wanna be able to give them something they’re gona remember for the first time in quite a while.
Full Metal Jackie: What can we expect from the setlist from the rest of the tour? Will you be debuting any new music prior to releasing it?