Kerry King Dishes on Metal Masters, Next Slayer Album + 2012 Mayhem Festival
Slayer guitarist Kerry King recently joined members of Anthrax, Megadeth and his fellow bandmate drummer Dave Lombardo at this year’s Metal Masters 3 Clinic, which featured special guests Phil Anselmo of Pantera and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath.
When Loudwire caught up to King before the Metal Masters Clinic, he had just come back from the funeral of his guitar tech Armand Crump that morning and had just finished soundcheck for the clinic that afternoon. King talked all about the Metal Masters experience for him, Slayer’s new album, this summer’s Mayhem Festival and much more.
What does being part of Metal Masters mean to you?
It’s a blast, it’s cool to play with guys who aren’t the same guys you been playing with for 30 years, it’s fun. I been playing with Phil [Anselmo] since before ‘Cowboys From Hell’ — everybody else I’ve known longer so it’s cool.
When you were first approached to join Metal Masters, what went through your head?
It depended who was in for one thing. Once they told me Phil signed on, I’m like, “Alright, lets resurrect Phil and let people see him do heavy metal that he hasn’t done in 12 years.” He’s still a metal force so we’re onstage with him and there’s some fury going on. It’s awesome.
Part of Metal Masters is about sharing techniques with the fans. If you could get a lesson from a musician, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Probably Randy Rhoads, I’d say Dime [Dimebag Darrell] but we were friends – I’d like to have another night with him sure, not so sure about a lesson. You can’t go wrong with Randy Rhoads.
How would you describe the Metal Masters experience for someone who may not be familiar with it?
It’s really cool man, the stage we have is far too cramped for as many people that are up there. I don’t even think I’m gonna go on stage right, you’ll see a mess of stuck guitar players in different parts of the stage not able to get to their pedals. It’s gonna be cool, we’re playing fun songs, Phil rehearsed for this, I know he sounds great so I’m looking forward to that.
There are some really young kids here who are musicians themselves looking at their idols onstage, what advice would you give them?
Good or bad advice? [Laughs]
Let’s go with good first.
If you’re gonna try this f—in’ whirlwind, you better do something you like or the fans are gonna see right through it.
And bad advice?
Well Slayer fans aren’t giving up, you guys are headed back into the studio, can you tell us about what fans can expect and the progression of the album so far?
We’ve only been working on it for a couple of weeks right now, since our producer from the last record had a small window and me and Dave [Lombardo] are working on nine songs so we thought we could get in and finish two or three and demo everything else so that’s what we’re trying to do now. I don’t know if anything will come out by Mayhem or not, hopefully we’ll get two done and we can get it out to Mayhem.
What are you looking forward to on the Mayhem tour?
It’s gonna be a blast. How can you go wrong with Slayer, Slipknot and Motorhead? It’s gonna be pretty awesome. We did Mayhem three years ago so it’s good to be back, it’s going to be far heavier than the one I was on, so I’ll get a kick out of it.
What is one thing you must bring on the Mayhem tour with you – no electronics?
No electronics? My chains, they hold my pants up [Laughs].
When did you start wearing the chains?
It’s been a while now.
Are we talking since your teen years?
Well I had different chains back then and then for a long time I didn’t wear them. Then after I had my head shaved for a while, I wanted to create some motion so I got the chains on and they’d dangle off the leg and they’d bounce and they look metal, they are metal. It just adds to the vision of what we’re doing.