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Slayer Guitarist Kerry King Talks Mayhem Tour, Horror Films + More

Kerry King of Slayer
Liz Ramanand, Loudwire

Guitarist Kerry King of Slayer was the guest on Full Metal Jackie’s radio show this past weekend. King talked about how guitarist Gary Holt of Exodus is filling in for Slayer’s sidelined axeman Jeff Hanneman, in addition to discussing this year’s Mayhem Fest and his love of a good horror film. If you missed Full Metal Jackie’s show, read the full interview with Kerry King below:

I want to start by bringing up Gary Holt, who is filling in for Jeff Hanneman. Gary’s band Exodus goes way back with Slayer, but how much of a factor was familiarity when it came to bringing him in?

Probably more than I’ve ever led on but I always regard Gary as the Glenn Tipton of our era – really good, really polished and nobody talks about him. To this day nobody really references [Judas] Priest and Tipton that much as guitar players and I feel the same way about Gary. Exodus have a huge following but a little more over looked than Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax – the Big 4 so to speak so to be able to bring him to the forefront and shove him down people’s throats and say “Hey, this motherf—– kicks ass, pay attention.”

Kerry, do you guys reminisce a lot about how long you all been friends and part of this and where the metal scene it today?

From time to time, me and Gary are usually up later on the bus than everybody else – if we’re not watching some crazy horror or comedy or yackin’ about something.

What aspects of Gary’s style most affect what you’re doing onstage?

Probably not his style as much as – it’s still new for him and every few months or so he’s say “Why don’t we play this one, it’d be awesome to play this one.” So we’ll go learn another song that Gary hasn’t played because he wants to make the most of his time here. We pull out ‘Hell Awaits’ from time to time, he’s performed it twice but I think that’s the most recent one he’s the greenest on.

From what we’ve heard, you’ve got a lot of new music recorded. We’re definitely looking forward to hearing some new tunes. A lot of Slayer lyrics deal with serial killers, religious oppression and apocalyptic themes, are those subjects things you also watch documentaries on or read about on a fairly regular basis.

Yeah, I’m a big fan of a great horror movie and they come so few and far between you have a lot of s— ones that come out but to get really good ones you gotta bide your time and say “Alright this is gonna be the one” you know History channel, Discovery all kinds of stuff. If I was making movies, I’d be a horror movie writer without a doubt.

What’s the most recent horror film that you saw, that you would recommend?

When I get put on the spot like this I’m like “Uh.” [Laughs] I saw ‘Insidious’ a while back ‘Insidious’ was pretty cool for being a PG-13 film. Historically I’m not sure horror is the right word but you can’t go wrong with ‘Seven’ it’s just awesome.

Is it story or is it gore that gets you when it comes to a horror film?

Well something like ‘Seven’ it was complete – getting your mind around what’s goin’ on so it was the intensity of the story to where something like ‘Devil’s Advocate’ you’re into the evilness of it. It’s different things, I guess ‘Seven’ is almost crime drama but it’s really f—in’ dark.

Are there any bands that you’ve never seen before that you’re looking forward to maybe checking out this summer?

You know we’re never there that early, we get in probably around the time Anthrax plays ‘cause I know I got a lot of stuff going on with Jaigermeister at every show this summer. I’ve seen Antrax a million times, I’ve seen Slipknot a million times but if I’m there for Anthrax I’ll be up there supporting them and when we get done playing – as soon as I get changed out of my sweaty leathers I’ll be up there watchin’ Slipknot.

Do you think we can expect any kind of jams happening this summer?

I don’t think so, I’m kind of jammed out from all the Big 4 s—.

Do you think if it came up maybe later on in the tour, you think you might be up for it?

I’m always willing to listen, depends what’s being thrown around, who’s playin’, if I even like the song. I mean some of the Big 4 jams I skipped out on ‘cause I didn’t even care for the song. [Laughs] I didn’t want to learn it.

This coming weekend, Full Metal Jackie will welcome Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian on her show. Full Metal Jackie can be heard on radio stations around the country — for a full list of stations, go to fullmetaljackieradio.com.

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