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Slayer’s Kerry King: Metallica + Iron Maiden Are Great, But They’re ‘Living on Past Success’

Kerry King
Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

You don’t play and record in four decades without living on your past at least some, but Slayer‘s Kerry King reveals that his band is still trying to push forward and do something fresh. However, the ever frank King does call out a couple of peers in a new interview for living off their past even though he likes their music as a whole.

Speaking with RVA Mag, King admitted that his band does live off their history a bit, stating, “We’re living on our history for sure, but so is everyone else, yet we’re the ones trying to push ourselves forward.”

He adds, “I would say [Iron] Maiden and Metallica, no offense, are living on past success. Metallica has toured forever on the Black record which a lot of people don’t like. I actually like it. It’s heavy as can be. Is it Master of Puppets? Course not, but it’s a great record. Iron Maiden for me is living off their first three records. Have they made good songs since then? Yeah, but they haven’t made great records. I like to think we’re still making great records and as much as people come out wanting to hear ‘Reign in Blood’ and ‘Angel of Death,’ they also want to hear ‘Disciple’ or even ‘Implode.'”

From there, the conversation turned to the state of the record industry, and King weighed in that things have changed considerably for how success can be viewed since the Soundscan era documenting album sales. The guitarist says he no longer views album sales as a good barometer, stating, “My barometer is the live show where people show up. That means people are into the music, whether the record is selling or not. They have it, they know it, and we can play it and have them sing it right back to us. That’s pretty much how it shows me people are still into, regardless of sales.”

Slayer are seeing that barometer on a nightly basis, currently hitting the road with support from Testament and Carcass. See the band’s tour dates here.

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