Slayer Guitarist Kerry King Criticizes Mayhem Festival Organizers
It's been an interesting summer for the Mayhem Festival. Recently, co-founder Kevin Lyman spoke about the issues surrounding the booking of the metal festival. He commented in an interview that the metal genre was becoming "gray, bald and fat" while addressing the difficulty in booking metal festivals and calling out some of the top billed acts for not cutting any financial slack to help move the scene forward. Eventually Lyman apologized for the remarks, but Slayer's Kerry King, whose band is headlining this year's Mayhem Festival, has not held back in speaking about Lyman and Mayhem since those comments.
Speaking with Metal Insider at the Mayhem stop in Hartford, Conn., King stated, "It's a very generalizing statement [from Lyman] and it basically throws his tour under the bus. That's just … that's not even Business 101. That's just insane."
The ever-frank guitarist added, "Do I know this tour wasn’t booked correctly? Absolutely I know this tour wasn’t booked correctly. Gary Holt made the comment that usually there’s the Main Stage, a second stage, a third stage, and then that piece of s--t record stage…now what they’re calling a second stage is at best a fourth stage and they’re wondering why people aren’t showing up. I think they waited too long and think all the talent that could have been on this took gigs in Europe. Because there’s nobody here touring. It’s easy to fill these stages but I guess they wanted a different price point, take away the second and third stage, which I think had a lot of value. To me a second stage headliner is Anthrax, Machine Head…Whoever booked this made a gigantic error.”
The rocker went on to state that Mayhem this year is essentially "a glorified Slayer show," and he added that last year when Slayer played the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee with Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus, it sold out, but the same venue failed to fill when Mayhem came through this summer.
Concluding his thoughts on Mayhem, King added, “I understand it from a fan’s perspective. I wouldn’t spend money to come to this either.” He stated that not only might this be the final time Slayer play the Mayhem Festival, it also might be the final Mayhem Festival ever.
When asked about King's comments, Lyman responded, "He took offense to something I said and is voicing his opinion. All good with me."
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