SLAYER Guitarist KERRY KING: We Are Still Making ‘Relevant, Good Music’

Keith Matheny of The Desert Sun recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. A few excerpts from the chat follow below.

On the decision to hire Gary Holt (EXODUS) as the initial temporary replacement for SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who is recovering from an infection thought to have been caused by a spider bite:

Kerry: “Gary was a no-brainer. When I was getting ready to ask him, my only fear was that he would say no. He’s perfect. I’ve known him for 25 years.”

On SLAYER‘s 30th anniversary:

Kerry: “It’s definitely been a long ride. It’s great to be able to still go up there and still be relevant, and have a recycling of fans — the older people still come, and now they come with younger siblings or their kids.”

On the possibility of retirement:

Kerry: “I remember people started hitting us up after ‘Christ Illusion’ — ‘How long do you plan to keep going?’

“We are making relevant, good music. We’re still putting on good shows and having fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

On attempting to build on the intensity and shock value with each new album:

Kerry: “The trick is finding things that are interesting to write about that we haven’t covered yet. There’s always going to be war, odd religious things going on in the world. It’s just picking the right things and making it compelling in that SLAYER way.”

On this coming Saturday’s (April 23) “Big Four” show in Indio, California featuring SLAYER alongside METALLICA, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX:

Kerry: “METALLICA has such a wide range of fan base; they get people who would never consider coming to one of our shows — or MEGADETH or ANTHRAX, for that matter. I guess it’s cool for the three of us to get exposure to those fans. Maybe they’ll like us, too.”

“I’ve always lived in California, so that show is definitely important to me.

“The war face will be on. I don’t want to suck in front of my friends.”

Read more from The Desert Sun.