SLAYER Guitarist Reveals New Lyrical Themes editor-in-chief Rick Florino recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. An excerpt from the chat follows below. How is the new material coming along?

Kerry: I haven’t worked on it as much as I’d like to. I don’t really write on the road. When we’re in Europe, I don’t go out that often. There are still a number of currencies over there, and you get dicked every time you change money [Laughs]. If I don’t have any local money, I’ll probably sit in my room. I wrote some lyrics over there. I cleaned up a couple of song ideas we had. We have two finished. They just need to be mixed. I was under the impression we wanted those done so people had access to them [in time] for [SLAYER‘s appearance at the Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival] and then we could play something live, but they’re not even mixed yet. By the time they’re mixed and mastered, Mayhem will be over. I’d just as soon save them for the record so we don’t have to make up more for the record. We’ve got two others that just don’t have leads and vocals. I’ve got two or three more that are ready to at least be demos. I’d like to get them done in August and September so that means I’d better start finishing my lyrics. [laughs] What topics do “Chasing Death” and “Implode” tackle?

Kerry: For “Chasing Death”, as you get older, you’re friends start dropping. You’re having that new sensation. My guitar tech Armand “Butts” Crump III died earlier this year, and he was 35 years old. Those are the tough ones. Nobody expects a healthy person to just kick off at 35. It’s the idea of dealing with this because that didn’t happen when we were all 20. It’s talking about stuff like that. “Chasing Death” is not directly related to any of my friends dying. It’s like people who drink too much. They don’t help themselves out so they’re chasing death. Your lyrics and guitars always entwine interestingly.

Kerry: The beginning of “Implode” definitely does that. It starts off with a super-heavy riff. The first verse is in that riff, and the song takes off. Where does that song come from lyrically?

Kerry: It’s not directly connected to the Mayan Calendar, but everybody always talks about the world ending. Whether it’s with war or disease, that’s where I went with it.

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