Kerry King On Writing Slayer’s New Album Repentless Without Jeff Hanneman + What He Hates About Divine Intervention

The upcoming release is their first without the co-founding guitarist.

Slayer’s Kerry King can be intimidating. I had the fortune of touring with Slayer twice with my ex-band, God Forbid: 2004 Ozzfest and 2009 Mayhem Fest. Benchmarks like that seem mythically unreachable, considering Slayer was one of the reasons I got into metal at all as a young teenager. You don’t think you will ever meet these people, let alone become a musician performing on the same playing field. Despite touring with them and hanging out a bit, I wouldn’t go as far to call Kerry a friend, but rather a professional acquaintance. I’m sure my reverence blocks me from ever getting too comfortable. He has always been really cool to me, though.

This talk is the most in-depth and personal I’ve ever gotten with Kerry— and a bonus, I get to ask him nerdy fan questions without punishing him when we’ve hung out in casual settings. My main takeaway from our discussion is that their laser-sharp focus, commitment to execution and productivity, and comprehension of the big picture with no equivocation in regard to the identity of Slayer, shows exactly why this band has been so successful for so long. Slayer’s new album Repentless will be available Sept 11th 2015, and I think it shows a band, who has come to define extreme metal, at the top of their game with a lot to prove.

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