KERRY KING On Why PHILIP ANSELMO Didn't Sing On SLAYER Guitarist's Solo Album: 'I Don't Think He Wanted To Do It'

May 15, 2024

During an appearance on the May 13 episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk", SLAYER guitarist Kerry King spoke about the rumors which circulated for a while that PANTERA's Philip Anselmo would sing on the debut album from King's solo project. Asked how far those conversations with Philip got, Kerry said: "It didn't get real far. And everything you saw online, that was just all rumors, because it never got past me and Phil talking about it.

"I've known Phil decades — I've known Phil before [PANTERA's] 'Cowboy From Hell' [album] came out," King continued. "He's been a friend of mine throughout the years. And all the business suits wanted me to go that way — my manager, my record company, my promoter, everybody — because it's it's gonna put massive butts in seats, so to speak. But talking to [Phil] about it, I know this is too thrashy a project for him. I'm not saying he can't do it; I'm saying I don't think he wanted to do it. But we did a little bit of legwork on it, and especially once [the] PANTERA [reunion] came up, that just blew it out of the water."

Kerry previously discussed the possibility of Philip singing on his solo album back in February during an interview with Rolling Stone. At the time, King acknowledged that a collaboration with Anselmo "was considered. My management, my promoter, my record label all wanted Phil," he explained. "Phil's a good friend of mine, but I always thought he's not the right guy. That has nothing to do with his ability; I just knew he wasn't the right guy. When you hear Mark [Osegueda, DEATH ANGEL singer] on this record, you know that's the guy.

"I had to do due diligence, because at the end of the day, had Philip been the guy, we'd be in arenas immediately because we could play new stuff, we could play PANTERA, we could play SLAYER, and fans would've been happy. It ended when the PANTERA thing came up."

Pressed about the rumors that Kerry was at one point going to be part of the PANTERA reunion, the guitarist replied: "I won't confirm or deny that."

King went on to say that Mark "was on board early on" for Kerry's debut solo album, "From Hell I Rise". "I just didn't pull that trigger," Kerry said. "I was, like, 'Let's see what happens.' Say for instance, [JUDAS PRIEST's] Rob Halford calls me and says, 'Hey, I would love to be your singer,' I'd have to go that way.

"Mark knew how I expected the songs to be performed. On my demos, I sing with very good conviction, but I don’t have pipes; that's why I don't sing. With 'Residue', he sounded so good I had to ask him, 'Is this sustainable? I don't want you to blow your load on this record and then blow your voice out every third show.' And he swore up and down he could do it. He went on to some of the harder ones and did the same thing on those, so I went, 'Okay.'

When the interviewer said that Mark's vocals make King's music album like SLAYER, Kerry said: "Well, that's me putting the vocals together. Tom [Araya, SLAYER frontman] could scream his ass off. I'll never take that away from Tom. His conviction might come and go — and I'm not looking to jab at Tom, that's not the point — but Mark just showed up every fucking day and is on point every fucking second of every song."

"From Hell I Rise" will be released on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music. All material for the LP was written by the 59-year-old SLAYER guitarist alongside the rest of his solo band, consisting of Osegueda, drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER),guitarist Phil Demmel (MACHINE HEAD, VIO-LENCE) and bassist Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH).

Kerry's new band played its second show ever on May 9 at the Welcome To Rockville festival in Daytona Beach, Florida.

King's first-ever festival solo appearance came just two days after his solo group made its live debut at Reggies in Chicago, Illinois.

As was the case with Reggies, King's setlist for Welcome To Rockville included SLAYER tracks as well as several of the 13 songs that appear on "From Hell I Rise".

KERRY KING will be special guest on the upcoming LAMB OF GOD/MASTODON North American "Ashes Of Leviathan" co-headline tour. The six-week run will launch on July 19 in Grand Prairie, Texas and will wrap on August 31 in Omaha, Nebraska.

KERRY KING will next play at the Sonic Temple festival on May 16.

Kerry King photo credit: Andrew Stuart

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