KERRY KING: SLAYER Will 'Never Tour Again'

June 3, 2024

In a new interview with Jonathan Clarke, host of "Out Of The Box" on Q104.3, New York's classic rock station, Kerry King was asked about how SLAYER's upcoming reunion shows came about, five years since the completion of what was being billed as the band's farewell tour. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I'll put it in the perspective everybody can understand. We've been turning down offers since beginning of 2020, pandemic and all. And then it started getting near the five-year anniversary of us stopping playing, so I'm, like, 'You know what? This is a three-show package. I think it would be fun to do.' It's kind of a five-year anniversary of our last tour. We're never gonna tour again — it ain't gonna happen. We're never gonna record again; that's not gonna happen either. But to do commemorative shows, I think that's kind of fun. I don't have to be married to it for a long time. Kids don't have to worry about it coming around on tour because we said we wouldn't. There's not a whole lot of weird diabolical shit going on here. I think people have just gotta say, 'Hey, it's anniversary celebration shows.' That's gonna be the end of it."

Kerry previously discussed the SLAYER comeback last month in an interview with Andrew Daly of Asked for about his outlook on the reunion shows, he said: "It's not really much different at all. It's the same heads, same cabs, same pedals, same guitars. You know, there will be a lot of fire when SLAYER plays, and I think, yeah, those shows will just be fun. It'll be fun to play with Gary Holt [SLAYER guitarist] for a few gigs; I haven't seen him in almost five years, so that will be cool. And it'll be cool to get together with Tom Araya [SLAYER bassist/vocalist] and spit some hate out at people, but don't get used to this being a yearly event."

Earlier last month, King was asked by SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk" if he thinks SLAYER's upcoming dates will have a positive or negative impact on the promotional efforts for his debut solo album, "From Hell I Rise", which arrived on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music. He responded: "I see it both ways. We've [SLAYER] been turning down [reunion] offers for the last four years. Unfortunately, when the right offer came around, this one, it was right as my project was releasing. So there's certainly people, like my management and booking agents, who say, 'Oh, that's great. It's gonna boost your solo thing.' And I'm, like, 'Well, I don't know the business side of it, but it is what it is.' And every time I talk about it to journalists and magazines and stuff, I say, 'Listen, SLAYER is not gonna make another record. SLAYER is never gonna tour again.' May SLAYER do a one-off here or there? Maybe. I told my [solo] band when [the SLAYER reunion shows] came up, I'm, like, 'Listen, this is a blip on the radar to me. This isn't a solo project that's gonna recycle musicians every record cycle. You guys are with me till you don't wanna be.'"

Asked if he envisions SLAYER as the type of thing where the band will do one or two shows a year when a great opportunity comes up, Kerry said: "I'm not even talking yearly. I'm, like, every two years, every three years, every five years. I don't know. 'Cause I'm gonna be super busy with [my solo band] once 2025 rolls around."

On the topic of whether he has spoken to Araya since SLAYER's reunion shows were announced, Kerry said: "I'll tell you the truth, 'cause you know that's how I roll. No, we haven't. But you know what's weird about that? It's not weird. [Laughs]"

He continued: "We'll go probably rehearse off and on for a couple weeks [before the first show], 'cause even though me and [SLAYER drummer] Paul [Bostaph, who is also in Kerry's solo band] will be sharp from playing, playing with different people, you've gotta get sharp together."

Elaborating on his belief that SLAYER's comeback shows will not lead into a full-fledged reunion for the legendary thrash metal act, Kerry said: "The way I look at it, and when I tell you this, it puts it into perspective for a lot of people, I see it as three five-year anniversary shows of our last tour."

Five years after SLAYER played the last concert of what was being billed as the band's farewell tour and just weeks after the SLAYER guitarist unveiled the details of his solo project, Kerry and his longtime bandmates announced that they will play at the Aftershock, Riot Fest and Louder Than Life festivals in September and October.

King also talked about the SLAYER reunion while speaking to Revolver magazine about "From Hell I Rise". Asked if he had known about these shows well before they were officially announced, King said: "If you ask promoters, they're going to have another answer. If you ask booking agents, they'll probably have a third answer. But to me, it kind of came out of nowhere. Have we been getting offers the past few years? Yeah, we turn down offers every year, probably every month of every year. These three festivals are right around the five-year anniversary of our last tour, which I thought was kind of cool. So, I thought this might be the right time to test the water. It will be great to play for the fans again."

Regarding whether the upcoming SLAYER shows will steal some of the thunder away from the touring his solo band will do in support of "From Hell I Rise", Kerry said: "Well, time will tell, and my answer would be, 'hopefully not'. The funny thing is, it never occurred to me until the day the SLAYER announcement came, but [Phil] Demmel [guitarist in Kerry's solo band] said, 'Dude, is this real?' And I'm, like, 'It's just a few weekends and that's it.' Of course, Paul knew. But I didn't tell Phil, I didn't tell Kyle [Sanders, KERRY KING bassist] and didn't tell Mark [Osegueda, KERRY KING singer] — and I said to the guys, 'There's no master plan here.' I didn't want anybody to start getting cold feet. I said, 'This is a little moment in time, and yeah, KERRY KING is going to be touring, you know, hopefully later in the year, as well. But SLAYER is an entity and I'm just a person.' But hopefully, we drive on with the solo project."

King also spoke about the SLAYER reunion in an interview with U.K.'s Metal Hammer magazine. Admitting that the announcement of SLAYER's comeback "was not my favorite timing", Kerry said that the SLAYER reunion "is not going to translate into recording and it's not going to translate into touring. For me, it's three shows marking five years since our final shows, a fun, 'Hey, remember us from before the pandemic?' celebration."

Kerry also explained in more detail why he still has not spoken to Tom since the news of SLAYER's reunion was announced. "It's not like I'm angry with him or anything," King clarified. "We're very different people, and we evolved into business partners at the end of the day. He has very different interests from me, and very different outlooks. Does that make me hate him? No. But I don't need to talk to him every day… We just don't have much in common. When it comes time to rehearse, I'll have no problem showing up. We're professionals, and that's what we do."

When Kerry's solo project was first announced, King told Rolling Stone that he was almost positive he and Tom would never resurrect the band. "I can pretty much a hundred percent say no because I have a new outlet, and it's not SLAYER, but it sounds like SLAYER," King said of a potential SLAYER reunion.

The lineup for SLAYER's comeback will be the same as the one which last toured in 2019: Araya and King, along with guitarist Gary Holt (also of EXODUS) and longtime drummer Paul Bostaph.

Days after SLAYER's reunion was announced, Tom Araya's wife wrote on social media that she "harassed him for over a year" before he "agreed finally" to play more shows with the band. "We shared that news with SLAYER's awesome managers and they did the rest!" she explained. "So yes without Tom it wouldn't have happened.. without me BUGGING HIM it wouldn't have happened."

Both Gary and his wife Lisa Holt were among the hundreds of people who "liked" Sandra's Instagram post, with Lisa sharing three heart emojis in response to Sandra's message.

In a statement confirming SLAYER's return, Tom said: "Nothing compares to the 90 minutes when we're on stage playing live, sharing that intense energy with our fans, and to be honest, we have missed that." King added: "Have I missed playing live? Absolutely. SLAYER means a lot to our fans; they mean a lot to us. It will be five years since we have seen them."

The same day that SLAYER's comeback was announced, Holt's wife Lisa Holt took to her social media to write: "Yes, it's true..and an exciting adventure for the band and fans !

"To all the people saying 'they are liars' 'they must have ran out of money' 'its not SLAYER without so and so' ..I have an idea for you all...DON'T GO.. and for all the people who did go to the final tour dates and enjoyed it...awesome!!

"This isn't a 'TOUR' it's some dates..and GREAT NEWS!!!" she added. "And everyone that thinks they know all the inside can't possibly know. so just enjoy the fact that this amazing band will play some amazing shows this year...go or don't..nobody cares!!!!!"

Three weeks before SLAYER's reunion was announced, Kerry told Rolling Stone that he didn't foresee SLAYER coming back together for the foreseeable future.

"Will SLAYER tour again? I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen. Could SLAYER play a show again? I'm sure there's a scenario," King said, adding that he hadn't spoken to Araya since that final show. "Am I looking for it? No, I'm just getting ready to start my [solo] career. So if that happens, it happens. But I'm going to be doing this for the next 10 years at least."

SLAYER played the final show of its farewell tour in November 2019 at the Forum in Los Angeles. One day later, Kerry's wife Ayesha said that there is "not a chance in hell" that the thrash metal icons will reunite for more live appearances.

SLAYER's final world tour began on May 10, 2018 with the band's intention to play as many places as possible, to make it easy for the fans to see one last SLAYER show and say goodbye. By the time the 18-month trek wrapped at the Forum, the band had completed seven tour legs plus a series of one-off major summer festivals, performing more than 140 shows in 30 countries and 40 U.S. states.

All material for "From Hell I Rise" was written by King, who was accompanied during the recording sessions by Bostaph, Demmel, Sanders and Osegueda. Helming the sessions at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles last year was producer Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with KORN, LAMB OF GOD, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and BAD RELIGION, among others.

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