SLAYER Guitarist Says ABC-TV Put Last-Minute 'Gag Order' On Band's 'Jimmy Kimmel' Performance

February 3, 2007

Ashley Brown of The Kansas City Star reports:

For the second year SLAYER has been nominated for a Grammy in the best metal performance category. It goes to the ceremony, according to guitarist Kerry King, if only for the courtesy booze.

"We went for the parties with no intention of winning," he says. "We went to a bar, hung out, ran in and got our seats. TOOL won, we said, 'Cool,' and went back to the bar."

King was flip, too, about the band's recent network television performance, its first, on the "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" show. The Broadcast Standards and Practices department at ABC-TV didn't insist on caked stage makeup, but they did put in a last-minute gag order on "Jihad", a song from "Christ Illusion". The song's lyrics are typically grim: "I walk sifting through the blood, besieged to fear, await the coming of God!" singer Tom Araya roars gutturally.

"Anytime you do TV, you're at the will of whoever owns the station," King says. "We said, 'Cool, we wanna play 'Jihad',' and the day before, they came with 40 percent of the lyrics deleted from the song. We were probably 10 minutes from backing out but said, 'Let's just go do it.'"

"Jihad" isn't the first SLAYER song to be interpreted as an apologia for radicalism. With the song "Angel of Death", about delusional and deific eugenics practitioner Josef Mengele, a Nazi doctor who performed experiments on concentration camp inmates, the band unwittingly garnered acolytes among skin-headed Neo-Nazis.

"The only thing that stands out in my mind is that if it were a CNN story, it'd be totally OK. But since SLAYER uses it in lyrics, we're just the Antichrist," says King, frustrated with all the projections by controversy-mongers.

"(The song) doesn't say, 'We belong to Jihad now, we're going to destroy society,' but you'd think it did."

Read the entire article at The Kansas City Star.

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