SLAYER's KERRY KING: 'I Don't Believe In God Or The Devil; I'm An Atheist'

May 19, 2024

In a new interview with Germany's Moshpit Passion, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King spoke about the increased prevalence of lyrics about religion and occult themes in heavy metal today compared to how it was when the band first started out more than 40 years ago. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yeah, I think people got desensitized over the decades, 'cause when we came out, it was far more taboo than it is now. And I think what I do is more like just putting opinions on the table."

He continued: "I think a lot of people are just born into their beliefs — they come down from their parents, their friends, whatever. And I don't believe in God or the devil — I don't believe in anything; I'm an atheist — but I like to put options on the table for those people that may never question what they believe or why they believe it. I don't care if you believe in God — good on you; have fun with that; that's a good story — but I just like to throw things on the table and say, 'Hey, have you ever thought of a different perspective? Have you ever thought of all the preachers that get arrested for fondling little boys?' This world isn't perfect. So I just put things out on the table and hopefully get people thinking about their own life and figure things out for themselves."

He later added: "That's why, first and foremost, I always say I am an atheist. I don't believe any of it. But I don't mind writing about it. [Laughs] I like to think of my songs as mini screenplays that give you visuals in your mind. And it just makes you think of things, makes you think like you're watching a movie in your head. Maybe someday somebody will make up a movie based on a short story by Kerry King, and that story is my song."

King's debut solo album, "From Hell I Rise", was released on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music.

Joining Kerry in his new band are Mark Osegueda (vocals; DEATH ANGEL),Phil Demmel (guitar; MACHINE HEAD, VIO-LENCE),Kyle Sanders (bass; HELLYEAH) and drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER, TESTAMENT, EXODUS).

Earlier this month, the KERRY KING band performed its first live show, totally sold out, at Reggies in Chicago. The concert was described as "dark, packed, and exceptionally loud," everything you could ask for at such a landmark show as this one… a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience." In the days following, the band went from playing an intimate venue to performing at the huge U.S. festivals Welcome To Rockville (Florida) and Sonic Temple (Ohio),treating the audience to an incredible experience of pure metal firepower.

Now the KERRY KING band is ready to embark on a European tour that will start on June 3 — on King's 60th birthday. The trek will combine headline shows in the U.K., The Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Spain but also festival appearances such as Rock Am Ring, Hellfest, Tuska, Download, Sweden Rock Festival and many more.

All material for "From Hell I Rise" was written by the 59-year-old SLAYER guitarist. 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.

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.

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