KERRY KING On SLAYER Bandmates: “I Haven’t Heard From TOM ARAYA Since The Last SLAYER Show, And DAVE LOMBARDO Is Dead To Me”

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Kerry King has long been synonymous with the bone-crushing sound of Slayer. However, as the iconic guitarist gears up to release his first solo album, “From Hell I Rise,” fans might be in for more than just another headbanging experience.

For those harboring hopes of a musical departure, think again. King‘s solo endeavor stays true to his signature style, with the first single, “Idle Hands” serving as a visceral reminder of the uncompromising metal ethos that has defined his songwriting for the past four decades.

Singer Mark Osegueda, of Death Angel fame, lends his vocal prowess to the narrative of King‘s return, with lyrics like “So begins my revolution/Violence spreads my retribution,” painting a vivid picture of defiance and chaos. The declaration of antichrist sentiments in the lyrics adds an extra layer of intensity, ensuring that “From Hell I Rise” remains firmly rooted in the dark and rebellious themes that have become King‘s trademark.

In an exclusive interview with Rolling Stone, Kerry King talked about his upcoming solo debut and opened up about Tom Araya‘s unexpected retirement and the strained relationships within the band.

“With this album, Paul went in more prepared than he’s ever been in my history with him. After the drums, I did rhythm guitars, and I did all my leads in one day. I did 18 leads in a day. I went back the next day and cleaned up seven or eight of them, but they were there.” King reveals about the recording process.

Praising Mark Osegueda‘s vocals in the record, King said: 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, “OK.”

“Mark just showed up every fucking day and is on point every fucking second of every song” he adds.

However, the elephant in the room remains the retirement of Tom Araya, which led to Slayer‘s end. When addressing his relationship with Tom, King candidly admitted: “Me and Tom have never been on the same page. Like if I want a chocolate shake, he wants a vanilla shake. “Kerry, what color is the sky?” Blue. “Tom, what color is the sky?” White. We’re just different people. The further on in years we got, it just became more.”

“Am I going to hang out with Tom? He likes tequila a little bit and I’m a big tequila-head, so I’ll have my shot with him, and we’ll part ways. We’re not going to hang out or anything because we are very different people. And together, we made great music and a great live show.” King added.

When asked if he had talked to Araya since the last Slayer show, King revealed: “Not even a text. Not even an email. I’ve talked to everybody else from the band on the phone, text, or email. If Tom hit me up, I’d probably respond. It probably depends on what he hit me up for, but I don’t wish him dead at this moment.”

The guitarist also shed light on his strained relationship with original drummer Dave Lombardo, who was unceremoniously fired in 2013. King pulled no punches, declaring Lombardo “dead to me” after a public tirade on social media during a vulnerable time for the band: “He went on that tirade when we were on a flight to Australia, and he knew we couldn’t retort for 14 hours, and he threw me under the bus. I was the only one keeping him in the band. Tom wanted him out before that, and Jeff had just gotten the spider bite, so he wasn’t playing with us much. I said, “We need Dave. The fans won’t get it if we replace him right now”. And then the Australia thing came up. He threw me under the bus, and I’m like, “I’m the guy that kept you here.” So I thought, “Fuck that guy.”

King also illustrated what to his eyes seemed Lombardo‘s susceptibility to misguided advice and inflated expectations: “He’s super impressionable. He was listening to this woman that was his attorney at the time, and she thought we had Metallica money, which we’ve never had fucking Metallica money. So she’s just blowing shit in his ear, and he thinks he should be getting more than he should be getting. It’s like, talk to somebody that actually knows the situation and isn’t just blowing sunshine up your ass to make money in your commission.”

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