“I wrote to Kerry and said, ‘Thanks for making me look like a liar’”: Anthrax’s Scott Ian shares his surprise at Slayer coming out of retirement

“I really felt that they would be the one band that when they said they were retiring, they’d be done for good.”

Scott Ian (left) and Kerry King (right). Both are captured on stage with guitars in hand.

Images: (Left) Rick Kern and (right) Ethan Miller / Getty

When you purchase through affiliate links on Guitar.com, you may contribute to our site through commissions. Learn more

It’s a confusing time to be a Slayer fan. The band had us all convinced they were stepping away from the stage for good in 2019, but this year everything changed.

They originally announced they were calling it quits and carried out a farewell tour, but in early 2024 they announced they’d be appearing at three festivals in the US this summer – Louder Than Life, Riot Fest and Aftershock.

And it turns out it’s not just the fans who’ve been surprised by these three random shows as even Anthrax’s Scott Ian, who joined the crew on their supposed final tour, feels just as perplexed.

Speaking to Classic Rock, Ian reveals, “I wrote to Kerry [King] and said, ‘Thanks for making me look like a liar.’ We were on Slayer’s goodbye tour for over a hundred shows. During that year and a half together I got the sense that if they said [they] were ending, then that’s what was happening.”

He adds, “Personally I felt it was too soon – the world needs Slayer – but I took them at their word on that. I really felt that they would be the one band that when they said they were retiring, they’d be done for good.”

King apparently wrote back to Ian stating that their reunion is temporary, for these three shows only. Ian, however, not so sure: “I replied: ‘Yeah, we’ll see,’” he says.

King, it seemed, thought things were truly over too, given that after the band decided to step away he began work on a solo project – an album titled From Hell I Rise, due for release this month.

Created with Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda, former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, former Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, and former Hellyeah bassist Kyle Sanders, the record has been described as an “extension of Slayer” by King.

With that said, he also tried to avoid recruiting to many former Slayer members of concerns his new work would just be branded as “Slayer Lite”. Originally, King did consider bringing Gary Holt along, but decided not to for this very reason.

You can check out his latest solo single below:

Head to the Slayer website to find out more about their live dates.


The world’s leading authority and resource for all things guitar.

© 2024 Guitar.com is part of NME Networks.