Kerry King recalls learning about Slayer’s retirement from Tom Araya: “Of course I was hurt”

“I had every intention of making another Slayer record,” he says.

[L-R] Tom Araya and Kerry King

Credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images

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Kerry King has revealed how he learned of Slayer’s retirement from bandmate Tom Araya in a new interview.

Speaking about his debut solo album From Hell I Rise in the Spring issue of Revolver, King says a few of the songs on the record were originally written for Slayer before the band had decided to call it quits.

“I already had Rage and From Hell I Rise, two tracks on the new album, left over from Repentless [Slayer’s final studio record, released in 2015],” King says.

“Those songs were originally recorded for that album, but I just didn’t get the performance I wanted out of them. So rather than put them out half-assedly, if that’s a word, I decided I was gonna keep them for the next Slayer record and try recording them again. But when it turned out that there wasn’t going to be another Slayer record, they became my stuff.”

“I had every intention of making another Slayer record,” the guitarist adds. “Until Tom was doing an interview with some publication, and they asked him about the next Slayer album. He said something like, ‘I don’t know, I gotta talk to Kerry before we start working on the next record.’”

A next record that would never arrive, as we later learn.

“And when I found that out,” King continues, “of course I’m hurt, first and foremost. Second, I’m like, ‘I got a lot of work to do.’ Third, I’m like, ‘I’ve just gotta play my gig as best I can every night [on the final tour] and prepare to move on.’ And fourth, I was like, ‘OK, all these songs that I’d been writing for Slayer? Now they’re just mine.’”

While he previously described the band’s decision to retire as “premature”, looking back now, King admits that “there’s something to be said for going out on top, and I’m happy to be a part of that.”

“I feel like Peyton Manning – I won the Super Bowl and I quit. But was I done? Absolutely not. If I was, I wouldn’t have this great record sitting in front of me. Would this have been the next Slayer record? Probably, though there’s a couple of things on this that I might not have put on the next Slayer record.”

“It’s not like I ever felt like I had blinders on in Slayer, and I never felt pigeonholed in Slayer; but once you take the Slayer moniker away, my brain doesn’t feel as restrained,” he says.

Elsewhere, Slayer have announced their return at three festivals in the US this summer – Louder Than Life, Riot Fest and Aftershock. But fans shouldn’t hold their breath for full-time Slayer action as King has said that he “can pretty much guarantee” the band will never make another record or tour again.

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