“If Jeff was still here, he’d be wanting us to play”: Kerry King believes Jeff Hanneman would have kept Slayer together

King has repeatedly voiced his displeasure at Slayer splitting up in 2019.

[L-R] Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King

Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

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Amid the current chaos in the Slayer camp, Kerry King believes that things would look a whole lot different if the late Jeff Hanneman was still alive – if that were the case, King reckons “he’d be wanting us to play”.

King had never been happy about Slayer calling it quits in 2019, and in a surprise turn of events, the band did a 180 earlier this year by announcing shows at three festivals in the US this summer – Louder Than Life, Riot Fest and Aftershock.

Now, in a new interview with Total Guitar, King considers what Hanneman’s position would have been if he hadn’t passed away in 2013.

“If Jeff was still here, would there be another Slayer record?” he asks rhetorically. “Who knows? I mean, Jeff weighed on Tom [Araya] a lot and I think Jeff not being around had a lot to do with Tom leaving Slayer. But, you know, if that fucking dumbass Jeff was still here, he’d be wanting us to play. I know he would. And if I played this album [new solo album From Hell I Rise] for Jeff, he would fuckin’ love it.”

King also reiterates his displeasure at everything for Slayer falling apart in the first place. “I mean, me being not in Slayer sucks,” he admits. “I want Slayer to exist, so this is the only way I know how to do that. To me, it would be weird to do anything else.”

Meanwhile, Anthrax’s Scott Ian recently revealed how perplexed he was that Slayer were going to be playing shows together again.

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.

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