Kerry King talks about his solo career: “Our first show in Europe is gonna be on my 60th birthday”

Author Benedetta Baldin - 29.4.2024

Kerry King was recently interviewed at France’s Loud TV, and he talked about his debut solo album.

It’s kind of funny to have 40 years in this business at all, let alone be starting a new band. It’s funny, our first show in Europe is gonna be on my 60th birthday at the only venue I’ve ever canceled in my life, which is super ironic.

And about his Slayer days, King adds:

I’m obviously not done. I’ve got lots more music and lots more things to say, a lot more people to piss off and argue about. So, let’s start this new endeavor now. Move on.

Whilst being a legend in the music industry, it’s not a walk in the park for him either. He states:

It is a lot more difficult than I thought. I’ve been kind of pampered for the last at least three decades. And starting over, even though I have a gigantic history in Slayer, starting over, you’re still starting over — you’re lower on the bills, you’re not making the [same kind of] money. Having to figure out how to make sure everybody in my band makes money so it’s worth their time. But, yeah, never for a second did I consider not going on, because at this point in life, any record could be your last. I don’t think this is my last record, but I have to move on like it is. So put it out, hope the fans like it, hope the fans show up. I like it. I think the fans are gonna like it, and I think we’re gonna have a lot of good times.

But luckily, when the group is tight, all things are better. King spoke of his bandmates being his friends too:

Absolutely. The thing that meant the most to me about moving forward in this project was getting my friends. I could get anybody in the biz — I can get people I don’t know, people I’ve never met, but I have enough friends in this business to know that I could put a band together of outstanding musicians that are friends that, after the show, we can get on the bus and have a drink and just have fun. No drama. Nothing weird is gonna happen that we don’t foresee. I look forward to getting out on the road with these guys and having a good time. I think the most surprising moment was when I finally gave Mark the gig. Mark put his name in the hat very early, and he’s the only one that did demos with me and Paul. We had him come down every six weeks or so, and he would just come down and sing the songs he’d already sang and just every time he’d come down, make ’em better. But I didn’t tell him until, like, 14 months ago that he got the gig. And I was super nonchalant about it. He was at my place in [Las] Vegas, and I said, ‘Dude, if you still want the gig, I guess you can have it.’ And he was super excited, superexcited, like almost fan excited. He was so excited, he texted his mom and texted me by accident. [Laughs] And I said, ‘I love you too, man. It’s cool. It’s cool.’ So we went in and recorded, like, two months after that. Like I said, we did demos, and we always made the demos better. And then we got to the studio in Hollywood, and I was in another room doing something, and he sang ‘Residue’. And the producer got me and says, ‘Hey, I want you to hear where the song is.’ And I went, ‘Okay, cool,’ expecting to hear what I was used to hearing. And I hear the first verse and I’m going, ‘How did you guys get to this register?’ It’s, like, I’d never heard that before. He was, like, ‘Well, that’s where he started singing and felt comfortable.’ So I went to Mark immediately and I said, ‘Hey, dude, you can recreate this, right?’ It’s, like, ‘You’re not setting yourself up to fail the first show and blow your voice out and be canceling shows all over the place.’ And he assured me he can do it. So, he carried on and went on and did even crazier performances on the later songs that he sang. So, apparently, he’s very confident in what he can do. And I think it sounds great. So, I’m anxious to get out and start doing it.”

The name of the band wasn’t always Kerry King, though.

It was going to be King’s Reign for a long time, which is really cool. But even with that one, I went to the guys, like, ‘I’m not a vain dude. I don’t want my name to be a part of it.’ We talked about Blood Reign for a while, but it didn’t work. Every time I came up with anything remotely cool, it was taken by some obscure band in Eastern Europe. It became Kerry King because I love that logo.

Discussing the topics of “From Hell I Rise”, King has added:

Various religious topics, some war entries, heavy stuff, punky stuff, doomy stuff, and spooky stuff, with Herculean speeds achieved. If you’ve ever liked any Slayer throughout any part of our history, there’s something on this record that you’ll get into, be it classic punk, fast punk, thrash, or just plain heavy metal. Even with a record in the can, I’ve still got so many songs that need to be finished. This is what I know how to do…number one being music, number two being metal. It’s been a part of my life for 40 years, and I’m nowhere near being done.