Rob "Bubbs" Harris of Metal Exiles recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
Metal Exiles: When the band first got going, did you ever think that thirty years later you would be considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest, metal bands of all time?
King: Every year we go on, and everything we accomplish is awesome to us, but it's not something you can sit at home and think about. We're very grateful to be where we are. I've been in SLAYER from the beginning, and I couldn't imagine doing anything else, but the level of success that we have achieved isn't something that we have dwelled upon.
Metal Exiles: What would you have been doing had SLAYER never formed, or didn't quite make it to the point you are at today?
King: It's hard to picture. I had a few odd jobs as a teenager, but for the most part, SLAYER is all I've ever done. When you've done something all your life and had success in it, it's hard to envision yourself having any other form of lifestyle.
Metal Exiles: Let's talk about "The Vinyl Conflict". Who's idea was that? Was it a collective decision amongst the band to put this thing out?
King: Actually, we're still very oblivious to things like that until somebody mentions it. We were touring Europe earlier this year when the record label told us about doing this box set. As you may know, when dealing with record labels and stuff like this, decisions have to be made yesterday. So, they told us about this plan and asked us if we had any ideas as to what we wanted to call it. I was like, "No, but I'll figure something out." What they had was the most retarded, stupid, generic name you could ever fucking think of. I can't remember what it was, but imagine stupid and generic, and that was it. So I said to give me a day off to sit at the bar and think about it, so it dawned on me to call it "The Vinyl Conflict". I sent it over, everybody loved it and there it is.
Metal Exiles: I think releasing it on vinyl was a great idea. Not only is it a great opportunity for the serious collectors to get their hands on some tasty SLAYER vinyl, but you can't hork shit like that off the Internet.
King: Metal fans, more so than any type of music fan that I've noticed, are more inclined to support their favorite bands fully. They don't just show up at shows and buy shirts; They want product. Whether it be backstage at a gig, or doing an in-store, the real fans don't just show up and buy the album for you to sign it; They already had it. I think that's what separates metal fans from the rest, is the fact that they care enough about the music to get that original product and cherish it.
Metal Exiles: Let's touch on the "Big Four" subject. That was a historical tour. How awesome was it to be a part of that and to be able to play with and hang out with some dudes that you might not have seen in quite some time?
King: That was cool for everybody involved, because those four bands have never played together before. It was definitely a lot cooler than I expected going in. We had a great time and had lots of fun with everybody. I went and watched METALLICA like four out of the seven shows from right there behind Lars' [Ulrich] drum riser. It was really cool.
Read the entire interview from Metal Exiles.