Peter Atkinson of KNAC.COM recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. A few excerpts from the chat follow:KNAC.COM: Do you prefer playing these European festivals to doing something like Ozzfest? King: Yeah, I do because Ozzfest is in the heat of summer in America and there are some brutal venues. You'd think we'd learn our lesson, but this tour with Manson, we're gonna hit some brutal venues because it's the same sheds at about the same time (as Ozzfest). The Unholy Alliance tour we did last year was mostly inside, which was great. But this time we'll be outside in Arizona in August, I used to live there so I know what's coming (laughs). KNAC.COM: Are you looking forward to the tour with Manson or is this one of those deals where it's like, "What might we be getting ourselves into?" King: I was kind of like that, but we met Manson before we came out here and we did the Revolver shoot and interview and since then we played a festival together and I took one of those rare opportunities, I don't usually drink before we go on, but I went over and did a shot of absinthe with him. And then I got a better vibe about him. It's more like I think he knows what he's gotten himself into — and I don't say that in a disrespectful manner — but let's face it, he could come out and play music that just makes everybody leave, at least everyone who came to see us, or he can play music that they are into as well. And I kinda got the vibe that that's what he was going to do. That's the wild card, so we'll just see. KNAC.COM: He very well could come out dressed like a chick and play a lot of his mellower newer stuff? King: That he could. He's definitely an unpredictable guy and who knows what his mindset's gonna be when the tour's ready to start. I guess we won't know for sure 'til opening night. If that's the way he ends up going, it could be a pretty brutal few weeks. But, again, that's not the impression I had after we'd met up. KNAC.COM: If you guys had teamed up during his "Antichrist Superstar" phase, that really would have been something to see. King: That would have been the tour of tours, for sure. I threw out a request to him when we did the interview and he said he was gonna do some of it, so we'll see what happens. KNAC.COM: Do you originally envision this as another Unholy Alliance package tour? King: Yeah, it was, but once we got Manson he didn't want to call it that. I guess he's not "the antichrist" anymore or something. I remember him saying something to our manager that "that's you guys now." And that's when I got the first red flag, like "Uh oh, what's he gonna play." But I think it's gonna be all right. It's three bands instead of five, and we'll both be playing full sets. He's gonna go on last every night, which I've got no problem with. All the pressure will be on him, playing after us (laughs). KNAC.COM: Even so, as notorious as you both are, this tour is like the Moral Majority's worst nightmare, you could be bringing the bible thumpers out in droves. King: It's funny but I hadn't even thought about that. That would be awesome, I welcome that shit. Bring it on. It's like, "Come on, let's have a discussion so I can shoot all your ideas down." That'd be fun. Believe it or not, I don't think that's ever been too much of a real issue with us. The press makes more of it than anyone else, what else is new (laughs). Manson's probably had it worse than us, because he's more famous. We get protesters who come out and have their signs out in front of the show, but our fans would just laugh at them. They're just barking up the wrong tree, man. KNAC.COM: You mentioned how your fans might react to Manson, do you remember the last time any of your warm-up bands really got the "Slay-er, Slay-er" treatment. King: I honestly don't know because I can't go out and watch people as much as I used to because I'll either be doing press or warming up. That's a tough one, I don't have an answer for you. I think bands know they've got their work cut out for them when they tour with us and that they better bring their A-game. Maybe that's been working for them, because I haven't noticed anyone really getting brutalized by our fans in a while. KNAC.COM: Maybe your fans are mellowing? King: (Laughs) I don't think that's the case. All you've gotta do is go to our of shows to see that, they still go fucking ballistic. But there are a whole new generation of SLAYER fans, maybe they just don't know that part of the history. KNAC.COM: So songwriting doesn't seem to have become a chore for you, even though you've written the majority of the stuff on the last couple albums? King: It's never going to go away. I could walk down the street and write 10 albums (laughs). Who knows if I'll write most of the stuff for the next one? It always depends; it's not a pre-thought thing. It's not even about who's got the hot hand, it's about who's coming up with the best material. It's real easy to get sidetracked at home and I know that's what's happened to Hanneman the last couple records. He's home, he's having a good time, he doesn't want to think about SLAYER. And Tom's got his family and his ranch out in Texas. But it comes a time when it's like, "Man, we gotta get rolling." And I'll just close myself in a room and come up with lyrics for a week. It's not even a dedication thing, it's just we've gotta get rolling and we can't get rolling if somebody doesn't start writing something. (Laughs) Read the entire interview at KNAC.COM.
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