In a brand new interview with Phoenix New Times, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King was asked when the first time was that he heard JUDAS PRIEST or saw them perform. "First time I saw [them] would've been… 'Point Of Entry' tour, um ... I follow it chronologically by album. Not the dates of the album… but I think that was '80, maybe '81? When 'British Steel' came around, I was a little too young to go to it by myself. And that's why I found them on the radio. We didn't have the Internet, obviously, so the stuff I would've heard on the radio would've been 'Breaking The Law' or 'Living After Midnight', which are basically rock and roll songs. But you get 'British Steel', and you find 'Rapid Fire', then you do your backwards homework which you had to do for a lot of bands, and you find 'Hell Bent For Leather' (1978), 'Sad Wings of Destiny' (1976), and all the original classic stuff, and you realize that there’s way more to this band than 'Living After Midnight'."
He continued: "Rob [Halford] is what I call a vocal ninja. The stuff he does in the '70s, '80s, even '90s, and even today, he can't hit the notes from his heyday, but he goes out and puts on a hell of a show. But the thing he does, the shrill crazy Rob Halford scream is I think what got me. It wasn't about wearing leather and chains, but, of course, PRIEST are idols of me, and I think you spend the early part of your career emulating your idols, and we were definitely guilty of that."
King recently told Rolling Stone that "Stained Class" is "the most complete JUDAS PRIEST album." He said: "I love the intro to 'Stained Class'. And Rob Halford is my favorite singer of all time, closely followed by Ronnie James Dio, closely followed by Bruce Dickinson. There's riffs on all of the early records, as well as a lot of the later ones, but it was on 'Stained Class' where they really found what the 'PRIEST sound' was gonna be. It kept evolving a little bit, but to me, it was more defined than 'Sin After Sin' and 'Sad Wings Of Destiny'. It seemed like it came together more. We'd covered ['Sin After Sin''s] 'Dissident Aggressor' because it was super heavy but very obscure. And after we did, a lot of people still thought it was our own song. But on this one, they had the two-guitar thing and it was a little more cleaned up, maybe how 'Reign In Blood' became SLAYER's sound of the future. We've sounded the same basically ever since."
SLAYER's six-week North American tour with LAMB OF GOD and BEHEMOTH kicked off on July 12 in Bemidji, Minnesota and will run through August 20 in Phoenix, Arizona.