Eddie Trunk — co-host of the VH1 Classic television program "That Metal Show" who has a long-running radio show, "Friday Night Rocks", on New York's Q104.3 FM — conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King for Hartke at this year's NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show, a massive music-products convention that took place January 24-27 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California. You can now watch the chat below.
On the status of the long-awaited new SLAYER album:
King: "We got two songs completed last year that I thought were come out [as an EP] before [we embarked on the Rockstar Energy Drink] Mayhem [Festival last summer]. And since they didn't, they're just gonna be on the [full-length] record. They've just gotta get mixed. We have another one that just needs vocals and leads, and then me and Dave [Lombardo, drums] are working on eight complete other ones that we haven't demoed. We've just gotta go in…
"The whole hold-up now, as with every record we ever do, it seems like [head of SLAYER's longtime label American Recordings] Rick Rubin changes distributors. And we're kind of, like, left in limbo until he lands somewhere. I mean, realistically, we're without a deal [right now], but we plan on staying with Rick. But he's working out his distribution. When that gets settled, we'll be recording. So I am very comfortable saying it will be out this year."
On the status of SLAYER guitarist Jeff Hanneman, who has been absent from the road for the past two years while he is recovering from contracting necrotizing fasciitis, likely caused by a spider bite:
King: "You probably know more than me, dude. Believe it or not. [laughs] You know, not to make it sound weird, but when you get off tour, you scatter. And I don't talk to him [not] because I hate him, I don't talk to him because I had enough of him. I don't talk to Tom [Araya, bass/vocals]. The only reason I talk to Dave is 'cause we rehearse all the time. When I get off tour, I just wanna go chill and be 'Kerry,' not 'Kerry King,' you know what I mean?! But the best I know, I talk to my manager, he talks to [Jeff] periodically, and he's still trying to get back in the game."
On whether Jeff is part of the songwriting process for the new SLAYER album:
King: "Not yet. I have enough material to do it on my own, if need be. But I'm open; if Jeff comes to the party with some material, hell yeah, I've got extras."
On whether he will play all the guitar parts on the new SLAYER album and whether SLAYER's fill-in guitarist Gary Holt (of EXODUS fame) will appear on the record:
King: "No, no, no… I'll play all the guitars. But I mean, I've been playing all the guitars for years anyway — except for Jeff's leads."