Angela Yeager of the Statesman Journal recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
On the war in Iraq servng as the inspiration for a few of the songs on the upcoming CD, "Christ Illusion", which will be released Aug. 8:
"Tom [Araya] wrote a couple of songs, one from the terrorist perspective. We have another about a soldier's post-traumatic stress syndrome. I wrote from the character's perspective to imagine what it would like to be in a war. I've never been in a war and really none of my friends have."
On being attacked for writing such violent lyrics from an imagined character's point of view:
"We've done interviews since the dawn of time, and this always comes up. You know, I think most of our fans separate us from the characters. Nothing is off limits for me. I have no problem with any kind of lyrics whatsoever."
On the band's current Unholy Alliance tour:
"It's bigger than it was last time we came through on tour. Maybe it's because we were away so long. I'd find myself doing that (seeing younger bands) at home when we weren't touring and think, 'I'm better than that. I need to get out there and show them what s*** is all about.'"
On his early influences:
"I was influenced by people going back to (BLACK) SABBATH, the first couple VAN HALEN records, the OZZY records with Randy Rhoads. It was a necessary thing to become different in my playing. Otherwise, no one will ever notice you. The closest thing you might find in terms of my playing is early (IRON) MAIDEN, JUDAS PRIEST. We got to play with them at the 2004 Ozzfest, and that was really cool for me."
On still being pretty much the same guy who started with SLAYER:
"Things people would be surprised to know about me? I don't really know if there is anything. I breed reptiles. I collect football cards. That would be about it. I'm just pretty basic. I'm definitely the town metal kid."
On the fact that being SLAYER is pretty effortless:
"We never overthink it at all. It's not something we have to work at. If you have to work at it, then you're not doing something right. We won't change. We'll always be angry."