At this past Sunday night's (July 19) Rockstar Energy Mayhem Drink Festival in Hartford, Connecticut, Metal Insider asked SLAYER guitarist Kerry King about Mayhem co-founder Kevin Lyman's recent comment that metal "chased girls away" because the genre "got gray, bald and fat." King responded: "It's a very generalizing statement and it basically throws his tour under the bus. That's just… that's not even Business 101. That's just insane."
King went on to criticize this year's edition of Mayhem, saying: "Do I know this tour wasn't booked correctly? Absolutely I know this tour wasn't booked correctly. Gary Holt [SLAYER guitarist] made the comment that usually there's the Main Stage, a second stage, a third stage, and then that piece-of-shit record stage… Now what they're calling a second stage is at best a fourth stage and they're wondering why people aren't showing up."
He continued: "I think they waited too long and think all the talent that could have been on this took gigs in Europe. Because there's nobody here touring.
"It's easy to fill these stages, but I guess they wanted a different price point, take away the second and third stage which I think had a lot of value. To me, a second-stage headliner is ANTHRAX, MACHINE HEAD…"
King added: "Whoever booked this made a gigantic error."
Asked if he felt SLAYER was in the position of having to carry this year's Mayhem Festival more so than in previous years, King appeared to agree. "[Without the extra stages] it's basically a glorified SLAYER show," he said. "Let me put it to you this way: last year, SLAYER, SUICIDAL [TENDENCIES] and EXODUS played the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee and sold it out. Mayhem came through ten days ago and didn't sell it out. That's what I'm going up against here."
He continued: "I understand it from a fan's perspective. I wouldn't spend money to come to this either."
Asked if this would be the last time we saw SLAYER on Mayhem, King responded: "This might be the last time you see Mayhem."
This year's Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival kicked off on June 26 in Chula Vista, California and will wrap on August 2 in Dallas, Texas.
Lyman told the Detroit Free Press about Mayhem's 2015 lineup, which includes SLAYER, KING DIAMOND, HELLYEAH and THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA: "It was the best available for what we had to work with. We had pressure to keep the package at a certain price and make that work, and we had pressure on headliner expenses." In addition, there are fewer acts on the bill and only two stages this time around because "we had to condense it," Lyman said. "The expenses of putting on those shows had gotten high, so we had to push it all into the concourses. They [venues] don't want to build a fence outside [for third and fourth stages] anymore. Those things cost money."