Kerry King Was Insulted By Rick Rubin’s Latest Contract Offer
It weirds me out every time I see a Nuclear Blast ad with the Slayer logo at its center. Something about that is unnatural. Slayer and Rick Rubin’s American Recordings go hand in hand in my mind. Seeing someone else represent them is, I don’t know, bizarre.
But Kerry King is not a man to take insults lightly, and apparently Rubin’s offer for the band’s latest album was spit in his face. King recently said, in an interview:
“Solidarity is far stronger than jumping ship and going somewhere else. I thought we’d still be on American — but when we got the offer from American, I was insulted. That, to me, just said, ‘Good luck, you’re not gonna have good luck here anymore.’ So we found our new friends at Nuclear Blast.”
Of course, Tom Araya described the situation in more chilled-out terms:
“It was more like he broke the news to us…When we started this record, it was on the pretext that we’d be working with Rick — but things didn’t pan out. We’ve sort of moved on.”
Classic King/Araya dichotomy — King sounds pissy and indignant, Tom sounds matter-of-fact and a little sad.
It’d be easy to hate on Rick Rubin — it is easy. But when he first blew minds by signing Slayer to Def Jam back in the day, Rubin was young and hungry and watching the music industry change. He knew that bringing an infamous thrash band on board with a bunch of rap artists would be controversial, and cool, and weird.
Buuut the industry’s not like that anymore. You’re either scrapping it out with the other actual bands, or you’re making money with the titans. Rick Rubin works with guys like Jay-Z, where recording a rough demo track makes you a million bucks. Slayer, for all their acclaim, are a metal band–they tour hard and put out albums. Rick Rubin and American Recordings have no room for that anymore, legacy or no.
As weird as it may be to see the Slayer logo in a Nuclear Blast banner, Nuclear Blast know how to take care of a working band. Rick Rubin has to worry about the red carpet shit.
Slayer’s Repentless comes out on Nuclear Blast on 9/11 and Jesus Christ that feels stupid to write.