Enlarge The King is bored.

Slayer’s Kerry King: “We Quit Too Early”

  • Axl Rosenberg

Rob Zombie once predicted that Slayer’s retirement would never stick, asserting that “After two years, they’re gonna go cuckoo and they’re gonna be back on the road.” Zombie must have a crystal ball or something, ’cause next month it will be two years since Slayer player their final show, and now guitarist Kerry King has declared that the band “quit way too early.”

The assertion comes in a recent video in which various notable metal musicians congratulate Machine Head on their thirtieth anniversary. In his segment, King says:

“So, I hear congratulations are in order for my friends in Machine Head. Apparently, it’s 30 years, which is quite an achievement. Not a lot of bands get there. We did… and then we quit too early. Fuck us. Fuck me. I hate fucking not playing.”

“Way too soon” seems like a stretch, especially given that Slayer was barely even Slayer by the end. Still, I empathize — King is 57, which is still fairly young to suddenly be sitting at home with nothing to do (and it’s not exactly a secret that the push for retirement came from Tom Araya, not King). As it stands, Metallica and Anthrax are celebrating their 40th anniversaries this year; Megadeth will follow in 2023. There’s no reason Slayer couldn’t still be Slayin’.

The silver lining is that, presumably, King will be back in front of audiences sooner rather than later. In August of 2020, he said he had two albums’ worth of material written. That same month, Paul Bostaph — who was playing drums for Slayer when they retired — confirmed the rumor that he’s involved in King’s new project, which is also said to include another former Slayerer, Gary Holt (Exodus), and Pantera’s Phil Anselmo.

There’s any number of reasons why this project may not yet have come to fruition, but it seems like a safe bet that the pandemic has something to do with it. So while you shouldn’t still need a reason to get vaccinated, you do now have extra incentive.

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