While Slayer never gave a specific reason for ending the band, all indications pointed to singer-bassist Tom Araya’s desire to step away from the rigors of touring. Years of headbanging led Araya to undergo serious neck surgery in 2010, which limited his mobility, and he wasn’t shy about expressing his wish to retire in the years leading up to Slayer’s final show.
Some might say the legendary thrash band’s timing was perfect, as their farewell tour ended just a few months before the pandemic wreaked havoc on the music industry. Not so for King, who co-founded Slayer in 1981.
In a new tribute celebrating fellow metal veterans Machine Head’s 30th anniversary, King made his true feelings known.
“So, I hear congratulations are in order for my friends in Machine Head,” said King in a video message. “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. F**k us. F**k me. I hate f**king not playing.”
He went on to say that “the only band I ever demanded to open for Slayer was Machine Head.”
Since the final Slayer show, King and Araya have both been relatively quiet, although King did say last year that he has “more than two records’ worth of music” for a new project.
Final Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph later confirmed his participation in King’s new band, with reports suggesting that Exodus guitarist Gary Holt (also a member of Slayer’s final lineup after replacing the late Jeff Hanneman) and Pantera singer Philip Anselmo were also involved. Bostaph described the project as sounding “like Slayer without it being Slayer,” adding, “if you like heavy music and you like Slayer, you’ll like this.”
See Kerry King express his feelings about Slayer in the video tribute to Machine Head below (he appears at the 1:30 mark) followed by Heavy Consequence‘s video salute to Slayer, in which Tom Morello, Disturbed’s David Draiman, members of Lamb of God, and more pay tribute to the metal legends.