Why I love Slayer, by Children Of Bodom's Alexi Laiho

Without Slayer there would be no Children Of Bodom

“We’ve been constantly influenced by Slayer, consciously or not. I was 10 years old when I first heard them. I’d just discovered extreme music like Sepultura, then I heard Seasons In The Abyss and I was convinced they were crazy and evil! I’ve bought the CD 10 times. I keep losing it! Slayer invented extreme metal. They were the first band to do anything close to black metal or death metal. They have influenced the bands you listen to, even if you haven’t heard their music. If it weren’t for Slayer, there’d be no Children Of Bodom, but that’s the beauty of it. They came up with an original style using harmonies and riffs to make them sound so goddamn evil. They came out with something unique. I can’t imagine the scene without them. I’m terrified to think about it!”

No one out-parties Kerry King

“The first time I met Kerry King was back in 2006 when our management hooked us up to visit Slayer in the studio when they were recording Christ Illusion. We went to the studio and I didn’t want to disturb anyone, but Kerry King looked up and said, ‘Hey, I’m Kerry, you guys want some beers?’ They played us some new tunes and we hung out a bit, and that same year we did our first tour with them. Kerry can be intense but he’s very social and super nice, we ended up hanging out a whole bunch. I used to drink a lot, but Kerry is one of the guys I’ve never managed to drink under the table – I tried so many times but it was impossible. You really don’t want to get in a Jäger shot contest with that guy!”

(Image credit: Getty)

Jeff Hanneman was a pretty complex dude

“I was in LA when I’d heard stories that Jeff wasn’t doing very well, but his death still came as a shock. It’s a tragedy. He wasn’t exactly the easiest to approach at all – I didn’t end up talking to him until the second tour we did with them. Somehow we ended up talking about hockey and NHL and all of a sudden he perked up and became my friend, and then we would hang out and have cocktails together.”

The late, great Jeff

The late, great Jeff (Image credit: Getty)

The piss over most other bands live

“The first time I saw them was at a festival in Sweden in 1998. We had to leave so I only saw them for 10 minutes. I was so bummed out. But we got to tour with them twice, so I’ve now seen Slayer more times than I can remember. But it never gets old. When you see them live, it’s impossible to look away or go get a beer. In 2004, we played a show together in Milan. We used to get pretty crazy after the show, so by the time Slayer came on, I was hammered. I sat down at the side of the stage and drank whiskey through the entire show. I didn’t move anywhere. I got up at the end and didn’t realise how drunk I was and I almost knocked everything over, so one of their techs threw me off stage! It was a rookie mistake but I didn’t puke on anything or anybody, so that’s something.”

They have never stopped going

“They’re such a strong live band, they get so much respect from me because they haven’t given up and they’re still touring and making records. It’s amazing they’re still doing it; it can’t be easy because one of the main characters and songwriters is gone. Considering everything, Gary Holt’s doing an amazing job – if you go to a Slayer show now, you’ll get your money’s worth. They’ve still got it.”