"I don’t wish him dead at this moment": Kerry King hasn't spoken to, texted, or emailed Tom Araya since Slayer split

Tom Araya, Kerry King
(Image credit: Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images)

Kerry King has revealed that he and his former Slayer bandmate Tom Araya haven't exchanged a single word of conversation, a single text message or a single email since the thrash metal legends split five years ago.

Slayer played their final show on November 30, 2019, at the Forum in Inglewood, California, and in an exclusive interview with RollingStone.com, guitarist King, who has admitted that he was somewhat blindsided by Araya's decision to retire from music, says that the pair have not been in contact since.

"I don’t wish him dead at this moment," King states at one point, which is about as much love as he shows for Araya during his three-hour conversation with writer Kory  Grow.

Asked by Grow, "Have you talked to Tom at all since the last show?", King, who says that the pair are "very different people" replies, "Not even a text. Not even an email. I’ve talked to everybody else from the band on the phone, text, or email. If Tom hit me up, I’d probably respond. It probably depends on what he hit me up for, but I don’t wish him dead at this moment."

King also reveals that he was "super pissed off" with Araya when Slayer's vocalist/bassist posted a mocked-up photo of the band and Donald Trump on Slayer's social media channels on the day of Trump's inauguration as President of the United States in January 2017, "but not enough to fucking quit my band."

The guitarist tells Rolling Stone, "I was like, Dude, that’s what your personal social media is for. You’re the only one in this band that gives a shit about this idiot, and when you put it up there, we’re all backing him. And I am not [backing Trump], Gary’s not, Paul is not. That’s your opinion, not ours."

Read the full interview with Kerry King here.

King's interview with Rolling Stone coincided with the release of Idle Hands, the debut single from his new band, which features Death Angel frontman Mark Osegueda on vocals, ex-Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, Hellyeah bassist Kyle Sanders and his former Slayer bandmate Paul Bostaph on drums. 

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.