"I was so ****ed they called it punk!" Kerry King reveals the pop punk legends he's excited to see live this summer - even if he doesn't always agree with their genre label

Kerry King 2023
(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

There's just a couple of weeks left to go before Kerry King's new band release their debut album From Hell I Rise, as well as the group's first shows ahead of a summer of festival appearances and select headline dates. As part of a recent Q&A event in Germany, the thrash metal legend revealed there's a band he's looking forward to catching over the summer. 

"I love The Offspring and can’t wait to play festivals with them," he said. "I’ll be side of stage watching them because Dexter [Holland] has a great voice and I can’t wait to see it."

Kerry King's love of The Offspring might seem surprising - or perhaps not so much since he once collaborated with Sum 41 - but he also admitted he didn't always love the band, for one reason: "I was so pissed they called it punk!" he said, adding it was media influence that affected his judgement. 

And if you're wondering what got King  waxing lyrical on sunny Southern California punk, that would be a question about how he feels punk has evolved over the decades. 

“Punk doesn’t evolve," he stated. "It’s true! I remember people tried to say The Offspring, Green Day and whatever were punk and I mean no disrespect to either of them, but they’re not punk. They kinda started their own genre, which is quote-unquote “pop punk”. In the 90s when those bands were being called punk, it just made me not like them."

Punk isn't the only genre Kerry is happy to leave as is. As guitarist in Slayer, King was one of the architects for thrash metal, so naturally fans were interested to know how he feels his new album fits in with the genre in 2024 and how it is pushing the genre forward. 

“I see it influencing people to like thrash even more," he says. "I’m not sure if thrash will evolve though – if it could, wouldn’t it have done it already? Punk is what it is, and that’s why we like it. AC/DC are AC/DC because that’s how we like them – that’s why they can sell out any venue on the planet. So, thrash is what it is, it’s classic! What’s not been done in thrash that should be? That’s the question!” 

King was also asked if he'd ever considered branching out stylistically for the new project. “Not really," he said. "Like I said, AC/DC are loved because they’re AC/DC, and in my opinion my fans like me for what I do, and I like me for what I do. There’s nothing I’m aware of I really want to tap into for future projects. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever happen, but not today.”  

In the meantime, you can read all about Kerry King's new project in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer, on sale now.  Order it online and have it delivered straight to your door.

Kerry King on the cover of Metal Hammer

(Image credit: Future (Cover shot: Travis Shinn))
Rich Hobson

Staff writer for Metal Hammer, Rich has never met a feature he didn't fancy, which is just as well when it comes to covering everything rock, punk and metal for both print and online, be it legendary events like Rock In Rio or Clash Of The Titans or seeking out exciting new bands like Nine Treasures, Jinjer and Sleep Token.