"I went, 'I just don't know if my fans are gonna get it.'" How Slayer legend Kerry King ended up guesting on Sum 41's pop punk anthem What We're All About in one of the most unlikely heavy metal cameos ever

Kerry King and Sum 41
(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the Spring of 2002, one of the most unlikely rock crossover events in history took place as puerile Canadian pop punk heroes Sum 41 managed to somehow wing a guest appearance on one of their tracks from a revered thrash metal icon. The song in question, titled What We're All About and reworked from one of the band's older cuts, was recorded for the soundtrack of that year's blockbuster, Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man movie. 

A goofy rap-rock bop that owed more than a little to the Beastie Boys, the song's video featured clips of Spider-Man spliced in with shots of Sum 41 playing a gig on a ceiling as their jubilant fans watch from below. Just under two minutes in, however, viewers were greeted with an almighty shock: Slayer guitarist Kerry King striding into shot and nailing a solo as the song suddenly lurches into galloping heavy metal. 

"I remember my record representative, he must have been working on both bands, but he kept asking me to play a lead in the Sum 41 song," King tells us today. "And I went, 'Man, I don't know.' It wasn't because of Sum 41, it's because 'I just don't know if my fans are going to get it.' And he kept asking, I kept saying 'I don't know...'

"And then one day one fateful day," King continues, "he came to me and he said, 'You played on the Beastie Boys [1986 classic No Sleep till BrooklynI]! I went, 'Motherfucker, now you got me. How can I not do it? So then I got on board to do it."

That explains the how, but what about the why? Namely: why would King risk the wrath of metal gatekeepers the world over by mixing it up with a pop punk band? "Any time I do something like that I'm hoping to better Slayer in a world perspective," the guitarist explains. "Maybe kids seeing Sum 41, you know, can see me play and say, 'Hey, who's that guy? Where'd he come from?' and maybe they'll check us out for the first time. So that's why I do stuff like that."

Not only did the experience give King the chance to push Slayer onto a whole new audience, but he also had a merry old time shooting the video itself. "That was cool," he confirms. "I'd never been in a video at that time with that kind of production. Meeting the [Sum 41] guys, i remember they were fans - I don't think to the point of fanboying out like maybe I would over Tony Iommi or something, because that was that's a whole other story - but they were obviously fans and and stoked that I came to be in the video. At the end of the day I think it's pretty cool video!"

Watch Kerry discuss the video below. The Slayer man has a busy summer ahead, with his first solo album, From Hell I Rise, landing on May 17, and solo and Slayer live dates planned throughout festival season.


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Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.