But as the 57-year-old guitarist exclusively tells Metal Hammer, his eyes are very firmly fixed upon the future, and his return to the spotlight… when he feels the time is right.
King shared his widely-reported opinion that the LA thrash metal legends “quit too early” in disbanding in November 2019 in a video message offering congratulations to Machine Head on reaching their 30th anniversary as a band.
“So, I hear congratulations are in order for my friends in Machine Head,” King said in his 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. Fuck us. Fuck me. I hate fucking not playing."
Slayer played their last ever gig on November 30, 2019, when their The Final Campaign trek climaxed at The Forum in Inglewood, California. Reflecting back on the band’s ferocious farewell, and his original intention to waste no time in throwing himself back into music, King said, “I had picks that I threw out at those shows — The Final Campaign — at the end of the show. And in every city, I threw out two that said, ‘Reborn in 2020,’ because that was my plan — I planned on touring in 2020.”
As with the rest of the music industry, however, the emergence of COVID in early-2020 scrapped King’s plans.
“Then the pandemic came up and we were into 2021,” he explains, “because I want everybody to get the bumps out of the road before I go out. Here we are at the end of 2021 and I’m looking at the end of 2022 now. And we’ll see what happens next year because it’s evolving. I don’t want to go out and feel stuff out, I want to go out and have a good time. I’m not being selfish, I don’t mean it like that. I mean that whatever the new rules are, I want them to be smooth before I go out.”
Remaining fairly tight-lipped on what exactly his future plans might be, King explains, “I’m dragging my feet on letting the world know what I’m doing because there’s no rush. I have a tour that I’m considering doing, but I’m not going to announce a band, I’m not going to announce a record, I’m not going to announce anything. But you will see me in the future — it will be fucking good.”
Last year King revealed that he has “more than two records' worth of music” written for a new project, in which he will be reunited with former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph.
“Riffs have certainly not been a problem,” King declared in an interview for Dean Guitars. “That first record should be smoking.”
Paul Bostaph says that the project is “like Slayer without it being Slayer”, promising “if you like heavy music and you like Slayer, you'll like this.”