Kerry King: Big 4 rivalry is over - except for Dave Mustaine

Kerry King
Feeling young: Kerry King (Image credit: Getty)

Slayer guitarist Kerry King has joked that the Big 4 of thrash don’t feel like rivals any more – except for Megadeth leader Dave Mustaine.

And he’s admitted his band won’t go on for ever, although he’s not ready to stop just yet.

Slayer, Megadeth, Metallica and Anthrax became known as the Big 4 during their rise to fame in the 1980s. They didn’t perform together until 2010.

Asked whether he ever felt current tourmates Anthrax were ever viewed as rivals, King tells the Miami New Times: “Yeah, for sure, when the Big 4 came out. When we did Clash Of The Titans tour around 1990, you couldn’t really be at war after that point.

“We thought we were better than everybody. I would imagine Anthrax probably did too. Dave Mustaine thinks that to this day!”

King recently said the future of Slayer was in doubt because frontman Tom Araya was considering retirement. Now he comments: “I don’t have an endgame in mind. That being said, I don’t want to die on stage either.

“The good news is we’ve got seven to eight songs from the last recording. They’re done, with the Repentless sound. It’s just finding time to get in the studio again.

I don’t see that happening until at least late next year or early the following year. It’s a wonderful place to be – we’ve never been this far ahead.”

In the meantime, Slayer continue touring North America with Anthrax and Death Angel. King says: “Back when we started, ‘old’ had a different meaning to me. Old was 55. I’m past that and I don’t feel old.

“Things hurt worse than when I was 25 – but the Slayer shows are still epic.”

Caggiano: Hetfield kept peace on Big 4 tour

Slayer remaining 2016 tour dates

Sep 22: St Louis The Pageant, MO
Sep 27: Orlando Hard Rock Live, FL
Sep 28: Miami Fillmore, FL
Sep 30: Tunica Horseshoe Casino, MS
Oct 03: Norfolk Norva, VA
Oct 05: Atlanta Tabernacle, GA
Oct 07: Dallas Gas Monkey Live, TX
Oct 08: Austin ACL At The Moody Theatre, TX
Oct 10: Denver Fillmore, CO
Oct 11: Salt Lake City The Complex, UT
Oct 13: Missoula The Wilma Theatre, MT
Oct 17: Lethbridge Enmax Center, AB
Oct 19: Penticton South Okanagan Events Centre, BC
Oct 20: Abbotsford Centre, BC
Oct 23: Reno Events Center, NV
Oct 27: El Paso County Coliseum, TX

Slayer’s Kerry King: My Life Story

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Not only is one-time online news editor Martin an established rock journalist and drummer, but he’s also penned several books on music history, including SAHB Story: The Tale of the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, a band he once managed, and the best-selling Apollo Memories about the history of the legendary and infamous Glasgow Apollo. Martin has written for Classic Rock and Prog and at one time had written more articles for Louder than anyone else (we think he's second now). He’s appeared on TV and when not delving intro all things music, can be found travelling along the UK’s vast canal network.