Kerry King's double death blow

Slayer’s Kerry King has revealed how he was struggling to deal with the death of his roadie when bandmate Jeff Hanneman also passed away.

Hanneman died in 2013 from alcohol-related illness, after reporting he’d contracted necrotising fasciitis from a spider bite.

King tells tells the Phoenix New Times: “A lot of people don’t know that a year before Jeff died I lost my guitar tech. He passed away too. More unexpected than Jeff was – that was difficult for me.”

The tragedies went towards inspiring the track Chasing Death, which appears on upcoming Slayer album Repentless. King explains: “I’m getting to that age where you deal with more deaths then you do weddings.

“I was having conversations with Jeff about his spider bite and everything, and I told him that he had just been chasing death. I said he needed to focus on getting better and get rolling again.

“So part of that song is about addiction and part of it is about the finality of dealing with death. I don’t know. I had to write it. I don’t usually have to write songs – but I had to write that one.”

King also recalls making plans to record a song with Pantera axeman Dimebag Darrell in the months before he was murdered in 2004. “Me and Dime were gonna do a song. I hit him up one day and said, ‘You and I need to do Snortin’ Whiskey, Drinkin’ Cocaine by Pat Travers. It’s just perfect for us to do.’

“It was when they were working on a Damageplan record so he couldn’t do it. Then one day he called me and said, ‘Come on, King. Come on down. I got like a 36-hour window. Let’s record this.’

“And I said, ‘Well there’s no rush, man, let’s take some time to do it.’ And of course, we never did it.”

Slayer launch Repentless on September 11 via Nuclear Blast. The band are currently on tour with a string of UK dates in November:

Jul 07: Council Bluffs Harrah’s, IA

Jul 08: Milwaukee Eagles Ballroom, WI

Jul 10: Indianapolis Klipsch Music Center, IN

Jul 11: Detroit DTE Energy Music Center, IN

Jul 12: Chicago First Midwest Amphitheatre, IL

Jul 15: Toronto Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, ON

Jul 17: Pennsauken Susquehanna Bank Arts, NJ

Jul 18: Pittsburgh First Niagara, PA

Jul 19: Hartford Xfinity Theatre, CT

Jul 21: Holmdel PNC Bank Arts Center, NJ

Jul 24: Bristow Jiffy Lube Live, VA

Jul 25: Winthrop Xfinity Center, MA

Jul 26: Wantagh Nikon Theatre At Jones Beach, NY

Jul 29: Atlanta Aaron’s Amphitheatre At Lakewood, GA

Jul 31: San Antonio White Water Amphitheatre, TX

Aug 01: Houston Cynthia Woods Pavilion, TX

Aug 02: Dallas Gexa Energy Pavilion, TX

Oct 25: Tilburg, Netherlands

Oct 26: Paris Le Zenith, France

Nov 05: Milan Alcatraz, Italy

Nov 07: Vienna Gasometer, Austria

Nov 08: Leipzig Haus Auensee, Germany

Nov 10: Munich Kulturhalle, Germany

Nov 12: Berlin C-Halle, Germany

Nov 13: Berlin C-Halle, Germany

Nov 15: Ludwigsburg MHP Arena, Germany

Nov 16: Frankfurt Jahrhunderthalle, Germany

Nov 17: Brussels AB Hall, Belgium

Nov 19: Luxembourg Rockhal, Luxembourg

Nov 21: Newport Centre, UK

Nov 22: Plymouth Pavilions, UK

Nov 24: Manchester O2 Apollo, UK

Nov 25: Glasgow O2 Academy, UK

Nov 26: Vienna Gasometer, Austria

Nov 27: Birmingham O2 Academy, UK

Nov 28: Leeds O2 Academy, UK

Nov 30: London O2 Academy Brixton, UK

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.