“Don’t get used to this being a yearly event”: Slayer reunion shows will be rare, says guitarist Kerry King

Slayer in 2016
(Image credit: Martin Häussler)

Slayer guitarist Kerry King has told fans not to expect the thrash metal veterans’ concerts post-reunion to become “a yearly event”.

The guitarist, who released his debut solo album From Hell I Rise this month, also talks about to what to expect when the band do play together in a new interview with Classic Rock History.

“It’s not really much different at all,” King says of the revamped Slayer show.

“It’s the same heads, same cabs, same pedals, same guitars. You know, there will be a lot of fire when Slayer plays, and I think, yeah, those shows will just be fun.”

King continues: “It’ll be fun to play with [Slayer guitarist] Gary Holt for a few gigs; I haven’t seen him in almost five years, so that will be cool. And it’ll be cool to get together with [bassist/vocalist] Tom Araya and spit some hate out at people, but don’t get used to this being a yearly event.”

King co-founded Slayer in 1981 with Araya, late co-guitarist Jeff Hanneman and former drummer Dave Lombardo. The band split in 2019 following an extensive farewell tour, but announced their reunion in February.

Slayer will play three US festival shows in 2024, starting with Riot Fest in Chicago from September 20 to 22.

They’ll then play Louder Than Life in Louisville on September 27 and Aftershock in Sacramento on October 10.

Slayer’s reactivation was announced two weeks after King publicly launched his solo career and released debut single Idle Hands.

In an exclusive interview with Metal Hammer, King called the timing of Slayer’s comeback announcement “not my favourite”.

“In Kerry King world, would I have wished that that announcement had taken place a few months later? Absolutely,” he said. “But that was out of my hands.

“The announcement came, and people got all excited or all pained about it, but hopefully when I release another song, the attention will switch back to my record.”

The guitarist recently revealed that he did not tell his solo band in advance about Slayer’s return.

Before Slayer get back on the stage, King will tour extensively with his solo band to promote From Hell I Rise. Dates and tickets are available via the guitarist’s website.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.