Slayer’s Kerry King: I didn’t like 90s heavy music scene

Slayer's Kerry King
Slayer's Kerry King (Image credit: Getty)

Slayer’s Kerry King says he didn’t like the direction of heavy music in the 90s and “couldn’t understand why things were popular.”

He points to Slayer’s 2001 album God Hates Us All as the moment the band refocused their efforts after a period in the 90s when groups such as Green Day and the Offspring were on the rise.

King tells the new episode of Metal Hammer: In Residence: “I think we refocused on God Hates Us All. I think in the 90s, me and Jeff Hanneman just didn’t pay any attention to anything.

“In particular didn’t like where music was going and I let it get to me for the only time in my career – and that was basically the 90s. I couldn’t understand why things were popular and it just bummed me out completely and I had to forget about it and refocus because it was just bringing me down.

“I’m not talking about pop and stuff like that. Heavy music – I didn’t like where heavy music was going.”

He continues: “I remember in particular when we did Undisputed Attitude in 1996, we did that in rebellion to Green Day and the Offspring.

“It’s not their fault but everyone called them punk bands and me and Jeff were, ‘This isn’t punk, guys.’ We just took offence to it and Undisputed Attitude was that coming out.

“For me especially, it took 1998’s Diabolus In Musica to come out and get past that and then say, ‘This ain’t what Slayer’s about, we gotta redefine and show everybody that Slayer’s still here and not trying to be somebody we’re not.’ I think that’s what God Hates Us All was.

The full interview with King appears on the new episode of Metal Hammer: In Residency on Spotify available now for premium subscribers.

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Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.