Slayer: Grave New World
Photo: Travis Shinn
GW Do you ever write stuff that’s not right for Slayer?
KING No. Because even if I played with anybody else, what I contributed would be very much Slayer. The one time I almost played with Dime, I called him up and I’m like, “Dime, I got this idea for a song that you gotta do with me.” I told him how we should cover “Snortin’ Whisky” by Pat Travers. He learned it, and we were planning to do it, but Damageplan were doing press for New Found Power and he didn’t have time. I didn’t want to rush it, because I figured we could do it anytime we wanted. But of course, that never happened.
HANNEMAN I write tons of stuff. I’ll just get up one day and throw some drums down on the drum machine and start writing. Every once in awhile a riff comes along that’s worthy of Slayer. In fact, that’s where some of my best riffs come from: when I’m not thinking about Slayer. I’ll be jamming on some bluesy stuff, having fun, and then I arrive at something heavy. I hate sitting down and going, “I’m going to write a Slayer song.” It’s not gonna work that way.
GW Do you save those, and if so, would you ever considering putting them out as a solo project?
HANNEMAN I listen to them all the time. I’ll probably listen to those going home tonight. But I wouldn’t consider putting them out until Slayer is done. I wouldn’t mind doing something else, but I don’t know what that would be yet. Because, in case you didn’t notice, Slayer is pretty fucking cool. [laughs]
GW Let’s talk about working with producer Greg Fidelman. What did he bring to the process?
HANNEMAN He is an excellent producer and great to work with. The last producer we had, Josh Abraham, was sitting there on his laptop the whole time while we were recording. Every once in a while he’d look up and say, “Yeah, that sounds good.” Then he’d go write back to tapping the computer keys. That guy was an idiot. But Fidelman is excellent because he really gets into it. World Painted Blood was recorded so well that it captured exactly how we sound at rehearsal.
GW Did Greg’s engineering work on Metallica’s Death Magnetic influence your decision to go with him? To my ears, the production on World Painted Blood—specifically how everything is situated in the mix—has some of the same flavor as Death Magnetic.
HANNEMAN I haven’t listened to Metallica in a long time. Maybe Kerry or Tom did.
KING Yeah I listened to it, but it had nothing to do with choosing him.
GW Did you like the Metallica record?
KING It’s better than the last one… Now, that’s a very safe comment. [laughs]
GW Did you use any new gear on World Painted Blood?
HANNEMAN My gear is all the same. I got my ESP with the EMG-81/85 pickup combo and the EMG-SPC [Strat Presence Control]. I like more chunk when I get to the slow stuff, so I’ve been using a gate, which works great. For this recording, I used a Dunlop Zakk Wylde wah, a Boss RG E-10 [graphic equalizer], and two Marshall JCM800s that ran to two Marshall MF400B cabs and Greg’s Orange cab.
KING My seven-string is new. It’s a B.C. Rich Warlock with a Kahler bridge. It has a Trans-Black finish with my tribal graphic over it. It came out really cool and spooky looking. I have EMGs in it, too. My main guitar for tracking was my B.C. Rich V with an EMG-81 in the bridge and an EMG-85 in the neck, along with an EMG PA2 [preamp booster switch] and a Fernandes Sustainer. Last album I used my prototype head, but this time I played through the Marshall KFK 2203 head that anyone can go out and buy. I used that with my Marshall JCM800 “Beast” and Greg’s Marshall and Orange heads, and we mixed all the sounds together to create my main tone. For leads, I added a Boss RG E-10 EQ to the JCM800 “Beast” and used either a Zakk Wylde wah or a classic Dunlop Cry Baby wah.
GW I heard that [Dimebag Darrell’s commonlaw wife] Rita brought Dime’s original Dean from Hell down to the sessions. Did you end up using it?
KING Rita’s a good friend, and Dime was a good friend, so Rita decided to bring my boy’s Dean from Hell down to the studio for inspiration. But I didn’t end up using it, because the guitar is set up very differently than my guitars. We had everything set up to support my EMG pickups and the Kahler.
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