Slayer: Reign Date
GW More recent metal acts, from Slipknot to Lamb of God, exhibit a strong Slayer influence in their riffs and overall approach, more so than that of other seminal thrash bands.
KING It’s safe to reference us because we never changed. A band can say, “We’re influenced by Metallica,” and you’ve gotta say, “Well, which one? The one that was heavy for all those years or the one that cut their hair and did ‘Fuel’?” And Anthrax were doing albums with [singer John] Bush on and off, and then Megadeth had that whole Risk period. But we’ve always remained true to who we are. I’m just happy that the real heavy stuff is back. Fred Durst can’t get arrested nowadays!
GW At the same time, “real” metal has achieved a certain level of mainstream trendiness. Hilary Duff has been photographed wearing a Motörhead shirt. It’s only a matter of time before we see Lindsay Lohan in a vintage Slaytanic Wehrmacht tee.
KING My wife buys all kinds of fashion magazines, and I was looking through one of them recently and there was this male model wearing an old Slayer shirt. And I remember thinking, This fucking dude has probably never even heard of us!
GW You always seemed to be at ease with your underdog status. You never courted the mainstream.
KING The only time I think we did something to try to get on the radio was when we did “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” [Slayer covered the 1968 Iron Butterfly song for the soundtrack to the 1987 movie Less Than Zero]. And then after that we did “South of Heaven,” it was all over KNAC radio in LA. I hate that fucking song!
GW You hate "South of Heaven"?
KING No! That Iron Butterfly one. Even today I'll go to a radio station and do an interview and the DJ wil be like, "Yeah, we just heard Slayer do 'In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida'!" And I'm like, "We have hundreds of fucking tunes and you pick that one?"
HANNEMAN I don't hate that song, but I certainly don't like it, either. [laughs] It was just something we did for Rubin for the movie. It doesn't represent us.
GW But you guys are big on the classic rock covers. A few years back you recorded Steppenwolf's "Bon To Be Wild" for a NASCAR compilation.
HANNEMAN Now that one I hate!
GW With that said, in a way you've achieved a certain "classic rock" status of your own. You've been together for 25 years.
HANNEMAN Holy crap.
KING That's true, although I guess 2008 will be 25 years since the first album.
GW That'll be your "Hall of Fame" year.
HANNEMAN [laughs] Yeah right, I can't wait!
KING Shit, that ain't gonna happen. Forget about it. And if they ever do let us into the Hall of Fame, we'd have to have the Devil come up and induct us.
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