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Kerry King admits Slayer “quit too early”

Kerry King onstage with Slayer
(Image credit: Miikka Skaffari / Getty)

Kerry King has revealed that he thinks Slayer’s 2019 farewell was premature, saying that he feels they “quit too early”.

The guitarist for the thrash icons shared his thoughts as part of a video montage celebrating Machine Head’s 30th anniversary.

“So, I hear congratulations are in order for my friends in Machine Head,” says King. "Apparently, it's 30 years, which is quite an achievement. Not a lot of bands get there. We did… and then we quit too early. Fuck us. Fuck me. I hate fucking not playing!

“But that’s besides the point. This is a Machine Head celebration. I’m not sure Rob knows this, I think Rob [Flynn] knows this, but if he don’t… The only band I ever demanded to open for Slayer was Machine Head. 1994, Burn My Eyes... Greatest thing I ever did. Cheers to my friends, you guys deserve it.”

Slayer split following their farewell tour in 2019 but King has not left his guitar hanging on the wall during the past few years. 

As he told his endorsers Dean Guitars last year, “I’ve been very lucky with riffs in 2020,” said King in a video interview. “I’ve got more than two records’ worth of music, but to be able to go through that and pick the best 11 or 12? That first record should be smoking.”

We’re still not yet sure just what form that material is going to appear in, but we do know former bandmate Paul Bostaph is involved and has heard much of the material. 

“Kerry's on fire right now,” Bostaph told Riff Crew back in August. “So, all I can say is if you like heavy music and you like Slayer, you'll like this. Is it gonna be Slayer? It's not gonna be Slayer – Slayer is done; they retired…”

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.