Kerry King Says He's OK With Gary Holt Permanently Joining Slayer

King discusses the possibility of guitarist Jeff Hanneman not returning to Slayer.

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It seems that thrash veterans Slayer might be on the verge of yet another drama. After firing longtime drummer Dave Lombardo from the latest Australian tour, guitarist Kerry King has recently commented on the status of his fellow axeman Jeff Hanneman. And judging by the statements, the possibility of Hanneman ending up like Lombardo doesn't look too far-fetched.

In an interview with the Metal Obsession, King has admitted not hearing with Hanneman for quite some time, calling him recluse. When asked for an update on the current situation, King started off by saying he doesn't have one.

"I don't have an update. I haven't seen Jeff in forever. He's always been a recluse, and he's even been more of a recluse since he's mot going on tour with us. But our manager talks to him from time to time and sees him in L.A. just randomly. But I'm far from L.A., so I'm not in that loop. But I guess he's just getting better. It's just one of those things where he can do anything in life. He could be hanging here having a good time with us. He can probably play 'South Of Heaven', but he's not gonna be playing 'Jihad', you know what I mean?! So it's just a muscle memory kind of thing, I guess, at this point."

The guitarist even went far enough to consider permanently hiring Gary Holt, saying he is "OK with that."

"I think Gary is in for the long haul. I haven't really discussed it with him. But he keeps his schedule free when he knows we're on tour. And I'm pretty sure, if Jeff all of a sudden came back in June, we would probably pay Gary for freeing up his time. I don't wanna treat somebody that's bailed us out for two years badly. But if Gary played with us forever? I'm OK with that. But if Jeff got better and said, 'Hey, man, I'm ready to play,' and he came to rehearsal and showed us he was good enough, that's his show."

As far as the new album recording goes, King remains hopeful the new record will see it's release by the end of the year. Whether or not Jeff Hanneman will be involved in the writing process is still unknown.

"It's just all my stuff for now. But I did that just in case, 'cause I don't know what Jeff's intentions are. So I wanted to have Slayer covered in case he doesn't come to the party. If he comes to the party, then we've got tons of songs."

Jeff Hanneman has contracted a flesh-eating disease called necrotizing fascilitis from a spider bite over two years ago and wasn't able to play ever since. The group has brought in Gary Holt of Exodus as a temporary replacement until the full recovery is reached. In the previous update of Hanneman's condition, the band has stated that they are still uncertain of him coming back.

113 comments sorted by best / new / date

    kLeft
    'The Kerry King Project.' Not Slayer.
    ripper992
    I just can't get him. How can he be such an *****, first he treated Lombardo like shit and now he talks about Jeff's disease like it's common cold and not necrotizing fascitiis. I mean just type necrotizing fascitiis on google images (actually I wouldn't recommend it)
    wingsformary
    actually i did check the ****in' thing...jezzz i believe in karma and i wouldn't step on an ant, but, man, **** them spiders, stomp these mother****ers
    emeryd1
    Kerry King is such an ass always making things about himself. Hanneman is still recovering from a spider bite that could meant losing his arm. At least show some sincerity.
    UniformRecon
    He's really overrated as a metal guitarist too...Hanneman would show up King in a competition any day of the week.
    guitarman1992
    King is one of the worst lead players to ever live. His playing has always prevented me from enjoying Slayer.
    berserker22712
    Do you guys realise that Slayer IS Kerry King??? He writes most of the music, he writes ALL the lyrics and plays on most of the Slayer albums except for Jeff's solos. So if he is being an ***** for defending his baby from someone who doesn't pick up a phone to call him, then **** him and **** all of you *****s for talking out of your asses. Now I am going to go hit something and jam out some Slayer!!
    TheExterminator
    If Kerry King is Slayer, can we blame him for Slayer sucking ever since they dabbled with Nu-Metal in the mid/late 90s?
    whiplash944
    It's funny, I made a video on my youtube channel basically saying a longer version of what you said. before Jeff died, most people agreed with me. After he died, a swarm of angry slayer fans came and have been leaving nasty comments.
    JMZ08
    Did you read the article? He said CLEARLY that it'd only happen if Hanneman didn't want to return.
    wspeed6
    FYI Kerry, there is this amazing technology called a phone and you can talk to people far away, for example Jeff. Maybe then you could be in the loop. You can look it up on something called the internet. I hope this isn't too strenuous.
    dial-a-death
    So wait... they're "willing to pay Gary Holt for freeing up his time" but they're not willing to pay Dave Lombardo for a years worth of touring? If I were Jeff, I wouldn't want to go back either, and if I were Gary, I'd be focussing on Exodus.
    link no1
    I personally think Jeff and Dave should get together and find a new 2nd guitarist. I would say bassist and vocalist aswell but I can imagine Tom will have some free time soon, if you catch my drift.
    mnewland1
    -Fishy handling of income from tours. -"Firing" Lombardo for Australian tour because he throws up a red flag about lost funds. -Kerry King being the sole song writer of the music for the better part of 15 years. -Talking to eachother exclusively through LAWYERS. -Hanneman having no real interest in confirming whether or not he wants to come back full time or not. This folks, is the end of Slayer.. R.I.P. Thankyou for all the great memories.
    Abacus11
    Nah, it's just the music business. This stuff happens all the time, it's just that Slayer's troubles have been more public than usual.
    mnewland1
    They are all past middle aged men arguing over/hiding money from eachother, as opposed to young, full of piss and vinegar hungry musicians in the 80s/90s that want to create art and make it big in the meantime. There will be a noticable lack in music with Lombardo and Jeff out of the picture. Slayer as we knew them/loved them appear to be a thing of the past.
    GeriatricNinja
    Err... Kerry? 1."Angel of Death" Hanneman 2."Piece by Piece" King 3."Necrophobic" Hanneman, King 4."Altar of Sacrifice" Hanneman 5."Jesus Saves" KingHanneman, King 6."Criminally Insane" Hanneman, King 7."Reborn" Hanneman 8."Epidemic" Hanneman, King 9."Postmortem" Hanneman 10."Raining Blood" Hanneman
    ripper992
    Exactly. I don't get where does he get the nerve to talk like that when without Jeff they wouldn't be half of the band they are.
    bradd101
    Thinking back to 2003/2004, who'd have thought Slayer would be such a dysfunctional mess whilst Metallica are all seemingly peachy.
    )v(egaFan90
    so lombardo was one of the reasons I got into slayer and most of my favorite slayer riffs were written by hanneman...kerry king is the replaceable one imo
    link no1
    Kerry King replaceable? Oh lord no! His entire job description is 'Stand there and look badass', who else could pull that off...
    Boothus
    I have literally lost all respect for Kerry now, I much preferred it when Slayer was just an awesome band with, seemingly, no problems..
    Wylde@Heart
    I'll start by saying that I'm a big fan of Gary Holt. He's actually one of my favorite guitarists in metal, and having seen Slayer twice with him in the band, I can say that he's done a fantastic job filling in for Jeff Hanneman while Slayer's been on tour. His riffs and songwriting in Exodus have all been top notch, however, I really do not want him to become a permanent member of Slayer. Jeff is such a huge part of Slayer, especially as a songwriter. It's one thing for Gary to come in, and play Slayer's songs in Jeff's place, however Gary isn't part of the creative force of Slayer. My favorite Slayer songs are primarily songs that were written by Jeff (Angel of Death, Raining Blood, War Ensemble), so to remove that from the group takes something away. Not to mention, I also really want to see Exodus put out a new album, and I would prefer Gary focus his time there. I won't even touch on the whole Dave Lombardo situation (I'm a huge Lombardo fan), as that would make this comment even more long winded than it already is...
    stondagain
    Screw that. King should audition for Exodus and be told "Sorry dude, but you suck."
    wingsformary
    how does he not know about his bandmate's health? it"s 2013, he's just a phonecall away.they spent 3 decades together, jeff could lose his arm, call the ****in' guy and drink some beers, you selfish prick
    Jazz1992
    "Kerry King Says He's OK With Gary Holt Permanently Joining Slayer" And I'm OK with him permanently leaving it.
    guitarist5477
    After reading all these recent articles, I checked out Slayer and I like their music. Unfortunately I waited till now to do so...
    purplexing
    Lol that's not Kerry King in the picture, fail.
    jordo246
    If you type in Kerry King wrist band on google images that's what comes up, yet I always thought it didn't look like King
    Wisthler
    "I don't wanna treat somebody that's bailed us out for two years badly" Almost spit my coffee after reading that, anyway I believe that Gary already stated that he doesn't want to be a permanent member of slayer.
    metal_swayne
    So Kerry says he'll pay Gary Holt for the time he makes for Slayer should Jeff come back, yet he was unwilling to give founding member Dave Lombardo his fair share for the Australian tour. Makes no sense. As a huge Slayer fan, I honestly do not like Kerry King. I think Slayer should tour as Tom Araya, Jeff Hannenman, Dave Lombardo, and Gary Holt. There would be less power tripping that way.
    LightxGrenade
    "But if Jeff got better and said, 'Hey, man, I'm ready to play,' and he came to rehearsal and showed us he was good enough, that's his show." - This right here is the reason KK annoys the hell out of me. Those little passive-agressive digs at other people while trying to make it seem like he's just telling it like it is. "Showed us he was good enough" Why does he have to phrase it that way, why even say that one part about whether or not he's good enough? Why couldn't you just say "If Jeff can fully recover and play its his show" the man has been your friend and bandmate since 1981, why would you take a dig like "well he better show us he's good enough". And no matter how muck of a dick KK is you can't hang around someone for 20+ years just because you're in a successful band, they HAD to have been friends. Friends don't do that to each other, I know it's a business but you don't lose anything from NOT throwing your friend under the bus.
    Rust_E_Stringz
    Oh man, you hit the wenis on the head with this one. How do you last all this time not being loyal to one another? Storming the trenches and now all of a sudden KK is making it all about him and how/who is Slayer. Who gave him "god" power over the rest of the band that made it what it is? I know...Lars started all this S***! Everyone, grab your torches and pitch forks!
    JOHNSTONE6
    I'd be fine with seeing Jeff and Lambardo make a band, I guarantee it would be better than this half-ass joke of a band. p.s. kerry is garbage.
    link no1
    Not sure what happened to my original post...or why it has +4 votes for empty text but I dunno, you guys are easy to impress I guess. Anyway, what the **** are you talking about berserker? Kerry king IS Slayer? Have you looked at the credits for songs? Jeff either has half writing credits or all writing credits musically for pretty much every slayer song people give a rats ass about, Lyrics aswell on alot of songs. Tom wrote all or co-wrote the lyrics for pretty much every album after reign and some musically with Jeff. Kerry has done, pretty much nothing in comparison. The songs with Kerry that I like where co-written with another member whilst songs with full credit for Kerry I mostly don't like at all. King is the weak link. He is there to look badass and that is pretty much it. He is the only replaceable member.
    Wisthler
    "I don't wanna treat somebody that's bailed us out for two years badly" Hahahahahahahahah almost spit my coffee on the screen after reading that
    Carl Hungus
    Friendship and business do not mix. They might have all been buds back in the day but when the real money started flowing and Slayer achieved their legendary status that all changed. Obviously Kerry has the strongest personality and is known for being abrasive like another famous metalhead Dave Mustaine. Its pretty safe to say that no one on this message board has or will ever be part of band that is so big it HAS to be treated as a BUSINESS.
    Gantz92
    Lombardo's drumming and Hanneman's songwriting are what separated Slayer from being just another generic 80's thrash band. King and Araya are good at what they do but way more replaceable.
    Rust_E_Stringz
    What he is doing is wronger then ****. They used to be considered a legacy now that King is running the Beast machine, he has steered it right into a huge pile of poo!!!
    iommi600
    I just can't see this man anymore without wanting that, in Beastie Boys' video for No Sleep Till Brooklin, that gorilla had punched him instead of the other way around.
    Abacus11
    Gary Holt is such an underrated metal guitarist. I'm a huge Jeff Hanneman fan but Holt would bring a lot to Slayer. It's kind of win-win as far as I see it.
    soulgrenade
    It's not a win-win if you are an Exodus fan.
    Abacus11
    I love "Bonded By Blood" but nothing Exodus did after that ever did anything for me. I'd be ok with watching Exodus (finally) dissolve if it meant Slayer with Gary Holt. Just my opinion.
    TheExterminator
    You need to listen to more Exodus. They got considerably weaker after Fabulous Disaster, but it was all pretty listenable stuff until they got that crappy Phil Anselmo-wannabe on vocals.
    Abacus11
    I'll definitely check out later Exodus stuff. I'm a huge thrash fan and I've always loved "Bonded By Blood" but never got into anything after that. I'm gonna give the albums that you guys mentioned a good listen, anything with Gary Holt playing has to be at least decent, right? Thanks for the recommendations!
    Benjumanji
    1. This article is full of typos and grammatical errors. Who y'all got writing for you, UG? Petty amateurs, apparently. 2. Gary Holt is far better in Exodus, and I wonder if this isn't a similar situation to A7X and Mike Portnoy. I.e. King: "Yeah, I might hire Gary Holt full time." Gary: "lolwut? I have Exodus, BRO." 3. King wrote most of Christ Illusion and that album blew chunks. Hanneman stepped up for World Painted Blood and it was the best Slayer album in nearly 20 years. tl;dr- King is a prick and Gary belongs in Exodus.
    Phoenix V
    Not sure what everyones up in arms about. As far as I know the article summarises to: Jeff is welcome back to Slayer if and when Jeff sees fit and if he still has the chops to hold his own after the recovery In the meantime, Gary Holt is the man. If Jeff decides never to come back, well Gary Holt is still the man. So.....what's the big deal?
    zatara92
    yeah everyone's getting uptight over nothing. they probably just read the title
    ZWH
    I think the big deal is about him saying: "I don't wanna treat somebody that's bailed us out for two years badly." And then he kicked their drummer that's bailed them out for 30 years. Apart from that, I don't see why people would get upset about it.
    SweepSDMF
    I hope this doesn't happen for the sole fact that I think Exodus is the best thrash band out there, and it would be a shame for them to lose Gary.
    ne14t
    Public Warning to Gary Holt: Kerry King will **** you over the first chance he gets, you have been warned. Then again from the picture of Kerry King Jr supplied here they could be bumming each other...
    davpajaro
    Exodus is a much better band than Slayer these days. Of course, Slayer because of their legacy and (big 4 status), get better gigs, but Exodus has put out killer albums after their mid-90's hiatus. I've listened to each bands entire discography. Honestly, after G-d Hates Us All, Slayer has been on cruise control. Exodus': Shovel, Temple, Exhibit A and Exhibit B are heavy as hell and super creative and fresh. Lastly, Exodus destroys Anthrax everyday of the week and they and Testament deserved to be in Big 4, over Anthrax.
    Iommianity
    Can't wait til Slayer is just Kerry King, one of those headset mics, and a Roland 808 on stage. ANGEL OF DERTH. AARDVARK TO THE KINGDOM OF THE DERP
    xanat
    Jesus, i really liked Mr King, but this is too selfish, i lost all my respect to him, forgive bad english.