In December of 2019, Slayer played their last show, closing one of the greatest chapters that metal music has ever known. Since then, guitarist Kerry King has admitted that he thinks the band quit too early, a sentiment echoed by guitarist Gary Holt who replaced founding member Jeff Hanneman after his death. Now, in a new interview, King has said that he doesn’t think Slayer will ever play again — and implies that vocalist Tom Araya is the holdout.
Speaking to Metal Hammer, Kerry was discussing Slayer’s history with Metallica and Megadeth, which eventually led to a discussion of the Big 4 shows that the bands played together. Overall, Kerry remembers the shows fondly, and talks about what a cool experience it was for the fans.
“It was cool,” says the guitarist. “The Metallica quotient was weird for me because, even then, they were bigger than everybody. But we ran in very different circles. Unless we ran into them at a European festival somewhere, we didn’t see them very often. I know the photo you’re talking about and at that point I thought, ‘This will be really cool for the fans.’ By the end of that first show I thought, ‘You know what? That was cool for me, too.’
Eventually, Kerry is asked if Slayer would ever play another Big 4 show again if the opportunity arose. “I would!” he responded. “But the way that I’m moving forward is I don’t think Slayer are ever going to play again. There’s no business of me playing by myself! Ha ha!”
The thing is, King and vocalist Tom Araya are the only two original members of Slayer left; Gary Holt and drummer Paul Bostaph joined the band later on, and wouldn’t necessarily make or break the decision to play another Big 4 show. So it’s pretty obvious that singer Tom Araya is the holdout here. This isn’t a mystery — it’s well known that Tom wanted to stop touring that he could spend time with his family and rest his neck and back — but it’s interesting to hear that referenced by King.
Hopefully, the opportunity will arise to see Slayer again. In the meantime, enjoy some of their classic shit below:
Words by Chris Krovatin