Kerry King Okay With Gary Holt Playing With Slayer Forever If Jeff Hanneman Never Returns
The inner workings of legendary thrash masters Slayer have been tumultuous within the past two years. Along with drummer Dave Lombardo being dismissed from Slayer’s 2013 Australian tour dates, guitarist Jeff Hanneman has been recovering from a severe case of necrotising fasciitis due to a spider bite, with Exodus shredder Gary Holt having filled in for Hanneman during his absence
Slayer fans have been patiently waiting for Hanneman’s return, but in a recent Australian interview, Slayer guitarist Kerry King revealed that if Hanneman doesn’t return, he’d be “okay” with Holt remaining in the band forever. However, he does stress that it is Hanneman’s gig if he is able to return to the band.
During a video interview with Metal Obsession, King was asked for a status report on the health of Hanneman. “I don’t have an update,” begins King. “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 not 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.”
King went on to speak about Holt’s recent contributions to Slayer. “I think Gary is in for the long haul,” King states. “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 okay 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.”
King also addressed where Slayer currently are in terms of writing new material. “Well, two songs are done; they just need to be mixed,” King reveals. “Another one is done without leads and vocals on it, and I’ve got nine others to record, so we’re in really good shape … 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.”
Check out the full interview with Slayer’s Kerry King in the video player below.
Slayer’s Kerry King Talks to Metal Obsession