Reasons Behind Kerry King’s Decision to Perform Bass on Each SLAYER Album Since the 1990s


Kerry King recently disclosed that he has handled bass duties on every Slayer album since the 1990s, as revealed in an interview with Rolling Stone. He shared: “I have taken on bass duties in the studio. This didn’t apply to my solo album, but since the early nineties, I have been responsible for all rhythm guitars and bass on Slayer records. I’ve always taken care of the bass because my colleague [Tom Araya] wasn’t inclined to do so.”

So, what led King to assume the bass role in the studio? In brief, Araya never fully grasped the songs. In an interview with Guitar World, King mentioned that while Araya can confidently perform the songs live, he struggled to master them in the studio.

“We had always let Tom handle the bass until he grew frustrated with his lack of proficiency. In Tom‘s defense, he had never practiced the songs prior to that. It was usually just me and Paul going through them. Then, when the recording time arrived, Tom believed he could manage it. However, for someone who hasn’t played a song before, entering the studio without familiarity with the music and reaching a recording level is unrealistic.

“So, if I have already laid down my guitar tracks, Jeff has recorded his guitar parts, and Tom isn’t familiar with the basslines, I can swiftly pick up a bass and complete it in under a day because I am already well-versed with the songs. It reached a point where he would spend hours playing a single song before getting frustrated and eventually saying, ‘You take over!’ I want to emphasize that, given adequate time to learn, he could have done it as well.”

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Reflecting on his latest solo record, From Hell I Rise, with bassist Kyle Sanders, King added: “It was a refreshing experience. It wasn’t something I sought out. It wasn’t a musical necessity. Nor was it a personal requirement. However, it was immensely enjoyable and collaborating with new individuals was a delight. This is likely the first record since the 1990s that I haven’t contributed bass to.”

Kerry King will embark on tour alongside Lamb Of God, Mastodon, and Malevolence later this month. Secure your tickets here.

7/19 Grand Prairie, TX Texas Trust CU Theatre
7/20 Austin, TX Germania Insurance Amphitheater
7/21 Houston, TX 713 Music Hall
7/23 Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place
7/24 Orlando, FL Orlando Amphitheater
7/25 Alpharetta, GA Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
7/27 Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amphitheater
7/28 Richmond, VA Virginia Credit Union LIVE!
7/30 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
7/31 London, ON Budweiser Gardens
8/1 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
8/3 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
8/4 Manchester, NH SNHU Arena
8/6 Bangor, ME Maine Savings Amphitheatre
8/8 Reading, PA Santander Arena (w/ Unearth, no Malevolence)
8/9 Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion (w/ Unearth, no Malevolence)
8/10 Sterling Heights, MI Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill (w/ Unearth, no Malevolence)
8/13 Moorhead, MN Bluestem Center For The Arts Amphitheater
8/15 Calgary, AB Scotiabank Saddledome
8/16 Penticton, BC South Okanagan Events Centre
8/17 Kent, WA accesso ShoWare Center
8/18 Portland, OR Theater of the Clouds
8/21 Los Angeles, CA The Kia Forum
8/23 Phoenix, AZ Arizona Financial Theatre
8/24 Rio Rancho, NM Rio Rancho Events Center
8/25 El Paso, TX El Paso County Coliseum
8/27 Magna, UT The Great Saltair
8/29 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/31 Omaha, NE The Astro Amphitheater

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