SLAYER guitarist Kerry King says that canceling the remainder of the band’s current European headlining tour was “never an issue” following the events of November 13 in Paris, France, when more than 129 people were killed in seven coordinated terrorist attacks.
The greatest number of deaths took place at the Bataclan, a French music venue where EAGLES OF DEATH METAL were performing when terrorists began a siege that ended with 89 people in the club either shot to death or killed in explosions.
A number of artists halted their European treks in the wake of the Paris attacks, including LAMB OF GOD, FOO FIGHTERS, DEFTONES and others.
Speaking to Kerrang! magazine, King said: “[Scrapping the rest of the tour] was never an issue for us. Our perspective is: if you cave in and you go home, you’re letting the terrorists win. That’s not what we’re about, and that’s not what we want to convey. I have to live my life and be happy with what I do every day, and not spend all my time looking over my shoulder.”
Kerry made similar comments last month when he spoke to Belgian journalist Tom De Smet. He said: “I am suprised that it took the terrorists this long to target a rock concert. Because they hate rock music. They hate our lifestyle. They hate our freedom and they hate that we enjoy ourselves. And, of course, it sucks. What happened makes everybody think twice about risking their lives to see a band play. But if you stop going to concerts or stop playing at them, you just do what the terrorists want you to do. It is very important to carry on and to do what you do, what you love doing. And, you know, I am not the kind of guy that goes through life worrying all the time. We took airplanes right after 9-11. We played shows right after Dimebag [late PANTERA guitarist] was shot. Sure, things can go wrong. But you might also step out this building here and get run over by a car. Just do what you love doing and stop worrying.”
He continued: “I have written a lot of songs about the negative influence of organized religion. What happened in Paris is once again an example of that. I don’t believe what ISIS — or ISIL or whatever you have to call them these days — believe, so therefore I must perish. That’s the most ridiculous thing I have heard in my life. People have been killing each other for centuries because of organized religion.”
The attacks in Paris led to a military response by France against the radical Islamic organization ISIS, as French jets bombed a series of targets in Syria.
The attacks have stepped up worldwide concern over ISIS, as well as a debate in the U.S. over whether to accept Syrian refugees.