France’s TV Rock Live recently conducted an interview with SLAYER guitarist Kerry King. You can now watch the chat below. A couple of excerpts follow (transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On drummer Paul Bostaph and guitarist Gary Holt‘s contributions to SLAYER‘s new album, “Repentless”:
“[Paul] comes so prepared, and I think this is his best recording ever. I think this is the best I’ve ever heard Paul on drums. And people that I’ve been talking to since I’ve been here [in Europe doing press] — a couple of guys in particular — said Paul really stepped up. And I’m, like, I never thought he did bad before, but, yeah, he did do great on this record. And Gary… We just had Gary [come in and lay down] some leads. I thought that would be the best way to introduce a guitar player to a band that’s been around thirty years. I thought, as a fan, and being in the band, I thought that would be the best way for him to get his feet wet and for the fans to get a piece of him on our record.”
On the songwriting process for “Repentless”:
“I mean, of course, the last four years have been odd. [Laughs] But, for me, it started when [SLAYER‘s co-founding guitarist] Jeff [Hanneman] got injured. I took it upon myself to say, ‘I don’t know if Jeff‘s gonna come with any material, I don’t know if he’s gonna come with a whole fucking record, so I’ve gotta prepare. So I started working on a lot of new material in the beginning of 2011, and this is the culmination of that material. Obviously, Jeff didn’t bring a whole lot. You know, you’ve got the song [‘Piano Wire’ that was left over] from the last record. And the song we recorded that I mentioned to you, that song’s twenty years old — he just never finished it. And it was one of the ones that I actually liked. I’m, like, ‘Dude, you’ve gotta finish that song.’ Me and Tom [Araya, bass/vocals] both liked it. So we made sure we finished that.”
On the “Repentless” title track:
“I had the chorus, and I was still playing around with it. And I didn’t know what I wanted it to be about, ’cause, I mean, the chorus is really, like, eight words — it doesn’t sum up anything. But then I thought, ‘I can make this about Jeff. I can make this about how I think Jeff looked at life.’ I didn’t have to tell anybody it was the song I wrote about Jeff, ’cause you never would have known. But I think it’s important.”
On working with producer Terry Date:
“SLAYER hasn’t done a record in six years, so it was kind of like a coming-out party for us; that’s how I see it. And when you think about Terry Date, of course, I know him from PANTERA, but I never knew him. I knew his name, [and] I knew his work. And it seems to me — I didn’t have this conversation with him, but it seems to me — like he didn’t have anything major recently. At least, if he did, I don’t know what it was. So, for me, it was kind of, like, both of us could be a part of this, and both of us could be, like, ‘Yeah, we’re not done. We’re still here. We’re kicking, and we’re kicking pretty hard.'”
“Repentless” will be released on September 11 via Nuclear Blast.