KERRY KING Explains Why He Started Playing Bass On SLAYER Albums Instead Of TOM ARAYA

Kerry King Tom Araya

In a new interview with Guitar World, Kerry King clarified his earlier statement, revealing that he played bass on every SLAYER album since the 90s, rather than the band’s bassist and vocalist, Tom Araya.

When asked why Tom stopped playing bass on albums, Kerry responded: “We would always let Tom play bass until he got tired of not being good at it. In Tom’s defense, up to that point, he had never played the songs. It was always just me and Paul [Bostaph, SLAYER drummer] going through ’em. And then we get in the studio, it’s time to record. I think Tom’s got it in his head that he’s gonna be able to pull it off. But for anybody that’s never played a song before, to come in without knowing the music and get it up to recording level is not realistic.

He continued: “So, if I’ve already done my guitar tracks, Jeff’s done his guitar tracks, And Tom doesn’t know the bass parts, I can pick up a bass and get it done in less than a day ’cause I already know the songs. It got to where he’d mess around and play one song for eight hours before he got frustrated and just said, ‘Here, you do it!’ I don’t want anybody to think for a second that he couldn’t do it if he had the time to learn it.”

After concluding their last world tour in November 2019, SLAYER, featuring Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), Gary Holt (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums), will headline three prominent festivals, Riot FestLouder Than Life and Aftershock Festival, marking their first live appearances since then.

King previously told Metal Hammer that any personal differences between him and Tom Araya won’t affect the upcoming SLAYER reunion shows.

When Metal Hammer asked if he had any contact with Araya since the news of reunion surfaced, King simply responded: “No.”

When asked about whether he finds the absence of communication in this situation somewhat uncommon, King replied: “What’s usual? There’s no textbook for this stuff. It’s not like I’m angry with him or anything, we’re very different people, and we evolved into business partners at the end of the day. He has very different interests from me, and very different outlooks. Does that make me hate him? No. But I don’t need to talk to him every day.”

“It’s not weird. We just don’t have much in common,” he continued. When it comes time to rehearse, I’ll have no problem showing up. We’re professionals, and that’s what we do.”

King released his debut solo album, From Hell I Rise, on May 17. In addition to King, the album features DEATH ANGEL vocalist Mark Osegueda, longtime SLAYER drummer Paul Bostaph, former HELLYEAH bassist Kyle Sanders, and ex–MACHINE HEAD and ex-VIO-LENCE guitarist Phil Demmel.