KERRY KING Says SLAYER ‘Got A Little Lost During The ’90s’ With ‘Diabolus In Musica’ Album

Kerry King Sonic Temple 1
Photo credit: Metal Addicts / Nathan Zucker

In a recent interview with Metal Blast, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King was asked what advice he would give his younger self about the music business if he could go back in time and share some hard-earned wisdom.

Kerry responded: “That’s easy, ’cause there’s one part of my career that I always look back at and go, ‘You should have paid more attention then.’ The ’90s. ‘Pay attention to the ’90s and don’t put out the shitty albums you’re probably gonna put out in the ’90s.’

“I don’t like the stuff we did in the ’90s. I was very disenchanted by music because bands that were getting popular I didn’t understand. And I still don’t understand. I never liked LIMP BIZKIT. I never liked bands of that era. It just bummed me out and turned me off. And it’s really visible to me on [1998’s] Diabolus In Musica. I didn’t pay any attention to that album. I had a couple of songs on there, but I didn’t contribute as much as I usually do. And then I came back to my senses and I said, ‘You know what? F**k that.’ I’m, like, ‘We’re in SLAYER. We need to be f**king important. I need to pay attention to this shit.’ And you can tell that I started paying attention when [2001’s] God Hates Us All came out, ’cause that was kind of our rebirth into, like, ‘Yeah, we got a little lost during the ’90s, but we righted the ship and here we go.'”

When asked whether SLAYER‘s shift in musical direction during the ’90s was a creative choice or the result of external pressure to experiment, King responded: “I think Jeff [Hanneman] tried to embrace being a little different and I just hated it. [Laughs] And it shows in my contribution. And I know that in hindsight. As soon as that record came out, I’m, like, ‘Man, I should have paid more attention to that album and contributed more’ — just to get my angst across instead of listening to a band try to evolve into something they weren’t. And you can argue that statement as well. Some people really like that album, but it’s definitely not my favorite.

“And we weren’t real prolific in the ’90s. Paul [BostaphSLAYER drummer] left us once. So we did the Undisputed Attitude album, which I am very proud of; I love that covers record. We had a couple original songs, a couple of punk songs from Jeff‘Gemini’ from me.

“Yeah, the late ’90s just — it’s not a good point in my history, in my mind.”

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 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.