Slayer guitarist Kerry King calls the band’s split “premature”

"I can still play, I still want to play, but that livelihood got taken away from me"

Guitarist Kerry King has said he felt angry about Slayer’s “premature” split in 2019, following a farewell world tour.

The thrash legends, who originally formed in 1981, never gave a reason for the breakup.

In a new interview, guitarist Kerry King has called the decision “premature”. Speaking to Metal Hammer about the end of Slayer, King said he felt “anger… what else? It was premature. The reason I say ‘premature’ is because my heroes from my childhood are still playing! I can still play, I still want to play, but that livelihood got taken away from me.”


He went on to call their lengthy farewell tour, which started in 2018 and ended in December 2019, a “bummer”.

“We were going to all these places where we have all this history. It’s a bummer to think, ‘I’m not gonna see my friends there again.’ You’d get to that country and know you were going to see these people, and you’d see them yearly. I haven’t seen them now in three years. That sucks. And the fans, too. Slayer means a lot to our fans, and they mean a lot to us. I know I will see these people again, but no Slayer leaves a big hole for a lot of people.”

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King continued: “But, anyway, on to the next chapter, I guess. We were on top of the world, and there’s nothing wrong with going out on top of the world, it’s a good way to go out. So, bravo for that. But do I miss playing? Yeah, absolutely.”

Back in 2021, King said Slayer “quit too early” but is currently working on a solo project. He previously said the project would feature former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph and delayed launching the group because of the pandemic.

Speaking to Metal Hammer, King teased that his new solo project would speak to Slayer fans. “If you know my work, you know what it’s going to sound like,” he said.


Last year, Megadeth‘s Dave Mustaine said he wanted to play more shows with the other “big four” thrash metal acts [Metallica, Slayer and Anthrax] but admitted that Slayer would need to “come out of retirement”. It comes after Slayer’s manager said he wasn’t “sensing” a reunion.

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