Slayer’s Kerry King slams ‘shitty line-up’ of US festival his band are headlining

Metal band guitarist blames poor ticket sales on quality of the bill at annual event

Slayer guitarist Kerry King has suggested that poor ticket sales at this year’s Mayhem Festival are down to the fact that line-up is “shitty”.

King’s band are headlining the annual touring festival, which travels across America and has previously boasted headline acts such as Slipknot and Marilyn Manson.

However, King claimed in a new interview with Unrated that the tour has sold badly this year and left his band playing to small audiences in venues they have previously sold out. He blames this on what he sees as a weak line up.


Denying the suggestion that ticket prices might prohibit people from attending, but that tickets are expensive in terms of value for money. “They’re expensive on this tour for bang for your buck,” he said. “Other than one band I know of on the second stage and a handful of main-stagers, you know, it’s… This is usually where people would come out and just party all day, and they’re passing on the party ‘cos the bill’s so shitty.”

King went on to explain that he does not feel the tour’s other headliner, Danish heavy metal act King Diamond, is a big enough draw for fans. “What was it a couple of years ago? Avenged Sevenfold and Korn. Those are two legitimate headliners. That’s people coming out and saying, ‘I get it’. And their second stage had a legitimate headliner, like Anthrax or Machine Head — somebody awesome. And now our second stage is what used to be a fourth stage, and I think the kids are protesting by not buying tickets for it.”

Slayer are currently touring ahead of the release of their new album, their first since the death of founding guitarist Jeff Hanneman. The record, which is the group’s 11th studio LP, was produced by Terry Date, who has worked with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Soundgarden and Bring Me The Horizon in the past.

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Since Hanneman’s death, guitarist King has taken over main songwriting duties in the band. Hanneman died in May 2013 from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.


Slayer have also announced details of a UK tour set to take place in November. The metal band will play seven dates in total, starting at Newport Centre on November 21. They will then play in Plymouth, Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Leeds and London. See below for full dates and venues.

Slayer will play:

Newport, Centre (November 21)
Plymouth, Pavilions (November 22)
Manchester, O2 Apollo (November 24)
Glasgow, O2 Academy (November 25)
Birmingham, O2 Academy (November 27)
Leeds, O2 Academy (November 28)
Brixton, O2 Academy (November 30)