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HomeMusicWatch: KERRY KING's Solo Band Performs Live For First Time

Watch: KERRY KING’s Solo Band Performs Live For First Time


SLAYER guitarist Kerry King‘s solo band played its first show ever Tuesday night (May 7) at Reggies in Chicago, Illinois.

The group’s 17-song setlist included six SLAYER tracks as well as 11 of the 13 songs that appear on King‘s upcoming debut solo album, “From Hell I Rise”, which is due on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music.

The setlist for the concert was as follows, according to Setlist.fm:

01. Where I Reign (live debut)
02. Toxic (live debut)
03. Rage (live debut)
04. Repentless (SLAYER song)
05. Two Fists (live debut)
06. Residue (live debut)
07. Hate Worldwide (SLAYER song)
08. Idle Hands (live debut)
09. Trophies Of The Tyrant (live debut)
10. Chemical Warfare (SLAYER song)
11. Everything I Hate About You (live debut)
12. Disciple (SLAYER song)
13. Shrapnel (live debut)
14. Crucifixation (live debut)
15. Raining Blood (SLAYER song)
16. Black Magic (SLAYER song)
17. From Hell I Rise (live debut)

In a recent interview with Metal Hammer magazine, King stated about the setlist for his solo band’s shows: “For this coming summer in Europe, we’re gonna do like nine or 10 tracks from the album and, depending on set length, fill it with stuff I’ve done — something I wrote in SLAYER or co-wrote. So nobody can say ‘he’s playing Jeff [Hanneman, late SLAYER guitarist] songs,’ because although I love Jeff songs and he was such a big part of my life, I don’t want to rely on it this year, this album cycle. At some point, I will play ‘Angel Of Death’, but there’s so many fucking faceless haters on the Internet, I don’t want to give them ammunition.”

All material for “From Hell I Rise” was written by the 59-year-old SLAYER guitarist, who was accompanied during the recording sessions by the rest of his solo band, consisting of drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER),bassist Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH),guitarist Phil Demmel (formerly of MACHINE HEAD) and Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL) on vocals. Helming the sessions at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles last year was producer Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with KORN, LAMB OF GOD, AVENGED SEVENFOLD and BAD RELIGION, among others.

In a new interview with Martha Wingen of the Bleeding Metal podcast, King was asked to name “the most important message” on “From Hell I Rise”. He said: “I don’t know that there’s a message on the album. I’m not that kind of person. I like to bring things to a conversation. Say, for instance, I’ve been talking today about, I think a lot of people are born into a religious belief based on being handed down from their parents, friends, whatever. What I like to present to people is ideas that if that makes them question what they believe, what they were taught… I think everybody should make up their own mind. And at the end of the day, that would be my message. Make up your own mind, be it politics, be it religion. Just be your own self.”

Asked if he was able to realize something in his music he always wanted to do, like new influences or new styles, on “From Hell I Rise”, Kerry said: “Realistically, my influences were influences 40 years ago and they still are my influences. And along that way, did I pick up more? Yeah, absolutely. But I think in doing this project, it’s just the next record for me. I didn’t have anything that I wanted to achieve that necessarily I hadn’t achieved. I just wanna make up the next batch of music for people that I think are my fans, that I think they would like, because SLAYER has a gigantic amount of fans, and if I make 95 percent of them happy with what I do, I think I had a good day.”

Pressed about whether there is anything he wants to achieve musically and personally with his solo project, King said: “Musically, not really. Just keep putting out music that translates between me writing it and the fans liking it. The thing that I can’t wait for, which is a lot closer than I expected — I was told today our first show is in, like, 10 days [laughs], so I gotta go home and rehearse. But I’m looking forward to playing with the guys, ’cause even though we’ve done a video, we’ve never actually played together all at once. So, that’s gonna be pretty exciting. And that happens Sunday. I fly home Saturday, and then I gotta fly to the West Coast Sunday and start rehearsing. So I’ve got a big week, but that’s what I look most forward to these days, is getting in the rehearsal room and then finally getting on stage and showing the new band to everybody.”

In a separate interview with with France’s Loud TV, Kerry said about the prospect of launching a solo career: “It’s kind of funny, right? It’s kind of funny to have 40 years in this business at all, let alone be starting a new band. It’s funny, our first show in Europe is gonna be on my 60th birthday at the only venue I’ve ever canceled in my life, which is super ironic.”

Referencing the fact that SLAYER hasn’t released a new studio album since 2015 and hasn’t played any live shows since 2019, King added: “I’m obviously not done. I’ve got lots more music and lots more things to say, a lot more people to piss off and argue about. So, let’s start this new endeavor now. Move on.”

When the interviewer noted that it takes “courage” to launch a new project several decades into his career, King concurred: “It is a lot more difficult than I thought. I’ve been kind of pampered for the last at least three decades. And starting over, even though I have a gigantic history in SLAYER, starting over, you’re still starting over — you’re lower on the bills, you’re not making the [same kind of] money. Having to figure out how to make sure everybody in my band makes money so it’s worth their time. But, yeah, never for a second did I consider not going on, because at this point in life, any record could be your last. I don’t think this is my last record, but I have to move on like it is. So put it out, hope the fans like it, hope the fans show up. I like it. I think the fans are gonna like it, and I think we’re gonna have a lot of good times.”

Asked if the lineup for his solo band is made up of “friends”, Kerry said: “Absolutely. The thing that meant the most to me about moving forward in this project was getting my friends. I could get anybody in the biz — I can get people I don’t know, people I’ve never met, but I have enough friends in this business to know that I could put a band together of outstanding musicians that are friends that, after the show, we can get on the bus and have a drink and just have fun. No drama. Nothing weird is gonna happen that we don’t foresee. I look forward to getting out on the road with these guys and having a good time.”

Pressed about which member of his solo band was “the most surprised” when Kerry called him to offer him a spot in the group, Kerry said: “I think the most surprising moment was when I finally gave Mark the gig. Mark put his name in the hat very early, and he’s the only one that did demos with me and Paul. We had him come down every six weeks or so, and he would just come down and sing the songs he’d already sang and just every time he’d come down, make ’em better. But I didn’t tell him until, like, 14 months ago that he got the gig. And I was super nonchalant about it. He was at my place in [Las] Vegas, and I said, ‘Dude, if you still want the gig, I guess you can have it.’ And he was super excited, super excited, like almost fan excited. He was so excited, he texted his mom and texted me by accident. [Laughs] And I said, ‘I love you too, man. It’s cool. It’s cool.’ So we went in and recorded, like, two months after that.”

When the interviewer remarked that Mark sounds like he is really pushing himself vocally on “From Hell I Rise”, Kerry said: “Like I said, we did demos, and we always made the demos better. And then we got to the studio in Hollywood, and I was in another room doing something, and he sang ‘Residue’. And the producer got me and says, ‘Hey, I want you to hear where the song is.’ And I went, ‘Okay, cool,’ expecting to hear what I was used to hearing. And I hear the first verse and I’m going, ‘How did you guys get to this register?’ It’s, like, I’d never heard that before. He was, like, ‘Well, that’s where he started singing and felt comfortable.’ So I went to Mark immediately and I said, ‘Hey, dude, you can recreate this, right?’ It’s, like, ‘You’re not setting yourself up to fail the first show and blow your voice out and be canceling shows all over the place.’ And he assured me he can do it. So, he carried on and went on and did even crazier performances on the later songs that he sang. So, apparently, he’s very confident in what he can do. And I think it sounds great. So, I’m anxious to get out and start doing it.”
King told Rolling Stone about the decision to call the band KERRY KING: “It was going to be KING’S REIGN for a long time, which is really cool. But even with that one, I went to the guys, like, ‘I’m not a vain dude. I don’t want my name to be a part of it.’ We talked about BLOOD REIGN for a while, but it didn’t work. Every time I came up with anything remotely cool, it was taken by some obscure band in Eastern Europe. It became KERRY KING because I love that logo.”

King said the album is about “various religious topics, some war entries, heavy stuff, punky stuff, doomy stuff, and spooky stuff, with Herculean speeds achieved,” adding, “If you’ve ever liked any SLAYER throughout any part of our history, there’s something on this record that you’ll get into, be it classic punk, fast punk, thrash, or just plain heavy metal.”

King added there’s more to come, too. “Even with a record in the can, I’ve still got so many songs that need to be finished,” he said. “This is what I know how to do…number one being music, number two being metal. It’s been a part of my life for 40 years, and I’m nowhere near being done.”

KERRY KING will be special guest on the upcoming LAMB OF GOD/MASTODON North American “Ashes Of Leviathan” co-headline tour. The six-week run will launch on July 19 in Grand Prairie, Texas and will wrap on August 31 in Omaha, Nebraska.

KERRY KING will next play at the Welcome To Rockville festival on May 9 and at the Sonic Temple festival on May 16.





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