Interview:Angry Again; On their forthcoming album, Slayer serve up a healthy portion of piss and vinegar.


—Dan Epstein

 

“Making a record is not a preconceived thing for us,” says Slayer guitarist Kerry King. “We don’t sit there and go, ‘Okay, this is what this record’s gonna sound like.’ The only time we ever did that was on [1988’s] South of Heaven, because we were tired of playing fast.” Nevertheless, says bassist and vocalist Tom Araya, the band’s new album should strike longtime fans as “very Slayer. Even if we tried, we couldn’t get away from that!”

 

Due for release in late May or early June on Columbia Records, the as-yet-untitled follow-up to 1998’s Diabolus in Musica was recorded earlier this year at Vancouver’s Warehouse Studios, with Matt Hyde (Monster Magnet, Perry Farrell) producing. “I really didn’t know Matt until we went in with him to do ‘Bloodline’ for the Dracula 2000 soundtrack,” says King. “But I was really pleased with his work ethic, and everything he did for that song. So I was like, ‘I totally want this guy to do the next record!’ ”

 

King, whose songwriting contributions to Diabolus were minimal, penned the bulk of the new album’s tracks with guitarist Jeff Hanneman. “From a songwriting standpoint, any time we make a record, somebody’s hot and somebody’s not,” says King. “Last album, I was just pissed off at music in general: I hated what was popular, and I didn’t use my anger the right way. This time, I wrote tons of lyrics, and Jeff and I split the music writing duties pretty much right down the middle.”

 

Though he’s still disgusted with most of the current rock scene, King says he’s drawn considerable inspiration from the likes of Slipknot. “When they get down and get angry, they sound as legit as anybody out there,” he says. “It was refreshing to hear somebody new get pissed off and push the envelope again. It definitely kicked me in the...”