Since March, there have been rumors that Kerry King is starting a new band, which will basically be the most recent iteration of Slayer with a different vocalist: in addition to King, the band is said to include King’s now-former Slayer bandmates Gary Holt and Paul Bostaph, with Phil Anselmo reportedly acting as frontman. While King has said that he has enough material for two albums written, the only musician who has actually confirmed their involvement thus far is Bostaph. Which is kinda funny, ’cause it now appears that this project began with Bostaph’s predecessor, Dave Lombardo, on drums.
“When I was [still] in [Slayer], I knew Tom [Araya] wanted to retire. I knew he wanted to stop. Actually, Kerry and I were gonna start a new band after Tom’s retirement. And we were actually scouting guitar players.”
That scouting apparently came to a conclusion at France’s Hellfest:
“We said, ‘Hey, let’s go see Exodus.’ And so Kerry and I walked over to the stage where Exodus was playing, and we stood on the side of the stage, stage left, and were watching Gary. Jeff was still in [Slayer at that point], Jeff was still playing, Jeff was fine.”
Lombardo says after seeing Holt perform, he told King, “There’s our guy right there” and “That’s the guitar player we need.”
Needless to say, according to Lombardo, this is, in fact, how Holt ended up in Slayer after Hanneman could no longer play as a result of ongoing health issues caused by a near-fatal spider bite:
“We didn’t tell Gary — I don’t think we had told Gary that Kerry and I were going to start a new band, but he was the first choice when that moment came [to replace Jeff in Slayer]. And I agreed, everybody agreed. And Jeff agreed as well, because he knew — he knew.”
If we take Lombardo at his word — and I see no reason we shouldn’t — then it seems that King has long been planning for his post-Slayer career. Which was probably wise. I bet Kerry has a 401(k), too. He’s a smarty.
You can listen to the entire interview below. And while we still don’t know exactly what King’s next move is, we do know that Dave Lombardo plays drums on The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo, the first new Mr. Bungle album in more than twenty years. It comes out this Friday, October 30. The following day (October 31, duh), Mr. Bungle will present “a virtual live concert experience,” dubbed The Night They Came Home!, on the web. Tickets are available now for fifteen bucks at this link. The first screening airs at 12 noon pacific/3 pm eastern on Oct. 31, with the on-demand program available for the following 72 hours. There are also various merch bundles available, as is de rigeur with these events.