SLAYER guitarist Kerry King recently looked back at the early days of the burgeoning thrash metal scene in a new interview with Metal Hammer and pointed out the important role that Dave Mustaine had in it’s early days.
Asked when he first met METALLICA, Kerry replied, “I saw them in the Woodstock [The Woodstock Concert Theatre in Anaheim, California] before they were a Bay Area band. I saw them play with Dave Mustaine – that’s how long we’re talking about. Actually meeting the dudes? I don’t know. But we did play with them a time or two before they went to the Bay Area.”
When asked what his first impression of the band was, he replied “I liked it. I like speed metal or thrash metal – which hadn’t been named yet – which is what they were to me. I liked what they were doing with it and I was already into Venom. I’ve always been a big Venom fan, and I think that a cross between Venom, Judas Priest and Metallica kind of made Slayer what Slayer is.”
King had a brief stint in MEGADETH in 1984, playing alongside Dave Mustaine, who by that time had been relieved of his lead guitar duties in METALLICA. When asked if Kerry noticed any hostility from Mustaine towards his former band, he replied: “Probably. But I looked up to Mustaine ever since he was in Metallica. I was in the crowd with Jeff [Hanneman, Slayer’s late lead guitarist] actually, saying, ‘Look at that dude! He’s just ripping up there!’ He’s got a great style and in the beginning, it helped Metallica become what Metallica is. And let me tell you something – to this day, he’s a great guitar player.
“But yeah, I played five shows and then Dave wanted me to stay around, but I didn’t have any reason to stay around because I had Slayer. I remember having a conversation with him and saying like, ‘Yeah, but we have all this dark stuff’, and Mustaine saying something like, ‘Well, we’ve got this song, it’s pretty Satanic,’ and I was like, ‘At the end of the day, dude, it ain’t about that. I came to play with you. I think it went spectacularly well but it’s time for me to get back to my band.’”
You can read the full interview at this location.