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Slayer Interview From 1983 Finally Published

Mark Metcalfe, Getty Images

A 29-year-old interview with Slayer guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman has finally been published. So what’s the backstory on this feature that took almost 30 years to see the light of day?

Well, Brian Lew, co-author of ‘Murder in the Front Row: Shots From the Bay Area Thrash Metal Epicenter’ and a longtime figure in the California metal scene, posted the interview, which was typed (!!!) by King and focuses on the period before 1984′s ‘Show No Mercy.’ The interview covers Slayer’s early history, influences, the L.A. metal scene and more.

It was initially intended to appear in the second issue of Lew’s Whiplash fanzine and while it’s now found a home online, it’s like opening a time capsule and peeking into the inner workings of Slayer when they were up ‘n’ comers in the metal scene, as opposed to the indisputable legends they are now. Step into a Slayer time warp, if you will. It certainly feels special being unveiled nearly three decades later.

Some choice quotes include King saying, “I think it’s kind of obvious that we like Venom and Metallica. I also think [Mercyful] Fate’s new album has some of the hottest riffs ever written.”

Hanneman addressed the metal scene in Los Angeles, commenting, “L.A. has got to be the poser capital of the world. Around here Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, and Ratt are the heaviest in the world. So if that’s heavy we must be molten steel.”

My, how some things have changed and how some have stayed exactly the same. And Slayer-as-molten-steel? Indeed.

Check out the full interview with Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman here.

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