Kerry King has reiterated in a recent interview that he's been handling some of the bass parts for Slayer, dating back "probably since the Nineties." In a recent interview with Guitar World about his solo album, King, who was Slayer's guitarist throughout their run, explained that his contributions also carried over to bass for the band, having played at least some bass on albums dating back three decades with the group.

What Kerry King Said About His Bass Playing With Slayer

In the midst of the conversation about his solo album, King discussed how there was less negotiation needed in the studio with his current lineup.

“It’s refreshing. I never wanted it. It’s not something I needed musically. It’s not something I needed personally," said of doing a solo record. "Having it was super cool and super fun, and working with new people was super fun. This is the first record I haven’t played bass on, probably, since the Nineties.”

In a follow-up question of why Tom Araya, who is credited with bass on the band's albums, gave up some of his duties, King marked it up more to preparation than to skill level.

“We would always let Tom play bass until he got tired of not being good at it. In Tom’s defense, up to that point, he had never played the songs. It was always just me and Paul [Bostaph] going through ’em [in advance]. And then we get in the studio, it’s time to record. I think Tom’s got it in his head that he’s gonna be able to pull it off. But for anybody that’s never played a song before, to come in without knowing the music and get it up to recording level is not realistic."

The guitarist added, "So, if I’ve already done my guitar tracks, Jeff [Hanneman]’s done his guitar tracks, And Tom doesn’t know the bass parts, I can pick up a bass and get it done in less than a day ’cause I already know the songs. It got to where he’d mess around and play one song for eight hours before he got frustrated and just said, ‘Here, you do it!’ I don’t want anybody to think for a second that he couldn’t do it if he had the time to learn it.”

The preparation discussion appears to have played out, as Araya handled bass live for the group, familiarizing himself before the songs were shared on the concert stage.

What Kerry King Has Previously Said About His Slayer Bass Work

In an interview earlier this year with Rolling Stone, King also laid claim to his role in providing Slayer's bass parts. When questioned if he considered playing all guitars and bass himself on his solo work, King told the magazine, "I have done that. Not on this, but since the early Nineties I’ve done all the rhythm guitars and all the bass [on Slayer records]. I’ve always done bass because my guy [Tom Araya] really didn’t."

Within that same chat, he credited his solo band bassist Kyle Sanders, explaining, "Early on, I sent Kyle early demos of just me and Paul, no bass. Three days later, he sent them back with bass. I went, “I’ve never had anybody do that for me.” That turned on all the light bulbs."

He also added to Guitar World of Sanders' contributions to the solo record, "He’s a real bassist so he came up with stuff I probably wouldn’t have thought of. So, it was cool.”

READ MORE: How Kerry King Found Out Slayer Were Retiring

Kerry King + Slayer in 2024

King is currently promoting his From Hell I Rise solo album. He and his band will start a new leg of shows July 19 in Grand Prairie, Texas, with dates running through the summer. All ticketing info can be found through his website.

Meanwhile, the surprise of 2024 is the reunion of Slayer for a select number of festival appearances. The band is currently scheduled to play Riot Fest, Louder Than Life and Aftershock this fall. Ticketing info can be found through their website.

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