Slayer’s Kerry King Recalls How He Ended Up Recording a Solo for Sum 41, Says He Turned It Down ’10 Times’ Before That

Recently, Metal Hammer started sharing excerpts from their printed edition of an interview with Slayer guitarist Kerry King. The most recent one reveals how King ended up recording a guitar solo for Sum 41 on their 2002 single “What We’re All About” which was also a part of the soundtrack for the Spider-Man film.

While talking to Metal Hammer about this, King revealed that he had to turn it down “10 times.” However, as he explained, it was the label representative and his friend who persuaded him to accept the guest spot. He said (via Guitar World):

“A friend of mine at the label came to me at an angle that I just couldn’t argue with. He was like, ‘Well, you know you played on the Beastie Boys record [1987’s ‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’].’”

Sum 41 What We're All About Uncensored

“Fuck! Haha, he’s got a point! That was my epiphany. That was before we put ourselves back on the map – those dudes were fun and they were popping.”

As King further explained, these were “career choices.” He added:

“So, yeah, I played on the Beastie Boys record and I played on the Sum 41 record. I mean, those weren’t choices for me, those were just career choices I made. Some people may agree with them and some people may not.”

The Sum 41 song “What We’re All About” was a reworked version of a piece done for their debut EP and was initially titled “Dave’s Possessed Hair/ What We’re all About.” The group eventually recorded a music video for the piece and Kerry King also appears in it. You can check it out below.

Sum 41 - What We're All About

As for the aforementioned Beastie Boys track “No Sleep Till Brooklin,” it appears on the rap group’s 1986 album “Licensed to III.” Kerry King’s appearance on it was all thanks to producer Rick Rubin who worked with both Slayer and the Beastie Boys that year.

In another part of the interview, Kerry King reflected on the early thrash metal scene back in the 1980s. Particularly, he looked back on Metallica when Dave Mustaine was still the lead guitar player before eventually being kicked out and replaced by Kirk Hammett. Explaining what the band was like back then, King said:

“They were great at that point. They were ahead of us by at least 16 months to a year. They were doing originals and we were still doing covers. I think we opened for Metallica with Mustaine, I can’t recall, but I know me and Dave [Lombardo, Slayer drummer] definitely saw them in a club and we were blown away by Mustaine.”

Metallica with Dave Mustaine - Live In San Francisco 1983 [Full Concert] /mG

Furthermore, King praised Mustaine and expressed his admiration of Megadeth frontman’s guitar skills, saying that he’s still going at it to this day. Slayer guitarist added:

“Still to this day, he’s a fucking great guitar player. It was very awesome, it wasn’t big clubs, you could see from anywhere, and I was very enamored with seeing Mustaine play these insane leads and James [Hetfield] playing these insane rhythms and barking out these lyrics.”

He also said:

“It was way more extreme than what I thought metal was or could be, it was like another arm of it, so to speak. We all came out around the same time, but Metallica certainly influenced me.”

Metallica Metal Hammer Fest 14 09 1985

King also looked back on how the Slayer guys were trying to make a breakthrough back in the day when glam metal was getting big. However, according to King, the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles wasn’t exactly a place for more extreme metal subgenres, something that they were doing since their early days. He recalled:

“It was the land of Van Halen and Mötley Crüe and W.A.S.P. We tried the strips a few times, and we would play the deadliners spot – the spot after the headliners when everyone was leaving.”

Among other things, he recalled how they played after W.A.S.P. at some point. And, weirdly enough, people liked them. King said:

“We actually played after W.A.S.P. once, when they had this raw meat and the girl on the rack and all of this stuff. We were a bit like, ‘OK… this is interesting, how’s this going to work?’, and when we came on, no one left! We thought, ‘Hmm, something’s happening here!’”

SLAYER The first filmed show ever! 28-March-1983 Anaheim, USA. Full Concert

“But it never really became a Hollywood thing. We just bypassed those clubs and went to the Bay Area, and then on full US tours.”

In another part of the interview, King also discussed Slayer’s decision to call it a day. When asked what he felt when the decision was official, since it obviously wasn’t him who wanted to retire, King said:

“Anger… what else? It was premature. The reason I say ‘premature’ is because my heroes from my childhood are still playing! I can still play, I still want to play, but that livelihood got taken away from me.”

Slayer - last concert Los Angeles - Angel of Death & Slayer says Goodbye

“But, anyway, on to the next chapter, I guess. We were on top of the world, and there’s nothing wrong with going out on top of the world, it’s a good way to go out. So, bravo for that. But do I miss playing? Yeah, absolutely.”

Reflecting on the band’s final tour, King said:

“Every one of those shows was a bummer! We were going to all these places and all these cities where we have all this history. It’s a bummer to think, ‘I’m not gonna see my friends there again.’“

Slayer - The Repentless Killogy 2019 Live at The Forum in Inglewood, CA

“You’d get to that country and know you were going to see these people, and you’d see them yearly. I haven’t seen them now in three years. That sucks.“

“And the fans, too. Slayer means a lot to our fans, and they mean a lot to us. I know I will see these people again, but no Slayer leaves a big hole for a lot of people.”

Finally, King was also asked about his highly anticipated new project, something that he’s mentioned in recent years. Asked about what it’s going to sound like, he replied:

“If you know my work, you know what it’s going to sound like.”

Photos: Rockger21 (Kerry King), Sven Mandel (Sum 41 – 2017154162559 2017-06-03 Rock am Ring – Sven – 1D X II – 0944 – AK8I8786 (Cropped))

David Slavkovic

David always planned for music to be nothing more than a hobby. However, after a short career as an agricultural engineer he ended up news editor at KillerGuitarRigs, senior editor at Ultimate-Guitar.com, as well as a freelance contributor to online magazines such as GuitaristNextdoor.

David Slavkovic has 455 posts and counting. See all posts by David Slavkovic