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KERRY KING Explains Why He Hired PHIL DEMMEL Over GARY HOLT For His Solo Band

Slayer Lite wasn't happening.


Kerry King recently launched his new solo band featuring Death Angel vocalist Mark Osegueda, former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, former Vio-Lence and Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel, and former Hellyeah bassist Kyle Sanders. So why did King choose Demmel over his Slayer bandmate Gary Holt? Simple – King didn't want three-fourths of Slayer in his new band.

In an interview with Revolver (as captured by, King said he decided against Holt over fears of being called Slayer Lite. And considering King already knew Demmel from his brief, insane stint with Slayer, it was a no-brainer.

"I started to realise that the more pieces I take from Slayer, the more it's gonna be called 'Slayer Lite.' I mean, of course it's gonna sound like Slayer; I wrote 90 percent of the last record. But if I take less with me from Slayer, there'll be less for people to stand on, as far as making lazy comparisons.

"If I had to do Slayer over again after [Jeff] Hanneman [who died in 2013], 110 times out of a 100, I would pick Gary Holt. He was the right guy. But the perception of people, it weighs on me, and I don't want to deal with that."

"I love Gary. He's a great player. But I already had my one dude from Slayer I was definitely keeping. And Phil had only played four gigs with Slayer, so that comparison wasn't going to be there; also, he impressed the fuck out of me when he came out to do those Europe gigs. It was just a couple of days after his Machine Head tour had ended, and he learned 18 or 20 of our songs on short notice.

Demmel added: "He also had to learn our stage tempos, and where the pyro was. If Judas Priest had asked me to come out in four days and figure all that out, I couldn't have done it. But Phil did it for us."

Kerry King will be out on tour with Lamb Of God, Mastodon, and Malevolence this July. Get your tickets here.

7/19 – Grand Prairie, TX – Texas Trust CU Theatre
7/20 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater
7/21 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall
7/23 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place
7/24 – Orlando, FL – Orlando Amphitheater
7/25 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
7/27 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
7/28 – Richmond, VA – Virginia Credit Union LIVE!
7/30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
7/31 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
8/1 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
8/3 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
8/4 – Manchester, NH – SNHU Arena
8/6 – Bangor, ME – Maine Savings Amphitheatre
8/8 – Reading, PA – Santander Arena (w/ Unearth, no Malevolence)
8/9 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion (w/ Unearth, no Malevolence)
8/10 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill (w/ Unearth, no Malevolence)
8/13 – Moorhead, MN – Bluestem Center For The Arts Amphitheater
8/15 – Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome
8/16 – Penticton, BC – South Okanagan Events Centre
8/17 – Kent, WA – accesso ShoWare Center
8/18 – Portland, OR – Theater of the Clouds
8/21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Kia Forum
8/23 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre
8/24 – Rio Rancho, NM – Rio Rancho Events Center
8/25 – El Paso, TX – El Paso County Coliseum
8/27 – Magna, UT – The Great Saltair
8/29 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
8/31 – Omaha, NE – The Astro Amphitheater

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