Itís so happened that we managed to talk to SLAYER twice. The first part of the interview was made in London, when Paul Bostof and Kerry King were there during their European press trip. We talked to Paul and Kerry while the rest of the journalists had an opportunity of talking just to Paul. Due to some reasons, we didnít meet the slayers in Katowice, that is why, when we learned they would play their first show in Moscow, we knew we would be there! We forgot about the expenses and took a flight to Russia. Frankly speaking, we were a bit scared: Russia, Mafia, white bears... Well, we were lucky as those rumors were quite groundless. Our interlocutor in Moscow was Tom. And... do I need to tell anyone about the role and significance of SLAYER in the extreme music history? A stupid question...
Part I. Diabolus In London
Letís start, Kerry, with the new album. What are its main features and concepts?
Kerry: We didnít really have much of a direction, we just make our songs individually and, taken from there, there is no concept. We basically make music and put lyrics into it. We get inspiration, Iím inspired by films a lot. Tom reads a lot, any thing we can see, we can twist into the SLAYER song. Jeff writes about the war a lot, I mean his songs...
Like ęBitter PeaceĽ?
OK, our song "Bitter Peace" is not necessarily a war song. Just one from the album to do with the ungle. I like this song, itís kind of a suicidal type of thing.
ęDiabolus In MusicaĽ - what does it mean?
Paul: The title of the album comes from this: there is a music scale called "TRITON" and it is goes with a lot history. But the main thing weíve been told is that it was a forbidden musical scale in medieval times, it was forbidden to use it in music. It just so happens to be bad devil tunes.
Could you explain such a long break between the albums?
Kerry: We just got a new distributor, and thatís why we got our album shelved for a while. It was done last year sometime, and we had to wait to get a new distributor.
Paul: We finished this album in September last year and had to wait when our label American Recordings would sign a new contract with Sony. So, we had more time in this period to come again to the studio and record a few more songs.
Thereís punk cover album in between ęUndisputed AttitudeĽ and the last CD. What was the reason for such a thing? How did the fans accept it?
Paul: "Undisputed Attitude" was a punk cover record. So, the change in the style between this record and the last one probably because these are the SLAYER records and previous was not. That was songs played by us, obviously, only two songs have been written by Jeff but the rest are punk covers. Jeff and Kerry got this idea, I was leaving the band, I wanted to do the album of influential music, you know. There was some classical rock like RAINBOW we tried to do.
Is Tom still into maniacs and serial killers that much?
Kerry: Tom really did get some serial killers songs on this record. Me and Jeff... well, Jeff is the most into music and I realize heís done this and that, I tried to step it up and use my lyrics as mush as I could, so I contributed for the album. He did not do his normal...
I wonder if you will ever record ęLike-Reign-In-BloodĽ album?
Kerry: We could put out a record that could sound exactly like ęReign In BloodĽ today - no one will care. I remember when we released ęReign In BloodĽ, most of people didnít understand what it was. It was something, nobody had ever done before in terms of speed and aggression. Look at our days now, many bands are playing similar aggressive music, so whatís the point? It will not surprise people like it did more than ten years ago.
Why are there only Paul and Kerry participating in the British part of the press tour?
Paul: Now everything is starting to take form and we are now in all these things. There would be good, probably, to talk to more members of the band, but we have to do a lot of press in a short period of time. Thatís why youíve just got us!
You are planning to start the new album support tour at OZZ-fest, arenít you?
Kerry: Weíre going to be touring before OZZ-fest. We get home on Saturday and we start rehearsals on Saturday! In five days, next Wednesday, we will play our first show.
How do you find European touring compared to the USA, what are the main differences or similarities?
Kerry: Right now there is more of an acceptance to heavy music in Europe. Itís weird, it seems to be a little soft on the heavy edge. A lot more extreme metal is out in the US definitely. The kids like it. I think there is just not a lot of support for it in the US now.
Why do you think such things are happening?
Paul: You know Headbangers Ball in the USA. MTV, especially in the United States, has just pulled the carpet from under heavy music. They decided one day that it ainít fashionable, and I donít think heavy music is ęfashionĽ anyway. I mean it seems to me somebody just decided one day that it wasnít cool anymore. I think it is kinda ironically a beautiful thing because it takes all the fly by night people out. Basically, all the people who love this music are still there. Diehards are always going to be there. Basically, the first metal band I heard about wasnít on MTV anyway. A friend of mine said: ęCheck it outĽ, and thatís why I got into heavy music. I can hear people say ęHeavy metal diedĽ, but the heavy metal fans are special kind of people, they know about heavy music anyway. I, personally, had to get away from metal music for a while to experiment. Because I was doing it all my life.
Has heavy metal a future?
Paul: I see a hunger for the heavy music, people are getting tired of the same old things. I think music cycles itself... More heavy bands surfacing with a new sound. But no matter how the music changes, itís still going to have the same consistency to it. SLAYER has been longer than fifteen years. Who were 15, now have 30 and grow up with music. There is a new generation who wants this music. I know that for the fact I enjoy playing drums and I enjoy heavy music.
Paul, your drums are absolutely fantastic on the record. Do you think youíve got better since you joined SLAYER?
Paul: Absolutely. I wonít be better than Dave Lombardo, and if I donít succeed, at least Iíve tried. I always wanted to be the best. I also wrote some lyrics on this album, Iím very interested in songwriting. I may not be a song writer, but I like to throw an influence into the music. I like to express it on my drums. Iím very self-critical of my drumming. Everyone in SLAYER belongs to the same generation of the old thrash metal school, weíre pretty much the same age and that is why itís much easier to work together.
Do you fear anything?
Kerry: Iím afraid of flying, man, because itís out of my control. Iím on a plane with a hundred people whom I donít know. If youíre flying often itís a bit scary.