In an exclusive interview with journalist Martin Carlsson, conducted on May 25th and published in its entirety (in Swedish!) on Close-Up Magazine's website at this location, SLAYER guitarist Kerry King sheds some light on the group's current drummer situation, which has been the subject of countless rumors since the departure of Paul Bostaph last December. Here are the highlights from that conversation, as they appear in the original English-language transcript of the interview (as obtained exclusively by BLABBERMOUTH.NET).
On ex-SOULFLY drummer Joe Nunez's audition with the group:
King "That's a big story right there. That Internet shit is bullshit! Do you know why he turned the gig down? His mom wouldn't let him do it! His mom told him that he couldn't play in SLAYER. That's [coming] straight from [original and current SLAYER stand-in drummer Dave] Lombardo, who set his audition up. We were auditioning in Chicago or somewhere around there and we have two dudes [coming down]. Then there was this new guy [Joe]. Lombardo picked him, and no one knew he was coming down. Lombardo said: 'Joe Nunez, check him out.' He had his game face on and was singing lyrics to me, and I was like, 'Fuck, that dude is the real fucking shit.' We kept saying we wanted another audition and he kept balking at it: 'I don't think so.' I was like, 'Dave, why ain't your boy fuckin' into this? What's going on?' He's like: 'His family is giving him shit about SLAYER.' You know, God complex. That's not me ditching his story, that's straight from Lombardo, who doesn't usually go out on a limb and say shit. I was like, 'Alright, whatever.' I don't have a computer, but someone read me [Joe's] statement [as exclusively given to BLABBERMOUTH.NET], and I was like: 'Motherfucker, trying to make himself look good.' I fucking hate people, they're such assholes. Joe was a good dude, but whatever…"
On other drummers that have tried out:
King: "Kevin Talley, [formerly] from DYING FETUS [and currently in MISERY INDEX], came very close. At one point I thought he had the whole package, but maybe in a coupe of years he'll be ready for something like this.
"We had this one kid who was really good, but he was like 21 and so dumb-founded to be in our presence. He came in, fucking slammed everything and beat the fuck out of his kit. But he was like a stalker, so we didn't go down that road. We could always go back to him at a later time and say: 'Are you a little more sane now?' "
On Scandinavian drummers:
"I haven't seen a lot, but the only thing I've seen is a lot of soft hitters. Like the guy in CRADLE OF FILTH [Adrian Erlandsson], who used to play in THE HAUNTED [and AT THE GATES]. He hits like a f*g! He hits everything, but he hits like a f*g. This is SLAYER; people expect more."
On Raymond Herrera (formerly of FEAR FACTORY):
"I heard Raymond was wondering why we never called him. This is all this hearsay now. I remember when Paul left the first time, or it might have been when Dave left, I went to see FEAR FACTORY on one of their first two records when they were really slamming. They had our security guy out with them and I was like: 'Jerry, this dude is fucking bad-ass.' I didn't consider back then that his kicks are triggered. He has no hands and his kicks are triggered. Had I known that then I wouldn't have even fucking brought it up. I don't know if he said he wasn't interested [in the job]. We never asked him. He's a good guy, but he has no hands. We're a big roll-oriented band, whereas FEAR FACTORY's all syncopated and there's not a whole lot of rolls and fills. It's all feet going with the guitar and I need more than that."
Why isn't Dave Lombardo a permanent member?
King: "I'm not sure he wants to be."
Do you want him to be?
King: "Yes and no. I have no reason for 'no' other than it's really odd right now, 'cause we're two different camps. Not that we're at each other's throats or anything, but we're not a unit. If it was always gonna be like that, I'd say 'no.'"
What do you mean by "we're not a unit?"
King: "Well, he's a hired gun and he acts like it. I know he's got ties with [former FAITH NO MORE frontman and FANTOMAS bandmate] Mike Patton and I won't take a backseat to Mike Patton. Never. So that's an issue. I know he's having a good time. He'll come off stage nine times out of ten and go: 'That was euphoric!' There's nothing like a SLAYER crowd, it's fuckin' sick, and he hasn't seen that in ten years. I'm sure it's like a big fuckin' boot in the face to him. I don't even know if he's cool with the things we write about. I don't know. Dave's on till the end of September. After that, either we tour some more or we don't. Maybe Dave stays, maybe Dave does the [next] record. I have no solid answer."