Kerry Ray King (born June 3, 1964) is an American musician, best known for being the guitarist and songwriter for the American thrash metal band Slayer. He co-founded the band with Jeff Hanneman in 1981 and remained a member for nearly four decades.
King in May 2016
|Birth name||Kerry Ray King|
|Born||June 3, 1964|
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
King was born in Los Angeles, California. His father was an aircraft parts inspector, and his mother worked for the telephone company. King attended Warren High School in Downey, California, and started learning guitar at Calvano's Music in South Gate.
In 1981, King was at an audition trying out for the position of guitarist when he approached Jeff Hanneman, who was playing guitar at the reception desk, and said they should jam together and see if they liked playing together.  King and Hanneman subsequently decided to start their own band, which would soon evolve into Slayer. King, along with bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, remained in Slayer for the entire length of the band's career, from 1981 to 2019.
In 1984, King was invited by Dave Mustaine to join another Thrash Metal band, Megadeth. Although King did agree to partake in many gigs with them, he ultimately did not join full time due to his commitment to Slayer.
King has a trademark personal appearance and extensive tattoos all over his arms and head. His tattoo was praised to such a degree by Blender Magazine that they once produced a tour of his body ink. King's abbreviation, KFK, was revealed to mean "Kerry Fuckin' King" in the January 2007 Issue of Guitar World. King currently resides in Corona, California.
In addition to appearing on Slayer's albums, he has also made several guest appearances for other artists. While lending production to 1986's Reign in Blood, Rick Rubin was also helping with the production of the Beastie Boys' debut album Licensed to Ill. Rubin felt the track "No Sleep till Brooklyn" needed a guitar solo, so he called in King to lay down the part. King has since commented that his playing ability "certainly wasn't that of a virtuoso". The video for "No Sleep till Brooklyn", whose title was a spoof on Motörhead's 1981 live album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith, was originally intended to feature King being knocked offstage by a gorilla, although King refused. King replied, "If there's gonna be anyone knocking anyone offstage, it'll be me knocking the gorilla", which was what subsequently happened.
King contributed the main lead guitar solo and outro part to Pantera's song "Goddamn Electric", which appeared on the 2000 album, Reinventing the Steel. King's rig was set up in Pantera's bathroom backstage just after Ozzfest in Dallas, as the group still did not have their own dressing room, on top of not appearing on the festival bill. King has also made several guest appearances on Marilyn Manson's Rape of the World Tour, joining the band to play tracks such as "Little Horn", "1996" and "Irresponsible Hate Anthem". Many fans noticed elements of King's own style used on these occasions. On October 21, 2010, the final date of the Jägermeister Music Tour, King joined Megadeth on stage at the Gibson Amphitheater in Hollywood to perform "Rattlehead" which was the first time in 26 years that King had shared the stage with Megadeth (King had been a touring substitute for a few months in 1984).
Style and influenceEdit
King's first experience with a guitar was when he was a child. Steve Huey of AllMusic has commented in his review for Reign in Blood that Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman's demented soloing often mimics the screams of the songs' victims. He also described his and Jeff Hanneman's guitar solos as "wildly chaotic". Thom Jurek, also of AllMusic, described his work on 2006's Christ Illusion as creating "an intensely harrowing and angular riff that changes from verse to verse, through the refrain and bridge, and comes back again."
King listed Venom, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath as his favorite bands during his teen years. He said once "Anybody who plays heavy music and doesn't cite Sabbath as an influence is lying, because that's where it all started." He cited Glenn Tipton and K. K. Downing of Judas Priest as his biggest influences as a guitarist that inspire his style, tone, and gear. He mentioned Eddie Van Halen, Ted Nugent, Ronnie Montrose, Tony Iommi, Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, Dave Murray, Adrian Smith and Randy Rhoads as other influences.
King has been twice divorced and has a daughter named Shyanne Kymberlee King with his first wife; his current wife is Ayesha King.
King is an antitheist. He is known to oppose and strongly criticise organized religion by expressing his views in his songwriting. In a 2006 interview with Blabbermouth.net, King expressed his anti-religious views: "I don't really have a life philosophy; my thing is just rebelling against pretty much organized religion. That is my main thing, because personally I think it's a crutch for people that are too weak to get through life on their own. I'm the kind of guy that says if I don't see it, then it doesn't work. And nobody can show me God." When asked by Revolver Magazine what superpower would he want if he was a supervillain, King replied "the ability to burst a church into flames by simply walking by it."
- McIver, Joel (2010). The Bloody Reign of Slayer. Omnibus Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-84938-386-8.
- "There Is 'Not A Chance In Hell' SLAYER Will Ever Reunite, Says KERRY KING's Wife". Blabbermouth.net. December 2, 2019. Retrieved December 2, 2019.
- Lawson, Dom. "Slayer's Kerry King: My Life Story". TeamRock.com. Retrieved November 4, 2016.
- "Slayer's Kerry King - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1)" – via www.youtube.com.
- Davis, Brian. "Knac.com interview with Jeff Hanneman". Knac.com. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved December 13, 2006.
- "Tour of Kerry King's Tattoos". Archived from the original on October 12, 2007., Blender Online, retrieved on March 2, 2007
- Lahtinen, Lexi (November 4, 2004). "Kerry King of SLAYER". Metal-rules.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2006. Retrieved January 24, 2006.
- "After Jeff Hanneman's Death, "We Had to Learn How to Be Slayer in a New Way"". LA Weekly. June 14, 2015. Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- "An exclusive oral history of Slayer". Decibel Magazine. Archived from the original on August 13, 2006. Retrieved December 3, 2006.
- McIver, Joel (2002). Nu Metal – The Next Generation of Rock & Punk (Omnibus Press). Omnibus Press. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7119-9209-2.
- Davis, Brian (November 10, 2004). "Exclusive! Interview With Slayer Guitarist Kerry King". Knac.com. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
- 2008/02/23 Los Angeles, CA – MansonWiki.com
- "Blabbermouth.Net – Slayer's Kerry King To Perform With Megadeth Tonight!". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on October 25, 2010. Retrieved October 25, 2010.
- McIver, Joel (2010). The Bloody Reign of Slayer. Omnibus Press. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-84938-386-8.
- Huey, Steve. "Reign in Blood". AllMusic. Retrieved January 24, 2006.
- Steve Huey "Slayer". Allmusic. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
- Thom Jurek "Christ Illusion – Slayer". Allmusic. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
- Peter McLennan. "15 minutes with Slayer". reocities.com.
- Szatmary, David P. (2014). rockin' in time. p. 381.
- "Kerry King – It's Good To Be King". guitar.com.
- "Michael Schenker - Metal Master Kingdom Interview". metalmasterkingdom.com. January 17, 2018. Retrieved August 19, 2018.
- Beck, Aaron (February 10, 2007). "After 25 years, Slayer keeps casting metal". The Columbus Dispatch. Archived from the original on March 5, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2007.
- McKibbin, Adam. "Slayer: A conversation with Kerry King". The Red Alert. Archived from the original on March 11, 2015. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
- "Slayer's Kerry King: 'My Thing Is Rebelling Against Organized Religion' - Blabbermouth.net". BLABBERMOUTH.NET.
- Wiederhorn, Jon. "Mayhem Festival's Headliner Slayer Featured on the Cover of Next Issue of Revolver — Read an Excerpt from the Cover Story". Revolver Magazine. Retrieved June 23, 2015.
- Blabbermouth.net. "SLAYER's KERRY KING Takes Viewers To His Snake Farm (Video)". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved August 13, 2015.
- "SLAYER's KERRY KING Admits 'Difference Of Opinion' With TOM ARAYA About TRUMP Photo". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. January 27, 2017.
- atera, Joe (August 4, 2006). "Slayer's Kerry King: The Art Of Writing Songs That Nobody Else Can Write". UltimateGuitar.com. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- "World Painted Blood" (Compact Disc). Slayer. American, Sony Music. 2009.CS1 maint: others (link)
- Mangum, Eric (1995). DOD Presents 100 Superstar Guitar Sounds on a Stompbox Budget. Cherry Lane Music. p. 40. ISBN 1-57560-342-X.
- Christe, Ian (2004). Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal. It Books. ISBN 0-380-81127-8.
- "Haunting the Chapel – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "Live Undead – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Gueraseva, Stacy (2005). Def Jam, Inc. : Russell Simmons, Rick Rubin, and the Extraordinary Story of the World's Most Influential Hip-Hop Label. One World. p. 73. ISBN 0-345-46804-X.
- Ferris, D.X. (2008). Reign in Blood (33⅓). Continuum. p. 45. ISBN 0-8264-2909-2.
- "South of Heaven – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "Seasons in the Abyss – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Bukszpan, Daniel (2003). The Encyclopedia of Heavy Metal. Sterling. p. 210. ISBN 0-7607-4218-9.
- Morris, Chris (July 23, 1994). "American's Platinum Plans For Slayer". Billboard: 14.
- "Undisputed Attitude – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- "Diabolus in Musica – Slayer". AllMusic. June 9, 1998. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Faeth, Laura (2008). I FOUND ALL THE PARTS: Healing the Soul Through Rock 'n' Roll. Sound of Your Soul (an imprint of Wyatt-MacKenzie). p. 7. ISBN 1-932279-91-1.
- "Slayer: 'Eternal Pyre' Single Enters Finnish Chart At No. 2!" Archived March 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. June 5, 2007. Blabbermouth.net
- "Slayer's Kerry King Says Forthcoming Album 'Has A Little Bit Of Everything' " Archived May 23, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. May 20, 2009. Blabbermouth.net
- "World Painted Blood – Slayer". AllMusic. Retrieved October 29, 2010.
- Ro, Ronin (2005). Raising Hell: The Reign, Ruin, and Redemption of Run-D.M.C. and Jam Master Jay. p. 187. ISBN 0-06-078195-5.
- Guitar World Presents Nu-Metal. Hal Leonard. 2002. p. 32. ISBN 0-634-03287-9.
- "Loud Rock". CMJ. 69 No. 11 (742): 16. December 10, 2001.
- "Sum 41 – It's What We're All About (CD) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved October 30, 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kerry King.|
- King's 2002 Slayer Guitar Rig. GuitarGeek.com
- "Slayer's Kerry King - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 1)," Loudwire, April 22, 2015. —video.
- "Slayer's Kerry King - Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction? (Part 2)," Loudwire, April 29, 2015. —video.
- Psychotic Exotics Facebook page
- NAMM Oral History Interview January 25, 2013