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Anthrax’s Scott Ian Calls Out Kerry King Over Slayer Reunion: “I Took Them at Their Word”

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Slayer stunned fans earlier this year when they announced they’d be reuniting for three festival gigs this fall. Among those who were surprised was Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, who says he messaged Slayer axeman Kerry King and told him, “Thanks for making me look like a liar.”

The timing of Slayer’s announcement was especially surprising considering that King had just unveiled details of his eponymous solo band, including a debut album, From Hell I Rise, set to arrive May 17th, and a summer tour supporting Mastodon and Lamb of God. Slayer’s reunion gigs will follow in the fall at Riot Fest, Louder Than Life, and Aftershock.

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The festival shows will mark Slayer’s first concerts since wrapping up their farewell tour in late 2019.

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When asked in a new interview with Classic Rock about his reaction to the news that Slayer were reuniting, Ian remarked, “I wrote to Kerry and said, ‘Thanks for making me look like a liar.’ We were on Slayer’s goodbye tour for over a hundred shows. During that year and a half together I got the sense that if they said were ending, then that’s what was happening.”

He added, “Personally I felt it was too soon – the world needs Slayer – but I took them at their word on that. I really felt that they would be the one band that when they said they were retiring, they’d be done for good.”

So, how did King respond to Ian? “He wrote back saying: ‘Hahaha. Hey, it’s just three shows.’ I replied, ‘Yeah, we’ll see.’”

In fairness to King, the guitarist never wanted to break up Slayer. While no official reason was given at the time of the breakup, interviews with band members have pointed to singer-bassist Tom Araya’s desire to step away from the rigors of touring. King has insisted he would’ve kept the band going if it was totally up to him.

Along with the Metallica and Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer are part of the Big 4 of thrash metal. Asked in the same interview whether it should’ve been a Big 5, Ian replied, “To me, Exodus should have been mentioned in that same bracket. They started back in 1979 as a covers band, two years even before us, Metallica and Slayer. Whoever coined that phrase should have included Exodus. They were there at the beginning, and I still think that in Bonded By Blood they made the best debut record of the five of us.”

Anthrax are currently working on their long-awaited follow-up to 2016’s For All Kings. The band will play the Sonic Temple festival on May 17th, as well as the Louder Than Life and Aftershock festivals in the fall. They’ll also embark on a UK/European tour with Kreator and Testament in late November, with tickets available here.

King just performed his first gigs with his solo band at a club show Tuesday (May 7th) in Chicago and Thursday (May 9th) at the Welcome to Rockville fest in Daytona Beach, Florida. He’ll also be playing Sonic Temple on May 16th, before he embarks on the aforementioned summer tour with Mastodon and Lamb of God (pick up tickets here).

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