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Slayer’s Kerry King Says He Wouldn’t Pay Money To See This Year’s ‘Mayhem Festival’


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Recently, Slayer guitarist Kerry King took offense to ‘Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival‘ co-founder Kevin Lyman‘s assertion that metal had gotten “gray, bald and fat.” While Lyman also raised some relevant points regarding metal’s seeming inability to produce commercially viable new acts as of late—some of which he equated to greed—King has now taken to firing back at Lyman. Speaking with Metal Insider, King said of this year’s ‘Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival‘:

“Do I know this tour wasn’t booked correctly? Absolutely I know this tour wasn’t booked correctly. Gary Holt made the comment that usually there’s the Main Stage, a second stage, a third stage, and then that piece of shit record stage…now what they’re calling a second stage is at best a fourth stage and they’re wondering why people aren’t showing up. I think they waited too long and think all the talent that could have been on this took gigs in Europe. Because there’s nobody here touring. It’s easy to fill these stages but I guess they wanted a different price point, take away the second and third stage which I think had a lot of value. To me a second stage headliner is Anthrax, Machine Head… Whoever booked this made a gigantic error.”

Lyman himself addressed this in his original comments, offering:

“…We had to condense it. The expenses of putting on those shows had gotten high, so we had to push it all into the concourses. They [venues] don’t want to build a fence outside [for third and fourth stages] anymore. Those things cost money.”

King was also asked if he felt that Slayer were carrying the tour as the headlining act:

“[Without the extra stages] It’s basically a glorified Slayer show. Let me put it to you this way, last year Slayer, Suicidal [Tendencies], and Exodus played the Eagles Ballroom in Milwaukee and sold it out. Mayhem came through 10 days ago and didn’t sell it out. That’s what I’m going up against here.”

Perhaps most damning from King‘s mouth though was the following comment in regard to some fans complaints about this years lineup:

“I understand it from a fan’s perspective. I wouldn’t spend money to come to this either.”

When asked if it would be last time Slayer play the festival, King replied:

“This might be the last time you see Mayhem.”

This years ‘Mayhem Festival‘ has been facing its toughest year yet with an admitted lack of big draw headlining acts and stiff competition from rival tours leading to numerous sparsely attended shows in comparison to previous years. as well as a number of cancelled stops and downgraded venues. Lyman himself also addressed this in his original interview, offering:

“It was the best available for what we had to work with. We had pressure to keep the package at a certain price and make that work, and we had pressure on headliner expenses.”

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