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Slayer’s Kerry King Refers to Jeff Hanneman as ‘Worm Food’ in New Interview

Kerry King / Jeff Hanneman
Frazer Harrison / Andy Sheppard, Getty Images

As Slayer‘s new album Repentless inches closer and closer to its release, fans continue to ask question after question, especially considering the 2013 death of guitarist Jeff Hanneman. This will be Slayer’s first album without Hanneman, but guitarist Kerry King does not feel that Hanneman’s spirit will be guiding the band, as King describes the late shredder as “worm food.”

Kerry King is always very blunt when speaking his mind, as the Village Voice points out in a new interview with King. When asked whether he felt the spirit of Hanneman on the band’s upcoming album, Repentless, King replied: “Jeff is worm food. When you die you go in the dirt. There is no doubt. Doubt’s called agnostic. I’m not agnostic.”

Though the spirit of Hanneman, however King may define the term, may not be a guiding light for Slayer’s future, the band is certainly paying tribute to the late guitarist on Repentless. This will be found most notably on the Hanneman-composed track “Piano Wire.”

“I didn’t know this until Tom [Araya] told me recently,” King begins. “I didn’t talk to Jeff about that song, because I didn’t really have to police Jeff. If he wrote it, I was pretty sure it was all right. It was about sometime in World War II, because he was a big World War II history buff. I don’t know the exact instance, but apparently the Germans would hang people from buildings by piano wire as a warning to people not to go against them. That’s a very general description.”

Kerry King also refers to the upcoming album’s title track as the “HanneAnthem.” “I went with it based on Slayer. Slayer is repentless; Slayer’s always been repentless. I said, ‘You know what, I should write something about how I think Jeff looked at the world, because he looked at the world exactly how Slayer looked at the world.’ Plus little ‘Jeff-isms.’ It was both easy and difficult. The difficult part was doing it justice; I didn’t want to just throw it together. I wanted it to be solid, as deep as it could be without getting personal.”

Slayer’s 11th studio album, Repentless, will be unleashed on Sept. 11.

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