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PHIL DEMMEL says KERRY KING's asshole reputation is undeserved: “he's a nice dude”


On a recent episode of the “Talk Louder” podcast, hosted by veteran music journalist “Metal Dave” Glessner and lifelong hard rock/metal vocalist Jason McMaster (DANGEROUS TOYS), Phil Demmel spoke about his working relationship with Kerry King in the SLAYER guitarist’s recently unveiled solo project. The 57-year-old San Francisco Bay Area-based musician, who has previously played with MACHINE HEAD and VIO-LENCE, said: “If there’s one thing that I know with Kerry is exactly where he stands and exactly what he’s feeling. He has his agenda, of course, but there’s no meandering around with the point he’s gonna try to get to, and there’s no steps being set up to…”

He continued: “Kerry gets this stigma of being a fucking asshole or a fucking dick. And he’s not. He’s a nice dude. And he’s an empathetic dude. He’s a caring guy about stuff. It’s not like he’s this hardened dick and blah, blah, blah. There’s just not a filter there where he just says, ‘No, I don’t like that, or ‘I can’t do this because’ blah, blah, blah. And it’s just straight-forward, man. And I wish people would kind of understand that about other people. It’s not him being a fucking… well, maybe it could be considered a dick, but that’s not his intent. He’s just, like, ‘I’m not fucking around. I’m not gonna bullshit you.'”

King‘s debut solo album, “From Hell I Rise”, will be released on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music. All material for the LP was written by the 59-year-old musician, who was accompanied during the recording sessions by guitarist Demmel, drummer Paul Bostaph (SLAYER), bassist Kyle Sanders (HELLYEAH) and vocalist Mark Osegueda (DEATH ANGEL). Helming the sessions at Henson Recording Studios in Los Angeles last year was producer Josh Wilbur, who has previously worked with KORNLAMB OF GODAVENGED SEVENFOLD and BAD RELIGION, among others.

KERRY KING will be special guest on the upcoming LAMB OF GOD/MASTODON North American “Ashes Of Leviathan” co-headline tour. The six-week run will launch on July 19 in Grand Prairie, Texas and will wrap on August 31 in Omaha, Nebraska. KERRY KING will make the band’s 2024 concert debut in May, first at the Welcome To Rockville festival (May 9), followed by Sonic Temple Arts & Music Festival (May 16). They are also confirmed for Hellfest, in France, this Summer. 

This past December, it was announced that VIO-LENCE will return to the stage in April 2024 for a special eight-date headlining tour during which they will perform their classic 1988 debut album, “Eternal Nightmare”, in its entirety. The trek runs from April 5 in Cambridge, Massachusetts through April 13 in Chicago, Illinois. Support at the dates will come from EXHORDERDECEASED and MORTAL WOUND.

At some of VIO-LENCE‘s recent shows, the band’s touring lineup consisted of classic-era vocalist Killian alongside more recent additions, drummer Adrian Aguilar (EXMORTUS),guitarist Miles Dimitri Baker (VOIDBRINGERINTERLOPER, ex-RINGS OF SATURN),bassist Christian Olde Wolbers and guitarist Ira Black (VICIOUS RUMORSHEATHENMETAL CHURCH). Notably, those dates featured only Killian from the VIO-LENCE lineup that played its first comeback gig in April 2019 at the Oakland Metro in Oakland, California.

VIO-LENCE played its first show with Aguilar in February 2023 at the Whisky A Go Go in West Hollywood, California. Aguilar joined VIO-LENCE following the departure of Strickland.

Although MACHINE HEAD frontman Robb Flynn was part of VIO-LENCE‘s classic incarnation and played on “Eternal Nightmare”, he wasn’t approached about taking part in the band’s reunion.

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