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Slayer’s Kerry King on Relationship with Jeff Hanneman: I Don’t Think We Were Ever Best Friends

Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman
Michael Buckner, Getty Images

Since the shocking death of Slayer guitar god Jeff Hanneman, the relationship between Hanneman and fellow Slayer shredder his bandmates has been placed under the world’s most public microscope. The trend is likely to continue for some time, detailed in even greater length by an upcoming Guitar World interview with Slayer axeman Kerry King, who admits that Hanneman hadn’t been speaking to one another during the late guitarist’s battle with necrotizing fasciitis.

The August 2013 edition of Guitar World magazine will act as one massive tribute to Jeff Hanneman in print form. Excerpts from a captivating interview with Hanneman’s wife have already been made public to amplify anticipation for the magazine, and now a portion of Kerry King’s interview with Guitar World has been revealed.

“[Any time we would finish a tour, Jeff] would just go home and detach,” King tells Guitar World. “He might have lived only 45 minutes away, but unless you were part of his inner circle, it was hard to stay in touch with him. And it took me a few years to understand that. For a while I was just like, ‘Why isn’t this guy calling me back?’ But as I got older, I just realized that that was who Jeff was.”

“I don’t think Jeff and I were ever best friends,” continues King. “I think we were probably the closest in the band, but never best friends. To put it in a way that everyone could understand, Jeff and I were like business partners. Was he my friend? Of course he was my friend. But we didn’t really act like that. The last time I was at Jeff’s house was January 2003. We went to his place to watch the Raiders in the playoffs. And it sounds horrible, but it wasn’t horrible. That was just how it was.”

Slayer have chosen to carry on despite Hanneman’s passing and internal issues with drummer Dave Lombardo that could not be reconciled. Kerry King and frontman Tom Araya will be embarking on a massive European / South American tour with ExodusGary Holt on guitar and legendary drummer Paul Bostaph on drums beginning July 27 in Leipzig, Germany.

Drummer Paul Bostaph Comments on Slayer Return

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