Slayer's Kerry King Chews Out Mayhem Festival Organizers
Published Jul 21, 2015This year's metal-minded Mayhem Festival apparently hasn't had the best of luck, with tour founder Kevin Lyman hinting it could be on its last legs since the genre "got gray, bald and fat." Slayer guitarist Kerry King, whose band is headlining the travelling event this year, is now taking shots at Mayhem, suggesting this year's festivities weren't booked properly to begin with.
The war of words started earlier this month during an interview with Lyman wherein he revealed he had been struggling to come up with headline-worthy acts. This year, the top-draw talent includes Slayer, King Diamond and Hellyeah, along with various secondary acts.
Additionally, the number of Mayhem stages was cut down from four to two, while ticket prices also went down. But even in the face of shrinking returns, Lyman explained that metal bands weren't willing to cut their appearance fees.
"The bands at the top all demand a certain level of fee to be on tour. Unlike punk rock, metal never knows how to take a step back to move the whole scene forward," the tour founder, who had also started the Vans Warped Tour, had said.
King, meanwhile, spoke with Metal Insider at a tour stop in Hartford, CT, over the weekend to rail on Lyman's comments. Of calling metal "gray, bald and fat," King noted that "It's a very generalizing statement and it basically throws his tour under the bus. That's just…that's not even Business 101. That's just insane."
He further questioned how Mayhem was booked this year, noting that there was, as Lyman himself had noted, not enough top-shelf talent. It had previously been reported that Slayer had almost backed out of the tour until King Diamond were brought onto the lineup.
"Do I know this tour wasn't booked correctly? Absolutely I know this tour wasn't booked correctly," King said. "[Slayer guitarist] 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."
He added, "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."
King said that he felt like the tour is "basically a glorified Slayer show," adding that the group's own headlining shows in similar areas have been sold out, while Mayhem is struggling to fill amphitheatres.
He clarified, "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."
You'll find the remaining Mayhem Festival dates down below. The tour had hit Toronto's Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on July 15, while Slayer staged a separate performance at Montebello, QC's Amnesia Rockfest last night (July 20).
In related news, Slayer will issue their forthcoming Repentless LP on September 11 via Nuclear Blast.
07/21 Holmdel, NJ - PNC Bank Arts Center
07/22 Gilford, NH - Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion)
07/24 Bristow, VA - Jiffy Lube Live
07/25 Boston, MA - Xfinity Center
07/26 Wantagh, NY - Nikon at Jones Beach
07/29 Atlanta, GA - Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood
07/31 San Antonio, TX - Whitewater Amphitheater
08/01 Houston, TX - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
08/02 Dallas, TX - Gexa Energy Amphitheater