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Kerry King defends his Hanneman tribute

Slayer mainman responds to fans for “giving him shit” at awards ceremony hours after Jeff died

Slayer guitarist Kerry King has spoken up about the negative reaction he received from some quarters over the tribute paid to Jeff Hanneman hours after he died.

King attended an awards ceremony the day Hanneman passed away from alcohol-related disease in May 2013.

He told the crowd: “Jeff fucking Hanneman, he played in Slayer. He does not want a moment of silence. Jeff wants a moment of fucking noise.” Then he invited them to “tip one back to our fallen brother.”

Now King tells Loudwire: “People gave me shit for not fucking blubbering on mic. But it’s a celebration, even in death. I wanted people to celebrate.

“They needed it. They needed somebody to say, ‘It’s okay – we’re moving on.’ I dealt with what I had to deal with, I got the crowd up for it, and I think that’s a good memory of Jeff for them.”

He reflects on his bandmate’s passing: “I knew he was in hospital in bad shape, but nobody thought he was in that bad a shape. Then he was gone.”

And he says of their work together: “He’d only been playing a year when I met him, and I’d probably been playing about four – which is nothing in the big perspective.

“He learned a lot from me and I learned a lot from him. It was really cool. We helped establish the genre between us.”

Slayer have just completed their 11th album – their first with Gary Holt in place of Hanneman. The band re cover stars of the current edition of Metal Hammer, on sale now. An in-depth interview covers why the band feel Holt was the only man to replace Hanneman, and how the co-founder’s death created a new level of communication between Tom Araya and Kerry King.

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