If things seemed like they might be a little tense on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, that’s because, by all outward appearances, they are. After a Detroit Free Press article in which co-founder Kevin Lyman called metal “gray, bald and fat,” and suggested that heritage bands suck it up and take a bit of a hit financially to make the tour a success, Lyman took a step back and apologized for his comments. Makes sense that Lyman, who’s done a pretty solid job with the fest (as well as Warped, which he founded), would clarify the statement, and in all honesty, many headlining metal bands – and their fan bases, are in their late 40’s and early 50s, given that the metal genre is 44 years old. Slayer guitarist Kerry King, however, wasn’t about to let it go when asked about it. In an interview with National Rock Review, the outspoken 51 year-old teed off on Lyman:
“What a douche. I do care [about what he said], because that directly affects this product [referring to the Mayhem festival]. But at the end of the day — let me say this — when you think of the old and fat and [bald]… Okay, I got the ‘bald’ part — I get it — but, I mean, when you think of that statement, do you think of me, or are you thinking fucking Lyman? Dude, I look like a fucking convict; I’m not here looking all old, fat and gray, you know?! It’s, like, c’mon, man, speak for yourself. Don’t put that label on us, the genre and your festival or anything. That’s just fucking… That’s one of the stupidest marketing things I’ve ever heard. It’s not marketing. It’s just somebody babbling.”
Sure, Maybe King doesn’t look gray, but Tom Araya sure does. And the kind of metal that’s drawing in people is bringing in an older fan base along with new ones. It’d probably be hard for King to name many current metal bands. Lyman has already apologized for his remarks, so it’s kind of beating a dead horse at this point in time. That being said, King’s entitled to his opinions, and he’s never one to shy away from controversy. Needless to say, this is probably the last time Slayer will be playing the Mayhem Fest, though.
Slayer’s Repentless will be out on September 11 on Nuclear Blast Records.
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