SLAYER's KERRY KING: Why I Decided To Sit Out 'Big Four' Jam In Sweden

SLAYER guitarist Kerry King has explained his absence from the latest "Big Four" jam, which […]
By Elina
July 4, 2011

SLAYER guitarist Kerry King has explained his absence from the latest "Big Four" jam, which took place during METALLICA's set on Sunday, July 3 at Ullevi stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The "Big Four" bands of 1980s thrash metal - METALLICA, MEGADETH, SLAYER and ANTHRAX - played the second show of their current European tour in front of a capacity crowd of 55,696 in Gothenburg after kicking off the trek one night earlier in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

The highly anticipated onstage performance of the "Big Four" bands at the same time happened near the end of METALLICA's set, between "Enter Sandman" and "Damage Inc.". Members of ANTHRAX and MEGADETH joined METALLICA on stage for a cover of DIAMOND HEAD's "Am I Evil?" before METALLICA ended the night with "Creeping Death".

SLAYER - who could not join the jam at the "Big Four" show in Gelsenkirchen, Germany due to their travel arrangements to get to the Gothenburg concert - did not take part in last night's "Am I Evil?" performance. King told Sweden's Aftonbladet newspaper about his absence from the Gothenburg "Big Four" jam, "I was supposed to be there, but they changed the song at the very last minute. We were gonna play the ANTI-NOWHERE LEAGUE's 'So What', so I had rehearsed that song. When they changed it to 'Am I Evil?', I decided not to do it. I haven't thought about that song for two months since we played it in California [at the only U.S. 'Big Four' show so far]."

Despite his decision to sit out the "Big Four" jam in Gothenburg, Kerry told Aftonbladet that he was pleased with his overall experience at Ullevi.

"I had a lot of technical problems in the beginning, but as soon as I sorted that shit out, I had a lot of fun," he said.

SLAYER drummer Dave Lombardo told last year that he was the only member of the veteran thrash metal act to take part in the first-ever "Big Four" jam in Sofia, Bulgaria because his bandmates "don't do that kind of thing."

Many fans were surprised to see that Lombardo was the only musician from SLAYER to perform with members of METALLICA, MEGADETH and ANTHRAX at the end of the June 22, 2010 "Big Four" concert broadcast from the Sonisphere festival in Bulgaria.

Lombardo explained to "I'm the only one who knows how to jam and have a good time! The other guys, they don't do that kind of thing. They just know their music when it's written and that's it - they don't know how to go up and improvise and enjoy themselves. Jeff [Hanneman; guitar] does a little bit, but not the other guys [bassist/vocalist Tom Araya and guitarist Kerry King]."

Fan-filmed video footage of SLAYER's performance in Gothenburg can be seen below.

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