In a new interview, Kerry King revealed how he found out Slayer were retiring years ago.

The guitarist spoke about the thrash legends’ handful of 2024 shows, as well as his upcoming debut solo album From Hell I Rise, in a recent interview with Revolver. During the discussion, he explained that he’d originally written a few of the songs on the album for Slayer back before he found out they were retiring in late 2019.

“I had every intention of making another Slayer record,” King recalled, “Until Tom [Araya] was doing an interview with some publication, and they asked him about the next Slayer album. He said something like, ‘I don’t know, I gotta talk to Kerry before we start working on the next record.'”

However, Araya didn’t want to do another Slayer record. He wanted to retire.

“And when I found that out, of course I’m hurt, first and foremost,” King continued. “Second, I’m like, ‘I got a lot of work to do.’ Third, I’m like, ‘I’ve just gotta play my gig as best I can every night and prepare to move on.’ And fourth, I was like, ‘Ok, all these songs that I’d been writing for Slayer? Now they’re just mine.'”

The guitarist sees the benefit in Slayer “going out on top,” but also says he felt a new sense of creative freedom while working on the material on his own. And although he never felt restricted working on Slayer material, From Hell I Rise would sound quite a bit different if it was a Slayer album.

READ MORE: Slayer’s Kerry King Plays His First-Ever Solo Show – Setlist + Video

Slayer are set to perform at three festivals this year — Louder Than Life, Riot Fest and Aftershock — in September and October. But King said he “can pretty much guarantee” they won’t go on tour or make another album ever again.

“I just started my new career, and my career is just taking off,” he enthused, adding that he already has some music written for his sophomore solo album.

“The wait for that album won’t be long,” he teased. “There won’t be no five-year gap.”

Every Thrash Metal ‘Big 4’ Album Ranked

An incredibly diverse collection of albums, ranked from worst to best!

Follow Loudwire’s ‘Early Thrash: The Beginning & The ’90s’ playlist here.

Gallery Credit: Loudwire Staff