Slayer’s Kerry King: One Of Jeff Hanneman’s Final Decisions Was To Bring Back Paul Bostaph
Late Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman remained and integral part of the group up until his 2013 death. Even though Hanneman's last years were spent on the bench due to a serious bout with necrotizing fasciitis, fellow Slayer shredder Kerry King reveals that one of Hanneman's final decisions was to bring drumming phenom Paul Bostaph back into the band.
Slayer and longtime drummer Dave Lombardo parted ways in 2013. The split was anything but amicable, with Lombardo speaking out against the way he was treated in the band along with the low sum of money he reportedly made while on tour. Regardless of what went down, fans agree that Paul Bostaph was a perfect pick to bring back into Slayer, and Jeff Hanneman deserves credit for helping make that decision.
"I tried out Jon Dette and I tried out Paul on the same brand new two new songs," Kerry King tells Artisan News. "I gave 'em each the exact same amount of time to learn 'em: 'Here's the parameters. Let's see what happens.' Then that was one of Jeff's last decisions in Slayer; he voted Paul back in. And I wouldn't go against Jeff. Jesus… For him to be paying attention and being able to make a decision, I was, like, f--kin' sending skyrockets in the sky: 'Thank you! Jeff did something!' So I wanted him to be a part, and he couldn't. So, you know, I know from talking to Jeff that he wanted Paul. I think Tom [Araya] wanted Paul, and I was already outnumbered, so it didn't matter if I wanted Paul or wanted Jon; it didn't matter."
King continues, "Before we gave him the gig, I called up Paul… 'Cause we were friends the whole time; there was never bad blood. I mean, I don't think I ever asked him why he quit. But, you know, he was always my friend. We'd come through town, and I'd say, 'Hey, man, you coming to the show? Let's go have some drinks.' Whatever. And I called him. I said, 'Paul, what's there to say, if you get this gig, that you're not just gonna f--king leave in eight months?' And he's, like, 'Oh, man…' I don't remember exactly what he said, but he was just, like, 'Oh, man. I'm more grown up now. I'm 50 years old. I don't wanna go in other bands.' And I'm, like, 'Dude, I certainly don't wanna get new bandmembers.' If this is how it is 'till the day we're done, I will be a happy motherf--ker, because it's just a pain in the ass changing members."
Slayer's 11th studio album, Repentless, will see a Sept. 11 release via Nuclear Blast.
Slayer's Kerry King Plays 'Wikipedia: Fact or Fiction?'
See Where Slayer's Guitarists Rank on the Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Guitarists of All Time