PHIL DEMMEL On Joining KERRY KING’s Band: “That Was Four And A Half Years Of Holding On To The Secret”

Former Machine Head and Vio-lence guitar virtuoso, Phil Demmel, unveiled a treasure trove of insights concerning his collaboration with Kerry King‘s eponymous solo endeavor during a recent Instagram Live session.

In his narrative, Demmel recounted the genesis of their partnership, dating back to 2018, when he foresaw the conclusion of his tenure with Machine Head looming on the horizon. Reflecting on a Slayer performance in the Bay Area, he recollected, “It was in San Jose, during the summer of 2018. I sensed my time with Machine Head was winding down, so I approached Kerry about potential collaborations post-Slayer. He mentioned his intentions to continue with Paul and possibly recruit Gary Holt for his new venture.

The turning point arrived a year later at a Raiders game when King extended a formal invitation to Demmel to join his clandestine project. “Upon announcing my departure from Machine Head in September 2018, Kerry messaged me, realizing my inquiry about his future plans. Subsequently, during a Raiders game against Denver in 2019, Kerry confirmed his desire for me to join his band. It was a moment of sheer exhilaration,” recounted Demmel.

Maintaining secrecy for almost half a decade proved to be a daunting task, acknowledged Demmel. “Since August 2019, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the chance to announce my collaboration with Kerry’s new band. Only a select few were privy to this information, as Kerry preferred to keep it under wraps. It was undoubtedly the best worst-kept secret,” he confessed.

The anticipation wasn’t exclusive to fans; Demmel disclosed that the band members themselves grappled with the internal struggle of maintaining confidentiality. “Kerry composed all the music and lyrics, and they had been finalized for quite some time. However, due to quarantine restrictions and the quest for a vocalist, progress was sluggish. The anticipation felt akin to a swimming lesson, with the instructor continually retreating. Nevertheless, it was all worth it,” he remarked.

Contrary to Slayer’s trademark aggression, Demmel’s soaring solos infuse a distinct melodiousness into Kerry King’s forthcoming album. “While Kerry crafted the album’s musical and lyrical tapestry, I meticulously structured solos in my home studio. Injecting harmonies and melodies not commonly associated with Slayer, I aimed to offer something unique. Kerry embraced my stylistic departure from his previous collaborators, which was immensely gratifying,” Demmel explained.

Kerry King’s solo opus, “From Hell I Rise,” featuring Demmel, Death Angel’s Mark Osegueda, former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph, and ex-Hellyeah bassist Kyle Sanders, is slated for release on May 17 via Reigning Phoenix Music.

For a glimpse into the sonic inferno awaiting listeners, the band’s debut single, “Idle Hands,” serves as an enticing teaser. Prepare to be engulfed in a maelstrom of musical prowess!

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