Kerry King Reflects on His Love of Fire in Live Shows: “There is No Mailing In Fire”

Some men just want to watch the world burn, others just want to watch the stage burn. When it comes to stage pyrotechnics, Slayer guitarist Kerry King is as fascinated with fire as that one questionable kid in high school — you know the one. Slayer is known for their impressive pyrotechnics display in their live performances, and King even used fire extensively in his video for his solo single “Residue” where he lights an entire pentagram on fire behind the band’s drum kit.

In a recent interview with nationally syndicated radio show Full Metal Jackie, King talked about his love of fire in live performances, what theatrics he likes to use in his shows, and what he likes to see in others’ shows. He also talked about why fire is better than simply using video screens, arguing that one can be mailed in an the other can’t. Here’s what he said, as transcribed by Blabbermouth:

“I enjoy seeing everything in a live show production — not necessarily in my own show. But video screens are very effective. I think that’s a very common go-to. And I don’t think that every time you see video screens, the video content’s that great. Sometimes it looks like they mailed it in, so I didn’t want that.”

Then he went on:

“Fire, it is what it is, and you know what you’re gonna get. There is no mailing in fire — it’s there, it’s awesome, it is what it is. It heats the place up. It goes hand in hand with this kind of music. When I think fire, I think of bands like [BLACK] SABBATH, I think of VENOM, I think of SLAYER. And that being part of my pedigree, that’s where my love of fire comes from, I’m sure.”

While fire certainly looks impressive, there’s dangers that come with it as well. I grew up down the street from the Station Nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island so I watched a community confront the danger of pyrotechnics up-close back in the 2000s. Of course, Great White was trying to light up a small venue with fire when really that sort of thing needs to be saved for large arenas. But, even in larger venues, things can go wrong. So all I’m saying is, bands, be careful with your use of fire. Think of me as Smokey the Bear for heavy metal concerts.

To see Kerry King light the stage on fire figuratively and literally, check him out at the tour dates below.

Jun 3 –  NL Tilburg – 013
Jun 4 – NL Enschede – Hertog Jan Zaal
Jun 6 – SE Sölvesborg – Sweden Rock Festival
Jun 7 – DE Nürburgring – Rock am Ring
Jun 8 – PL Gdańsk – Mystic Festival
Jun 9 – DE Nuremberg – Rock im Park
Jun 11 – DE Hamburg – Große Freiheit 36
Jun 12 – DE Berlin – Huxleys Neue Welt
Jun 13 – AT Nickelsdorf – Nova Rock
Jun 15 – CZ Hradec Králové, Rock For People
Jun 16 – UK Derby – Download Festival
Jun 18 – UK London – Electric Ballroom
Jun 20 – BE Dessel – Graspop Metal Meeting
Jun 21 DK Copenhagen – Copenhell
Jun 22 FI Nummijärvi, Nummirock Metal Festival
Jun 26 – ES Viveiro – Resurrection Fest
Jun 27 – FR Clisson – Hellfest
Jun 28 – FI Helsinki – Tuska
Jun 29 – PT Lisbon – Evil Live Festival, Altice Arena
Jul 19 – Grand Prairie, TX – Texas Trust CU Theatre
Jul 20 – Austin, TX – Germania Insurance Amphitheater
Jul 21 – Houston, TX – 713 Music Hall
Jul 23 – Jacksonville, FL – Daily’s Place
Jul 24 – Orlando, FL – Orlando Amphitheater
Jul 25 – Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
Jul 27 – Raleigh, NC – Red Hat Amphitheater
Jul 28 – Richmond, VA – Virginia Credit Union LIVE!
Jul 30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
Jul 31 – London, ON – Budweiser Gardens
Aug 1 – Montreal, QC – Bell Centre
Aug 3 – Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Aug 4 – Manchester, NH – SNHU Arena
Aug 6 – Bangor, ME – Maine Savings Amphitheatre
Aug 8 – Reading, PA – Santander Arena**
Aug 9 – Cleveland, OH – Jacobs Pavilion**
Aug 10 – Sterling Heights, MI – Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre @ Freedom Hill**
Aug 13 – Moorhead, MN – Bluestem Center For The Arts Amphitheater
Aug 15 – Calgary, AB – Scotiabank Saddledome
Aug 16 – Penticton, BC – South Okanagan Events Centre
Aug 17 – Kent, WA – accesso ShoWare Center
Aug 18 – Portland, OR – Theater of the Clouds
Aug 21 – Los Angeles, CA – The Kia Forum
Aug 23 – Phoenix, AZ – Arizona Financial Theatre
Aug 24 – Rio Rancho, NM – Rio Rancho Events Center
Aug 25 – El Paso, TX – El Paso County Coliseum
Aug 27 – Magna, UT – The Great Saltair
Aug 29 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Aug 31 – Omaha, NE – The Astro Amphitheater

Metal

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