Archive for Kerry King

SLAYER’S STILL REIGNING DVD…the dressing room

Posted in music, photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 2, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

SLAYER
Augusta Civic Center
Augusta, ME
July 11, 200

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(These photos and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

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Part three of a five-part series I am doing this week as I look back at the making of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD. From load in to load out, I was there with the band.
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Hatebreed and God Forbid had gotten the crowd warmed up, now it was Slipknot’s turn. Doors had opened a bit late due to the last minute set-up of the blood-rain system, but at least it was complete and ready to go. Whether it was going to really work the way everyone was hoping for was another question.

I photographed a couple of songs during Slipknot’s opening set. If anyone could hold their own as an opener for Slayer, it’s definitely Slipknot. When I finished shooting, I headed back to Slayer’s dressing room to hang with them until they went on. Just before I left the arena floor, I took a good look at the crowd, the venue was oversold, and there was hardly room to stand. Everyone was feeling the excitement of what was soon coming.

The mood in Slayer’s dressing room was surprisingly calm and quiet, but there was still a sense of tension and unspoken worry. I sat alone with Kerry King for quite some time as he strategically whipped up a super-solid set list…saving entire Reign In Blood album as the encore. Kerry put a lot of thought and a lot of heart into this set list. He wanted to make sure that the first half of Slayer’s show was as strong as possible. Slayer has such a huge archive of songs, it was very difficult for Kerry to pick and choose what made it into the set that night.

Then, as soon as Kerry King laced up his Armband Of Nails, much like medication as it kicks in and starts to take effect, the band kicked into overdrive and became the Slayer that we all know. Right in front of me, Jeff and Kerry started jamming together, at full speed. It was amazing, it was like they were onstage and I was the audience. No amps, nothing, just them, their guitars and myself. I didn’t want that moment to end, it was incredible. Dave was violently banging away with his drumsticks on a locker door. Tom seemed to meditate as he sat alone, his mind seemed to be racing in a thousand directions…he was ready.

Through the arena walls we could hear the crow chanting – Slayer, Slayer, Slayer! It was almost time. Jeff was the most eager to get on stage. He was bouncing all over the room, he could hardly contain himself. Then, being the joker that I can be sometimes, I decided to pull a fast one on Jeff. Slayer’s road manager at the time had a very nasally and scratchy tone to his voice – and I could imitate his voice almost flawlessly. I pulled Kerry and Tom aside and told said, “watch this.” I slammed the dressing door open and in my imitated-road manager voice I yelled, “Okay, let’s go, it’s show time…come on, let’s go!” Jeff came running out full speed with his guitar and we were all waiting for him in front of the dressing room door laughing our heads off. Jeff immediately knew he was the butt of a joke and started cracking up. We all laughed it up and cherished the moment. It was a nice way to get rid of the day’s tension, if only for a brief moment. Just then, their real tour manager walked in the dressing room and yelled, “Okay, guys let’s go.”

Stop by tomorrow and every day this week as we get closer and closer to Slayer hitting the stage in my weeklong retrospect of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD.

SLAYER’S STILL REIGNING DVD…soundcheck

Posted in music, photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

SLAYER
Augusta Civic Center
Augusta, ME
July 11, 2004

blog_buy_button

(These photos and many others now available for sale.  Email: IamKevin@fairwarning.com)

***
Part two of a five-part series I am doing this week as I look back at the making of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD. From load in to load out, I was there with the band.

***

As the teams continued to frantically work on the “raining-blood system,” the band readied for soundcheck. Slayer has gone through soundcheck a million times in their career, I am sure they can do it on instinct. Bit for some reason, the band seemed a bit unsure of things, they seemed to worry and stress over many minute details.

Then I heard it, the band, especially Kerry, were very worried about their gear. As the raining-blood system had never been tested, no one knew how much blood was going to pour on their amps, drums and guitars. No one knew if their gear would make it through the song, and no one knew if their gear would be in working condition as they continue on with the Ozzfest Tour the following day in Boston. Kerry and Jeff also had concerns whether or not they would have control of their hands and fingers on their guitar necks once they were covered in blood. These guys are pros, and they wanted to be sure of two things: One – the fans at this gig got the show of their lives and; Two – that this DVD really captured the fury, passion and essence of who Slayer really is.

As soundcheck commenced, it was time for us all to sit down and eat. During dinner, the band picked my brain, asking me what songs were on the War At The Warfield DVD. Slayer have so much respect for their fans…they wanted to make sure that a completely different set was filmed for the fans that evening and not a re-hash of the live DVD that was released prior. However, no one could really eat, as there was still no confirmation on whether or not the blood gimmick was really going to work as planned.

The blood system was being put in place above the stage. A plan had finally been put together and implemented. However, because of time and costs, there would be no testing of the system. It was a one-shot-deal…it would either work or it wouldn’t. This was a good time for Slayer to say a prayer…I wonder who Slayer prays to.

Stop by tomorrow and every day this week as we get closer and closer to Slayer hitting the stage in my weeklong retrospect of Slayer’s Still Reigning DVD.

Hell Awaited

Posted in music with tags , , , on May 3, 2008 by Kevin Estrada

Slayer – Country Club : September 7, 1985

This two-night stand at The Country Club in Reseda was a turning point for Slayer. They had just returned from Europe, and now the band no longer belonged to just the fans in L.A. It was time to see what happens after a band like Slayer played night after night to screaming European metal fans. Adding more fuel to the fire was the fact many of the most notorious gangs in Los Angeles came out to this show – not only to take part in the violence that comes with a Slayer show – but also to support Venice’s own D.R.I, who were added as main support that night (Abbatoir opened the show that evening). Excluding the South Of Heaven show at the Hollywood Palladium (which ended in overturned police cars and shootings in and outside of the venue), this Country Club gig was arguably the most brutal and dangerous show that Slayer ever played in Los Angeles (multiple stabbings and gang fights throughout the show).

It was hard as hell to shoot bands like Slayer because the pits were extremely violent and I always found myself jumping in the middle of these ferocious pits to get the shots I wanted. That was the only way to truly capture the feeling of a Slayer show.

Shot up front in the mayhem with my trusty, smuggled in Canon AE-1 Program and an 80-300mm zoom lens.