Indy: Congrats on the Best Metal Performance Grammy Award nomination for "Eyes of the Insane" [from the new album Christ Illusion]. Have you dusted off a spot on the mantle?
KK: So far, I have zero Grammy Awards, and I'm not expecting to get this one. We were nominated for the last album [2001's God Hates Us All], too. I think the last time Tool won and sure, they're more popular, but the Best Metal Performance? Ours spanked theirs.
Indy: We keep hearing how metal has made a comeback, but Slayer has been going strong for nearly 25 years.
KK: That's how it's perceived. We've been around forever, and it takes bands like us that are still relevant to go out and play. And now it's the infusion of younger bands to keep people interested and to help the genre reinvent itself.
Indy: What's it like to be a thrash metal elder statesman?
KK: It's cool, but the weird thing is when some of the [new bands] treat us like we're their heroes. "Man, chill out, shut up and quit fucking giving me all of this whatever. Just be normal." I'm sure that's what people said about me when I was coming up: "That Kerry guy, he just fucking likes us too much."
Indy: Still, there's no denying Slayer's influence over today's metal.
KK: You hear it sometimes, but I think when our first record [Show No Mercy] came out, we sounded like Iron Maiden. But we grew into something that didn't sound anything like Iron Maiden.
Indy: Does it bother you, then, when a band is ripping off the Slayer sound?
KK: If they suck at it. It's degrading.
At Denver's Fillmore Auditorium on Jan. 31.