This year’s Rock Star Energy Drink Mayhem Festival is a sequel — in more ways than one.
Not only does it follow last year’s successful launch of the day-long heavy metal concert — brought to us by the same people who helm the Vans Warped Tour and effectively replacing the dormant OZZFest — but it also reunites headliners Slayer and Marilyn Manson on the same stage since their well-received joint tour in the summer of 2007.
Nevertheless, Slayer guitarist Kerry King professes to be baffled by the booking.
“I thought it was odd when Mayhem wanted us and Manson — not because we didn’t have a good time, but ’cause we did it,” says King, 45. “This one’s going to be very different ’cause it’s an all-day kind of thing, but we still had a blast last time. I never really knew Manson before that tour and we became friends — a lot of drinking absinthe in the evenings backstage. I’m sure there’ll be a lot of that on this one, too.”
Out on the stage, meanwhile, King says there’s still a bit of polarization that goes on between fans of Slayer’s thrashing, high-octane metallic attack and Manson’s theatrical and occasionally more melodic approach.
“We have a hard time from Manson fans and he gets a hard time from our fans — they’re definitely a mixture,” the guitarist notes. “There’s definitely a gray area that likes both bands. But he gets the finger from some of our fans, and we get a bunch of goth chicks with their fingers in their ears.
“It doesn’t bother me, you know? I’m playing for an hour, and you’re the stupid one standing there. Go get a beer or something if you really don’t like it that much.”
For Slayer, meanwhile, the Mayhem run is giving the quartet a chance to preview a bit of its ninth album, “World Painted Blood,” whose release date has not yet been announced. One track, “Psychopathy Red,” was released as a limited-edition red vinyl 7-inch in April for Record Store Day, and King says that’s the only new track Slayer feels right playing during its Mayhem sets, which are shorter than the group’s usual concerts.
“I put a set together where we rush through 13 songs just to give the kids as much bang for the buck,” he explains. “When there’s an hour, I allow five or so minutes per tune, so usually we play 12 in an hour. But this time Tom (Araya, Slayer’s singer and bassist) is speaking less, so we’re playing more songs.
“But that’s still not enough time to play all the stuff people want to hear, let alone new songs. We’ll tour after (‘World Painted Blood’) comes out, so they can hear those songs then and we’ll give ’em the old stuff this summer.”
The Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival begins at 1:30 p.m. Sunday (Aug. 2) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Slayer, Marilyn Manson, Killswitch Engage and Mushroomhead perform on the Main Stage. Trivium, All That Remains, God Forbid and a battle of the bands contest winner play the Jägermeister Second Stage, while Cannibal Corpse, Job For a Cowboy, Behemoth, Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel perform on the Hot Topic Stage. The Metal Mulisha will perform freestyle motocross stunts throughout the day. Tickets are $39.50 and $59.50 pavilion, $25 lawn with a $79 lawn four-pack. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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